Baseball

LITTLE LEAGUE: Oro Valley eliminated from 8-10 action; Rincon to 9-11 Baseball championship; state update

Rincon 9-11 Baseball (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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STATE 8-10 BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

Scoring roundup by Maggie Morales

Ahwatukee and Oro Valley battled in 8-10 Little League Baseball action Friday night at Freedom Park. Both teams looked for a chance to continue in the State Tournament and both teams came out strong and played well, but Ahwatukee came away with the 8-3 victory as the team continues to fight through the elimination bracket.

Ayven Sholl picked up a 2-out single in the first for Oro Valley but was stranded on third. Carter Moore led off the bottom half of the first for Ahwatukee by getting hit by a pitch and George Garvy and Ben Romaine were walked to load the bases. Daniel Zubey singled to score Moore. A walk to Carter Jacobson brought in Garvy but Oro Valley’s Peyton Carson picked up his second strikeout of the inning to limit the damage to two.

Christian Sodor singled to start the second inning but a couple of fielder’s choices put Chad Butterbrodt on base. Cole Newton reached and took second on a defensive indifference. Lucas Anderson followed with a single to the right side to score Butterbrodt. Ahwatukee was able to get out of the threat with a pick-off at third still leading 2-1.

Caden Miller and Hudson Droz reached on back-to-back walks in the bottom of the second and Moore’s ball to second base scored Miller. Oro Valley got out of the inning after DiAngelo Alexander turned a double play as he caught a ball in center and threw the runner out at home but Ahwatukee was able to recapture their two-run lead.

A walk to Regen Mazura started a rally for Oro Valley. Cody Milne picked up a sacrifice bunt and was able to reach on an error that brought runners to first and second. Sodor singled through the left side to score Milne to tie the game 3-3. Carson made quick work of Ahwatukee in the bottom of the third as he struck out two more.

Newton was hit by a pitch in the fourth but Jacobson picked up his first two strikeouts of the night to stop any damage. A walk to Madden Dietz and a single by Jason Ruiz put runners on the corners for Ahwatukee. Ruiz stole second and Dietz stole home and Moore singled to put runners on the corners once again.

Back-to-back doubles by Garvy and Ben Ball scored Ruiz, Moore and Garvy. Romaine walked to put runners on the corners again and Zubey reached on a ball to second to score Ball. Oro Valley was able to get out of the inning, but not before Ahwatukee picked up five more runs bringing the score to 8-3.

Milne and Sholl singled back-to-back to start the fifth and Alexander advanced both runners but Ahwatukee escaped the jam and Jacobson got his third strikeout. Sodor and Alexander each picked up a strikeout as Ahwatukee went quietly in the fifth.

Newton singled up the middle in the sixth and took second on a wild pitch but Ahwatukee was able to escape with no damage and won the game 8-3.

Oro Valley had a great run taking the District 5 championship, going undefeated, and the team had a good state tournament, going 2-2. Ahwatukee advances to play Gilbert National on Saturday at 6:30 pm. Only four teams remain, with Nogales International and Red Mountain still alive in the winner’s bracket.

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.

STATE ROUNDUP

Rincon (4-0) is in the championship game of the 9-11 Baseball Tournament taking place in Mesa, set for Tuesday, July 24. The team from Vail has to wait for the winner of the elimination bracket.

Western (1-1), Nogales (1-1) and Sunnyside (2-0) are all battling in pool play at the Little League Baseball tournament taking place in Scottsdale. The top two teams in each pool will advance to bracket play starting on Tuesday, July 24. Sunnyside has outscored opponents 27-3 including a 12-3 win over Nogales Friday night.

Western (1-1) and Nogales (1-1) are playing in the Intermediate Baseball West Regional taking place in Nogales. Nogales plays Washington (0-2) tonight and Western plays Southern California (2-0) in the other game. Both games are scheduled for 8 p.m.

FRIDAY, JULY 20

STATE 8-10 BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
Ahwatukee 8, Oro Valley 3

SATURDAY, JULY 21

STATE 8-10 BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
Nogales vs. Red Mountain, 6:30 p.m.

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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

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