Little League Baseball

Copper Hills rallies to win first game of Little League District 12 50/70 All-Star series

Copper Hills of Sahuarita is a win a way from the Arizona Intermediate 50/70 State Tournament at Nogales starting July 16 (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The night included a little bit everything that was pleasing.

Light rain dropping. Rainbows. Full moon. Cool air from the rain. Almost four hours of Little League baseball.

Four hours of a seven-inning game with 31 runs and 24 walks enjoyable?

On this night, it was riveting.

Cactus’ Intermediate 50/70 team (comprised of players 11 to 13 years old) showed some serious grit rallying from an 8-0 deficit after three innings to take the lead, only for Copper Hills to emerge victorious 16-15 at Vista del Prado Park after generating three runs in the bottom of the seventh.

“Perseverance,” Copper Hills catcher Jaxon Montalvo said. “We all played our best. We all tried to get that ‘W.'”

Montalvo’s hard-hit single on a 3-1 count with two outs in the seventh scored Leo Torres with the winning run.

Copper Hills goes for the District 12 50/70 All-Star championship Thursday in the second game of the best-of-three series. The game is at Vista Del Prado Park at 6:30 p.m. A third game will be Friday night at Vista Del Prado at 6:30 if necessary.

The winner advances to the Arizona Intermediate 50/70 State Tournament at Nogales starting July 16.

Cactus awoke after sending only 10 batters to the plate in the first three innings when Copper Hills built an 8-0 lead.

Cactus coach Michael Lev, the Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona football and baseball teams, tried three different pitchers at that point, attempting to find someone to throw strikes and keep runners off the bases.

Cactus coach Michael Lev and the home plate umpire discuss amount of visits to the field that translate into having to make a pitching change (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The constant battle was walks. Copper Hills had 10 of them through the first three innings, two of them with the bases loaded. It finished with 19 walks.

“Our biggest problem was we didn’t throw enough strikes from the mound,” said Lev, who made seven pitching changes. “We walked too many guys. We balked in two runs (as part of Copper Hills’ three-run third inning). As (Arizona coach) Jay Johnson says, ‘The free-base war,’ and I think we lost the free-base war because of all of those walks.”

Raymond Ruiz Jr. produced for Copper Hills out of the No. 3 spot in the order (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Copper Hills first baseman Raymond Ruiz Jr., whose father is the coach, was a symbol of his team’s patience at the plate, waiting for strikes.

He reached base in all five of his plate appearances, three by walks with an RBI double in the first inning and two-run single in the fifth. He finished 2 for 2 with two three walks, two runs and four RBIs.

“My performance was pretty good but what motivated me was my team,” said Ruiz, who started Copper Hills’ game-winning rally in the seventh inning with a walk.

Cactus had just scored four runs in the top of the seventh to take its first lead of the game, 15-13, highlighted by an RBI double hit by Alex Schneider and a two-run home run by Easton Nichols.

Schneider, Nichols and Ryder Campbell — Cactus’ Nos. 2-4 hitters — were a combined 9 of 11 with four home runs and 11 RBIs after the first three innings.

Schneider produced two doubles, a home run and three RBIs. Nichols finished with a double, home run and four RBIs. Campbell had two home runs and a double and four RBIs.

Schneider, Nichols and Campbell were a significant reason why Cactus sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth inning and batted through the order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

“Ryder Campbell, the No. 4 hitter, he did not hit a home run during the season,” Lev said. “He hit a million home runs during practice. He’s as strong as an ox. We’ve seen him do this out here a bunch. I want to say that those four home runs probably equal the regular season total.”

After Ruiz’s walk to lead off Copper Hills’ seventh, Robert Ramirez reached on a fielder’s choice. He and Ruiz moved up a base on an error. After an out, Leo Torres walked to load the bases.

Evan Walker then walked to force in Ruiz and Henry Kafton followed with a slow-rolling grounder to shortstop. The force out was made at second for the second out, but Ramirez scored to tie the game at 15. Torres moved to third on the play.

