GAME TOTAL: 91
Western beat Canyon del Oro 10-6 Wednesday night at Kriegh Park to force a winner-take-all championship game in the District 5 Baseball Little League playoffs. The final game will take place at Kriegh Park at 6:30 p.m. and the winner will advance to the Little League state playoffs set to start on July 17 in Scottsdale.
Western took an early 1-0 lead on a home run from Max Leyva in the bottom of the first but CDO responded with two runs in the top of the second on a 2-RBI single from Vijay King and CDO tacked on four more in the third thanks to an RBI from Grant Young and a 3-run shot from Samuel Martinez.
Down 6-1, Western exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the third with Leyva coming up big with a 2-run double and Jose Arias capped off the scoring with a 3-run shot of his own. CDO was unable to mount a comeback and Western added one more run in the fourth on a pinch-hit RBI from Abran Vergara.
Miguel Traslarina collected eight strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of work for Western to pick up the win and Arias finished the game. Chris Humphreys got the start for CDO and Martinez took over in the third inning.
Leyva went 3-for-3 with a home run, double and three RBI to lead Western at the plate. Arias went 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI. Maddox Jones went 2-2 and Traslarina went 2-3 with a double and an RBI. James Nunnallee went 3-3 for CDO and Young went 2-2 with a double and an RBI.
The championship game Thursday night will be the last game to be played at Kriegh Park for a while due to renovations. There will be no “fall ball” at the park this fall (players will play at other fields) but there may be a short spring season. The park will not be able to host any playoff action next summer.
The park, formally known as Dennis Weaver Park (Named after a former Pima County supervisor – not the actor), was home to future Canyon del Oro High School and MLB standouts including Ian Kinsler, Colin Porter, Chris and Shelly Duncan, Brian Anderson and Jason Stanford. Scott Hairston moved to CDO in high school.
The main field at Kriegh Park is named after Christina-Taylor Green, the young girl who passed away in the Gabby Gifford’s shooting. “Green Field” also has the distinction of having an Angel statue located just outside the left field fence constructed from metal and other materials from the Twin Towers and fire engines associated with 9-11. The statue is protected by boulders collected from the crash site in Pennsylvania. It is possibly the most little-known monument in the Tucson area.
DISTRICT 5 8-10 BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Oro Valley and Thornydale 8-10 Little League Baseball teams fought for the District 5 championship Wednesday night. Both teams battled, but Oro Valley was able to come through with the 6-5 victory. Thornydale came off an 18-7 victory over Canyon View Tuesday night to advance to the championship game against Oro Valley.
Thornydale’s Ion Bain started the game off with an infield single and Oscar Quijada followed it up with a walk. Angel Figueroa plated Bain with a single through the right side and Colin Sobecki singled up the middle to score Quijada. Oro Valley’s Regen Mazura picked up his first strikeout and Levi Secrest made a sliding catch in foul territory to limit the damage and turn over the half inning.
Mazura led off Oro Valley’s half of the inning with a walk and he advanced to second and then third a few pitches later. Ayven Sholl singled to left to score Mazura and then stole second. DiAngelo Alexander followed it up with a single and a stolen base of his own to put runners on second and third, but Quijada picked up his first strikeout to help Thornydale to stay in the lead 2-1.
Brody Young and Colton Kintner worked back-to-back walks for Thornydale, but a double play kept them off the board. Cody Milne reached on an infield single for Oro Valley. Lucas Anderson followed with a walk. Cole Newton advanced both runners with his grounder to the first baseman and Mazura plated Milne. Quijada picked up another strikeout to end the inning, but not before Oro Valley was able to tie it up at two runs apiece.
A double by TJ Multhup started the third inning. Figueroa was able to move Multhup to third and Sobecki plated him with a hit to the right side. Mazura picked up his third strikeout of the game, but Thornydale was able to recapture the lead. Alexander and Christian Soder worked back-to-back walks, but nothing come from it for Oro Valley.
Mazura worked two more strikeouts to keep Thornydale off the base paths in the fourth and keep it a one run game. Mazura walked to start Oro Valley’s half of the fourth and then stole second and third. Chad Butterbrodt worked a walk of his own to put runners at the corners but Oro Valley was not able to capitalize and the team remained down by one.
Three strikeouts from Mazura ended the top of fifth inning quickly. Soder and Peyton Carson worked walks to start a rally for Oro Valley. Milne followed with a single to center to load the bases. Clifford Graves took one for the team as he got hit, allowing Soder to score, tying the game at 3-3.
