Baseball Playoffs Roundup: No. 1 Nogales advances in 5A state tournament

Salvador Valenzuela pitched six solid innings and Derek Montijo went 2 for 2 with two RBIs to lead host Nogales, the No. 1 seed in the 5A state tournament, to a 5-1 win Monday over No. 9 Desert Mountain.

The Apaches (29-2) will next play Thursday at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 4 p.m. in a quarterfinal game of the winner’s bracket against No. 4 Sunrise Mountain (26-4).

Nogales defeated Desert Mountain on Monday behind a three-run third inning including hits by Sergio Valverde and Montijo to take a 4-1 lead.

Arizona signee Demetrio Crisantes got the rally started with a leadoff double and scored on Raenan Padilla’s single with one out. After a Valverde single with two outs that advanced Padilla to second base, a passed ball advanced both runners before Montijo’s hit scored both.

Nogales got an insurance run in the sixth inning after Montijo led off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

Valenzuela scattered six hits in his six innings with five strikeouts and one walk.


No. 3 Verrado 3, No. 11 Catalina Foothills 0

Catalina Foothills was limited to two hits by host Verrado in a 5A state playoffs winners-bracket game.

Verrado’s Garrett Hicks pitched the two-hitter in seven innings while striking out two and walking four.

Catalina Foothills’ Alex Figueroa struck out four and did not issue a walk while allowing 11 hits.

Matt Adams and Ganon Dwyer each had the base hits for Catalina Foothills, which is 18-13 overall.

The 11th-seeded Falcons (18-13) travel to No. 2 Horizon (23-5) on Thursday to play in an elimination-bracket game at 4 p.m.

No. 2 Walden Grove 4, No. 7 Sahuarita 2

No. 3 Salpointe 7, No. 6 Notre Dame Prep 6

Salpointe advanced to the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament winners bracket by rallying for a walk-off win when Roman Basurto was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and one out.

The Lancers (20-10) will play at No. 2 Walden Grove (26-3) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The teams met in the regular season and Salpointe won 4-2 at home on April 12.

Arizona signee Mason White went 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs in the win Monday over Notre Dame Prep and Jose Simon hit his second home run of the postseason. Sebastian Valdez, the No. 9 hitter, also went 2 for 2 with a run and RBI.

The seventh inning for Salpointe started with White hitting a double and Simon intentionally walked. Both runners then advanced on a groundout.

Connor Raetzman was intentionally walked to load the bases and create a potential force-out at any base.

Notre Dame Prep (22-6) will host No. 7 Sahuarita (21-6) in an elimination-bracket game Wednesday at 4 p.m.

No. 4 Canyon del Oro 2, No. 5 Mesquite 1

Canyon del Oro rallied for two runs in the sixth inning behind singles by Lucas Casey and Chris Humphreys and double by Dominic Felix, who was also the winning pitcher.

The No. 4 Dorados (21-7) will play top-seeded Poston Butte (27-2) in a winners bracket quarterfinal game Wednesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

Felix scattered six hits over seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk.

The Dorados tied the game at 1 on Humphreys’ single that scored Casey, who had advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Jones.

Felix then delivered his double with two outs that scored Humphreys with the go-ahead run.

Mesquite’s Jake Gorrell led off the seventh with a double but was later thrown out at home while trying to advance on a wild pitch for the second out. After Kyree Gatewood doubled, Felix got the final out on a pop up to the shortstop.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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