Sunnyside beat Santa Rita to advance to District 12 Little League semifinals


Mauro Acuña hit a 2-run shot to give Sunnyside the win. (Andy Morales/

Mauro Acuña hit a 2-run shot to give Sunnyside the win. (Andy Morales/

District 12 Little League
Tuesday, July 5: Field of Dreams


Sunnyside beat Santa Rita 12-1 Tuesday night to advance to the semifinal round of the District 12 Little League bracket. Santa Rita (2-1) will move down to the Elimination Bracket where they will play the winner of Palo Verde and Pantano on Thursday night at the Field of Dreams complex.

Sunnyside (2-0) will play the winner of Los Niño’s and Randolph on Friday night. The winner of that game will advance to the championship series on Monday night.

Santa Rita took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Ethan Davila led off with a double and Isaiah Puckett brought him in on a ground out. Santa Rita stranded two runners and the team wouldn’t threaten to score again until late in the fourth inning.

Eric Rosthenhausler opened the game up on the mound for Sunnyside and he gave way to Gabriel Ortiz in the second inning. Ortiz collected eight strikeouts, including six in a row, to shut Santa Rita down.

Meanwhile, Sunnyside plated three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead. Mauro Acuña hit a one-out double and then Ortiz drew a walk. Benjamin Cazares came up with two outs and connected on an RBI single to score Acuña. Ortiz came home on the play on an overthrow. Cazares moved to third on the play and then scored on a passed ball.

Sunnyside added two more in the second and four more in the third to go up 9-1. Sebastian Valdez, Cazares and Rosthenhausler hit doubles in the scoring stretch. Sunnyside plated another run in the fourth and then Acuña hit a walk-off 2-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to give Sunnyside the 12-1 win.

Sam Bass, Aaron Balderrama and Diego Solano all saw pitching action for Santa Rita. Solano also picked up a single.

Alonso Bacame took over for Ortiz in the top of the fifth and he picked up another strike out. In all, the Sunnyside pitchers collected 10 strikeouts.

Valdez went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, Acuña went 2-4 with a double and a home run, Josh Cariño had a hit, Cazares went 3-3 with a double, Rosthenhausler had a 2-RBI double, Anthony Rodriguez had an RBI, Cris Enriquez had an RBI and David Garcia had a single.

Ethan Davila hit a double to start Santa Rita off (Andy Morales/

Ethan Davila hit a double to start Santa Rita off (Andy Morales/

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and 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, on and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at


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