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Sunnyside’s offense overwhelms in run-rule victory

Sunnyside head coach Gabriel Moraga talks with players after game at Flowing Wells. (Kevin Murphy/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sunnyside, ranked No. 8 among 5A teams in the state by AZPreps365, defeated Flowing Wells 16-2 on Friday afternoon in a 5-inning run-rule game in which the Blue Devils’ hitting was too much for the Caballeros.

Sunnyside (7-2) found balanced offensive success as a team with 18 hits from 10 different players, but it was the standout performances at the plate from senior Jose Martinez and junior Wyatt Stockam that stole the show.

Martinez finished the game with 3 RBIs off three hits, scoring three runs and adding a stolen base, while Stockam finished with two RBIs off three hits, scoring two runs.

Sunnyside head coach Gabriel Moraga was impressed by his team’s offense.

Moraga explains why he has Martinez and Stockam in the top of the lineup. (Kevin Murphy/AllSportsTucson.com))

If the Moraga name sounds familiar, the family name is positioned alongside the Palomarez and Rosthenhausler families in the storied history of Sunnyside area baseball and softball.

Gabriel’s brother Omar Moraga is on the Sunnyside coaching staff, played at the University of Arizona, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians and played for Team USA.

Gabriel Moraga has Martinez and Stockam batting in the beginning of the line-up because of their hitting skills and base running talent.

“Since they hit one and two, they get it going for us early to start the offense right away,” Moraga said. “Even though we only scored one in the first, those kids jumped the offense a little bit, so it’s good to have them on base.”

“It is a very good one, two. They both put the ball in play, and they can do some things for us on offense: hit and runs, stuff like that, and stealing bases which is big for us.”

Martinez explained his strategy at the plate after the game.

“When I’m at the box I just try to relax and push my teammates from the plate, and move them over,” said Martinez.

According to Stockam, the offensive display against Flowing Wells has been a typical theme so far this season.

“It’s ongoing, man,” Stockam said. “I’m just trying to hit the ball hard, find a gap, and just get on base for the next guy.”

Both Martinez and Stockam give credit to the Sunnyside coaching staff for refining their hitting skills.

“The coaching staff here, they have helped all my teammates out,” said Martinez. “They helped us keep the mechanics down and just stay focused.”

“Pretty much all the coaching staff, all four of them have helped.” Stockam added.

If the Blue Devils keep hitting anywhere near this level, they will be a force to reckoned with in the 5A Southern region where they are currently ranked in second place.

Sunnyside will try to extend its five-game winning streak when it plays at Mountain View on Monday.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood.  He is currently attending Pima Community College where he writes for the Aztec Press. Next semester he will be attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he will work towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.

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