Montalvo followed with his single to left field that plated Torres with the winning run. Perhaps because of the adrenalin of the play, Kafton kept running home and was called safe amid wildly celebrating players and coaches, but that play did not matter. The game was already won with Torres’ run.

“This win was a big win for us — they’ve got a lot of heart, they never give up,” Raymond Ruiz Sr. said of his team. “That’s what we learn in practice — never give up no matter what the score is, always have a smile on your face and come out here and have fun and play.”

Little League Baseball

District 12

50/70 (Vista Del Prado)

Wednesday, June 23

Game One (Best of 3): Copper Hills 16, Cactus 15

Thursday, June 24

Game Two (Best of 3): Copper Hills vs. Cactus, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, June 25

Game Three (if necessary): Copper Hills vs. Cactus, 6:30 p.m.

10U (Jesse Owens Park)

Friday, June 25

Game One: Cactus vs. Copper Hills, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26

Game Two: San Xavier vs. Rincon, 5:15 p.m.

Game Three: Cactus-Copper Hills winner vs. Sunnyside, 7:45 p.m.

Monday, June 28

Game Four: Loser Game One vs. Loser Game Two, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29

Game Five: Winner Game Two vs. Winner Game Three, 5:15 p.m.

Game Six: Loser Game Three vs. Winner Game Four, 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, July 1

Game Seven: Winner Game Six vs. Loser Game Five, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 2

Game Eight: Championship (Winner Game Five vs. Winner Game Seven), 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 3

Game Nine: Championship (if necessary, if Game Seven winner wins Game Eight), 6:30 p.m.

11U (Field of Dreams)

Saturday, June 26

Game One: Sunnyside vs. Randolph, 5:15 p.m.

Game Two: Rincon vs. Southwestern, 7:45 p.m.

Monday, June 28

Game Three: Copper Hills vs. Sunnyside-Randolph winner, 5:15 p.m.

Game Four: Los Ninos vs. Rincon-Southwestern winner, 7:45 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29

Game Five: Loser Game Two vs. Loser Game Three, 5:15 p.m.

Game Six: Loser Game One vs. Loser Game Four, 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, July 1

Game Seven: Winner Game Three vs. Winner Game Four, 5:15 p.m.

Game Eight: Winner Game Five vs. Winner Game Six, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday, July 3

Game Nine: Loser Game Seven vs. Winner Game Eight, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, July 5

Game Ten: Championship (Winner Game Seven vs. Loser Game Nine), 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 6

Game Eleven: Championship (if necessary, if Loser Game Nine wins Game Ten), 6:30 p.m. 

Juniors (Jesse Owens Park)

Saturday, June 26

Game One: Sunnyside vs. San Xavier, 5 p.m.

Game Two: Los Ninos vs. Southwestern, 7:45 p.m.

Monday, June 28

Game Three: Winner Game One vs. Winner Game Two, 5 p.m.

Game Four: Loser Game One vs. Loser Game Two, 7:45 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29

Game Five: Winner Game Four vs. Loser Game Three, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 1

Game Six: Championship (Winner Game Three vs. Winner Game Five), 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 2

Game Seven: Championship (if necessary, if Winner Game Five beats Winner Game Three), 6:30 p.m.

Majors (Field of Dreams)

Wednesday, June 30

Game One (Field 1): Copper Hills vs. Sunnyside, 5:15 p.m.

Game Two (Field 2): Cactus vs. Empire, 5:15 p.m.

Game Three (Field 1): San Xavier vs. Southwestern, 7:45 p.m.

Game Four (Field 2): Rincon vs. Randolph, 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, July 1

Game Five (Field 1): Loser Game One vs. Loser Game Two, 5:15 p.m.

Game Six (Field 1): Loser Game Three vs. Loser Game Four, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday, July 3

Game Seven (Field 1): Game One Winner vs. Game Two Winner, 5:15 p.m.

Game Eight (Field 1): Game Three Winner vs. Game Four Winner, 7:45 p.m.

Monday, July 5

Game Nine (Field 1): Winner Game Five vs. Loser Game Eight, 5:15 p.m.

