Tucson High freshmen Mario Bejarano III and Ruben “Kito” Castro helped lead 3D Gold to the 14U West Championships of the USA Baseball National Team Championships held in the Glendale area this past week.
Down 4-0 to Pacific Baseball Academy of Los Angeles, Bejarano sparked a comeback with a three-RBI double to help tie things up 4-4 in the fourth. 3D Gold went up 8-4 in the top of the fifth but PBA plated five runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead, 9-8.
“I was taking advantage of the zone,” Bejarano said to USA Baseball in a release. “I was seeing a lot of balls and I saw one pitch, took it opposite field and got the runs in for my team.”
Bejarano went 2-for-2 with five RBI, a double and three walks in the championship game. One of those walks came with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh to force extra innings tied 7-7. 3D Gold exploded for five runs in the eight for the 14-9 win.
3D Gold went 9-0 in the tournament and Castro batted .400 with a double and an RBI and Bejarano went .294 with two doubles and nine RBI. Bejarano also picked up a win with seven strikeouts against GBG Renegades (Huntington Beach) on Friday.
The National Team Championships serves as the recruiting ground for the USA Baseball National Team and Development programs.
We’ve got a new ballgame here as Bejarano doubles to deep left, driving in three before being brought around on a Rodriguez single. #Champs18🌵
⬇️4️⃣ Gold 4️⃣ – PBA 4️⃣ pic.twitter.com/AEOd1r9rAz
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