District 12 Little League Championship
Monday, July 11: Field of Dreams
Up 15-7 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Mario Bejarano hit a three-run blast to give Randolph a walk-off 18-7 win over Sunnyside in the District 12 Little League championship game Monday night at the Field of Dreams complex.
Bejarano was intentionally walked the four previous times he stepped up to the plate. The win sends Randolph to the state championship tournament to be held in Phoenix and Scottsdale from January 20-30. Nogales and Western Little League qualified last week.
Randolph beat Sunnyside 4-1 on Friday night in the final of the Winner’s Bracket and the team from Mission Manor beat Sahuarita Copper Hills 11-9 on Saturday night to set up the rematch with Randolph Monday night. Sunnyside needed to defeat Randolph twice in the double-elimination format.
Despite the final score, the game remained close until the bottom of the fifth inning with Sunnyside battling back twice. Randolph took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first but Sunnyside scored three in the top of the second with Alex Cariño connecting a two-run shot to pace the comeback but Roman Canez hit a 2-RBI double in the bottom half of the inning to help Randolph build a 7-3 lead.
Randolph added another run in the third but Sunnyside scored four in the top of the fourth to cut the lead down to 8-7. Anthony Rodriquez came up with a pinch-hit double to knock in two of the runs for Sunnyside.
Randolph scored again in the bottom of the fourth to increase the lead to 9-7 and then a double play helped stop Sunnyside from responding in the top of the fifth but Randolph scored nine runs in the bottom of the fifth for the 18-7 win. Alex Figueroa hit a 3-run triple to prior to Bejarano’s game-winning home run.
Sunnyside sent five players to the mound with Erik Rosthenhausler, Benji Cazares, Alonso Bacame, Cariño and Mauro Acuña seeing action. Robert Lopez and Cesar Zepeda pitched for Randolph.
For Sunnyside, Sebastian Valdez hit an RBI double; Cariño hit a 2-run homer; Rosthenhausler went 2-for-2 and Rodriguez hit a 2-run double. Robert Camargo got things going for Randolph by going 2-5 with a double; Alex Calvillo had a hit; Matias Kroese went 2-2 with an RBI; Bejarano had a 3-run homer; Canez went 2-3 with a 2-run double; Figueroa had a 3-run triple and 4 RBI; Lopez had an RBI double; Jose Delgado had an RBI; Zepeda had a single as did Trevor Garcia.
Little League State Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, July 20
Western vs. Litchfield Park, 5:30 p.m.
Nogales vs. Chandler, 7:45 p.m.
Thursday, July 21
Randolph vs. Verde Valley, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, July 22
Western vs. Chandler, 5:30 p.m.
Nogales vs. Verde Valley, 7:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 23
Randolph vs. Queen Creek, 5:30 p.m.
Monday, July 25
Western vs. Nogales, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 26
Nogales vs. Randolph, 7:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 27
Western vs. Randolph, 7:45 p.m.
July 28-30: Bracket Play
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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 AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com