Game Ten (Field 1): Winner Game Six vs. Loser Game Seven, 7:45 p.m.

Tuesday, July 6

Game Eleven (Field 1): Winner Game Seven vs. Winner Game Eight, 5:15 p.m.

Game Twelve (Field 1): Winner Game Nine vs. Winner Game Ten, 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday, July 7

Game Thirteen (Field 1): Winner Game Twelve vs. Loser Game Eleven, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 9

Game Fourteen (Field 1): Championship (Winner Game Eleven vs. Winner Game Thirteen), 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 10

Game Fifteen (Field 1): Championship (if necessary, if Winner Game Thirteen wins Game Fourteen), 6:30 p.m.

District 5

10U (McDonald Park)

Monday, June 21

Game Two: Canyon View 11, Thornydale 1

Game Three: Flowing Wells/Amphi 12, Continental Ranch 8

Tuesday, June 22

Game Six: Continental Ranch 14, Thornydale 13

Game One: Tanque Verde 21, Oro Valley 6

Wednesday, June 23

Game Five: Canyon View 15, Flowing Wells/Amphi 0

Game Four: Tanque Verde 20, Western 2

Thursday, June 24

Game Seven: Oro Valley vs. Flowing Wells/Amphi, 5 p.m.

Game Eight: Continental Ranch vs. Western, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26

Game Ten: Winner Game Seven vs. Winner Game Eight, 5 p.m.

Game Nine: Tanque Verde vs. Canyon View, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, June 28

Game Eleven: Loser Game Nine vs. Winner Game Ten, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29

Game Twelve: Championship (Winner Game Nine vs. Winner Game Eleven), 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 30

Game Thirteen: Championship (if necessary, if Winner Game Eleven beats  vs. Winner Game Nine), 6:30 p.m.

11U (Kreigh Park)

Monday, June 21

Game Two: Thornydale 13, Tucson Mountain 3

Game Three: CDO 9, Western 5

Tuesday, June 22

Game Six: Tucson Mountain 18, Western 2 

Game One: Oro Valley 12, Marana 2

Wednesday, June 23

Game Five: Thornydale 18,  CDO 5

Game Four: Canyon View 14, Oro Valley 0

Thursday, June 24

Game Seven: Marana vs. CDO, 5 p.m.

Game Eight: Tucson Mountain vs. Oro Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26

Game Ten: Winner Game Seven vs. Winner Game Eight, 5 p.m.

Game Nine: Canyon View vs. Thornydale, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, June 28

Game Eleven: Loser Game Nine vs. Winner Game Ten, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29

Game Twelve: Championship (Winner Game Nine vs. Winner Game Eleven), 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 30

Game Thirteen: Championship (if necessary, if Winner Game Eleven beats  vs. Winner Game Nine), 6:30 p.m.

Majors (Arthur Pack Park)

Monday, June 21

Game Two: Oro Valley 13, CDO 2

Game Three: Western 11, Continental Ranch 1

Tuesday, June 22

Game Six: CDO 17, Continental Ranch 0

Game One: Canyon View 10, Marana 7

Wednesday, June 23

Game Five: Oro Valley 12, Western 1

Game Four: Thornydale 8, Canyon View 2

Thursday, June 24

Game Seven:  Marana vs. Western, 5 p.m.

Game Eight: CDO vs. Canyon View, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26

Game Ten: Winner Game Seven vs. Winner Game Eight, 5 p.m.

Game Nine: Thornydale vs. Oro Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, June 28

Game Eleven: Loser Game Nine vs. Winner Game Ten, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29

Game Twelve: Championship (Winner Game Nine vs. Winner Game Eleven), 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 30

Game Thirteen: Championship (if necessary, if Winner Game Eleven beats  vs. Winner Game Nine), 6:30 p.m.

50/70 (Crossroads)

Monday, June 28

Game One (Best of 3): Western vs. Continental Ranch, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 29

Game Two (Best of 3): Western vs. Continental Ranch, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 30

Game Three (Best of 3): If necessary, Western vs. Continental Ranch, 6:30 p.m.

Comments
To Top