It was almost a perfect game on an imperfect day. Catalina Foothills pitcher Christian Rodriguez picked up 13 strikeouts against Palo Verde Friday at home to help lead the Falcons past the Titans 14-0 but Palo Verde senior Jesus Mendoza reached first base on a hit-by-pitch in the top of the fourth inning to break up the perfect game.
Rodriguez, like Mendoza, is a senior and, a game almost midway through the season would normally draw much attention, but Friday turned out to be anything but a normal day of a normal week. The NBA and MLB suspended their respective seasons this past week in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and the NCAA canceled “March Madness” and all spring sports. Would high school sports be next?
Nicco Blank pitched Catalina to a state title in 2011 and was later drafted by the NY Mets. He is an assistant on the Catalina Foothills staff. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. 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. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org