Thornydale started a rally in their half of the sixth starting with a single by Figueroa. Sobecki was able to reach first base on a ball to center. Special pinch runner, Bain, stole second to move a runner into scoring position. Mason Petty walked to put runners on first and second and Logan Palmer scored Bain with his ball to centerfield. Matt Cordova walked to load the bases and a walk to Lincoln Miller scored Petty. Thornydale’s two runs made the score to 5-3.
Oro Valley had to score at least two in the bottom of the sixth to keep the game going. A single by Sholl started their half of the inning and Alexander reached on a fielder’s choice to the short stop. Soder was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Carson scored Alexander on a hit to right field and he took second on the throw to the plate. Milne tied the game with his grounder to second, scoring Soder. Anderson hit a ball to the left side, allowing Carson to score and Oro Valley to walk it off in the bottom of the sixth.
Both teams played a great game and had great seasons. Thornydale battled through the elimination bracket to make it to the championship game and ultimately place second in the District 5 8-10 Baseball tournament. Oro Valley will advance to the state tournament set to start on July 12 at Freedom Park.
Maggie Morales is a senior at the University of Minnesota Crookston where she is a three-time Academic All-American on the softball team. Maggie grew up in Tucson and played softball at Canyon del Oro where she won a state title.
DISTRICT 5 LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL
Marana beat Tucson Mountain 10-7 to force a winner-take-all game tonight in the District 5 Little League Softball tournament held at Arthur Pack. The winner will advance to the state tournament scheduled to start on July 5 in Flagstaff.
DISTRICT 5 9-11 BASEBALL
Canyon View beat Western 16-6 in 9-11 Baseball action taking place at Mehl Park. Western sent Canyon View to the elimination bracket last Tuesday, June 19 and Canyon View has battled all the way back through four elimination games. Make that five games, as Canyon View forced one more game to be played Thursday night at Mehl Park at 6:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play in the state tournament set to start on July 14 in Mesa.
DISTRICT 12 LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL
Copper Hills (2-0) is going up against San Xavier (1-1) Thursday night in the District 12 Little League Softball championship game taking place at Mission Manor Park. Copper Hills beat San Xavier 4-2 in the fist round of the playoffs on Monday night. San Xavier eliminated Sunnyside 7-6 Wednesday night to set up the rematch with Copper Hills. San Xavier needs to win to force another game.
CHAMPION ROLL CALL
D-5 8-10 SOFTBALL: Thornydale
D-5 8-10 BASEBALL: Oro Valley
D-12 8-10 SOFTBALL: Copper Hills
D-5 9-11 SOFTBALL: Marana
D-12 JUNIOR BASEBALL: Sunnyside
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
D-5 8-10 BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Oro Valley 6, Thornydale 5
D-5 9-11 BASEBALL
Canyon View 16, Western 6
D-5 LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
Western 10, Canyon del Oro 6
D-5 LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL
Marana 10, Tucson Mountain 7
D-12 LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
Pantano 10, Freedom 5
San Xavier 8, American 2
D-12 LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL
San Xavier 7, Sunnyside 6
THURSDAY, JUNE 28
D-5 9-11 BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Canyon View vs. Western, Mehl 6:30 p.m.
D-5 LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Western vs. Canyon del Oro, Kriegh Park 6:30 p.m.
D-5 LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Marana vs. Tucson Mountain, Arthur Pack 6:30 p.m.
D-12 8-10 BASEBALL
Sunnyside vs. Rincon, Anamax 5:15 p.m.
Copper Hills vs. Palo Verde, Anamax 5:15 p.m.
Freedom vs. San Xavier, Anamax 7:45 p.m.
Santa Rita vs. Pantano, Anamax 7:45 p.m.
D-12 LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
Randolph vs. Santa Rita, Perry 5:15 p.m.
Rincon vs. Copper Hills, Perry 5:15 p.m.
Pantano vs. Palo Verde, Perry 7:45 p.m.
Sunnyside vs. San Xavier, Perry 7:45 p.m.
D-12 LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Copper Hills vs. San Xavier, Mission Manor 7 p.m.
FRIDAY, JUNE 29
D-12 9-11 BASEBALL
Copper Hills vs. Rincon, Rincon 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
D-5 9-11 BASEBALL
Sunnyside vs. Santa Rita, Rincon 6:30 p.m.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com