The No. 1-seeded Nogales Apaches opened the 5A state playoffs with 18 hits in an 11-2 win over No. 16 Sunnyside on Saturday in front of a capacity crowd at War Memorial Field in Nogales.
Jesus Lopez led Nogales (23-4) with four hits and Miguel Vega had three RBIs. Sunnyside, whose two runs came on a double by Angel Cota, finishes its season at 15-12.
Nogales, the two-time defending state champion, will next play No. 8 Buckeye Verrado High School at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The winner of that game plays at 6:30 p.m. on May 2 at Diablo Stadium and the loser plays a losers’ bracket game at 4 p.m. on May 2 at Diablo.
“We had a good approach at the plate. We fouled a bunch of pitches off at the beginning of the game – we probably lost a dozen balls on that right side – but we just had a good approach,” Nogales coach O.J. Favela told the Nogales International. “We had a good week of practice. I think the kids believed in what we were telling them, to hit the ball to the right side, and we hit the ball hard today.”
Nogales senior right-hander Alex Acevedo finished his five innings of work with three strikeouts, a walk and six hits.
“We have a lot of great pitchers who throw very hard, and I’m just one of those pitchers who throws strikes and I let my defense do their job because I trust them,” Acevedo told the Nogales International.
4A State Tournament
Canyon del Oro and Salpointe Catholic advanced in the 4A state tournament on Saturday. CDO, the No. 4 seed, defeated No. 11 Douglas 11-5 and No. 2 Salpointe got by No. 15 Phoenix Thunderbird 11-1.
The Dorados (20-6) next host Chandler Seton Catholic on Monday at 4 p.m. while Salpointe (21-6) will play Scottsdale Saguaro the same day at a site in Tucson. The Lancers defeated Thunderbird on Saturday at Hi Corbett Field.
Douglas at CDO
Dante Schindler on the mound for the Dorados pic.twitter.com/6TlDK5YzMO
CDO junior Cory Bonstrom went 2 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs in the win over Douglas. Andrew Stucky also had two hits and three RBIs and Dante Schindler and Simon Lytle each had two hits for the Dorados.
Douglas was led by senior Emiliano Mata, who went 3 for 4 with two RBIs.
Your Lancers win 11 to 1.1st Round of AIA 4A Region State Championship. Congratulations boys! Thank you fans for your support 👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/cLNElQJVtH
Two other Tucson teams fell short — No. 14 Pueblo lost at No. 3 Kingman Lee Williams 10-1 and No. 11 Catalina Foothills lost 10-0 at No. 6 Casa Grande Vista Grande.
Catalina Foothills’ Sam Gustafson had the lone hit off Vista Grande starter Marco Ozuna. The Falcons finished their season 17-10.
Pueblo’s season ends at 13-7.
Upcoming Playoff Schedule
Monday, April 29
BASEBALL: 4A/5A SECOND ROUND
5A: No. 1 Nogales vs. No. 8 Verrado at Diablo, 6:30 p.m.
4A: No. 9 Saguaro at No. 2 Salpointe, 4 p.m. (TBD)
4A: No. 5 Seton Catholic at No. 4 Canyon del Oro, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30
BASEBALL: 2A-3A PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT
3A: No. 23 Catalina at No. 10 Winslow, 4 p.m.
2A: No. 20 San Manuel at No. 13 St. Augustine, 4 p.m.
2A: No. 18 Tombstone at No. 15 Tempe Prep, 4 p.m.
2A: No. 19 Willcox at No. 14 Scottsdale Prep, 4 p.m.
Friday, May 3
BASEBALL: D-I FIRST ROUND (GOODYEAR)
No. 11 St. David vs. No. 6 Baboquivari, 4 p.m.