Little League Baseball

Rincon’s potent lineup, defense vital in 8-9-10 state winner’s bracket victory

Rincon’s players from Vail went back to school for the fall Monday, and although they may have been tired from the long day, they left Field of Dreams exhilarated at about 10:30 p.m.

Rincon’s lineup produced throughout starting in the first inning when Brendan Byars hit an inside-the-park three-run home run in the 11-3 win over Mesa Four Peaks in a winner’s bracket game in the Arizona Little League state tournament.

The victory improved the Rincon all-stars’ record to 6-0 in the District 12 and state tournaments and places it in the state winner’s bracket semifinals against Phoenix Arcadia on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. Arcadia topped West Flagstaff 16-7 on Monday.

“The kids went to school today, so they were a little tired — I saw it in their eyes,” Rincon manager Eddie Sapp said. “But when we met with the team (before the game), the coaches helped pick each other up. That’s what we’ve done the whole time, pick each other up even when a kid strikes out and comes to the dugout.

“The kids are all pretty close.”

The day in between games on Tuesday will be spent on a light workout for an hour helping Rincon iron out the fundamentals such as getting bunts down and tagging on fly balls, Sapp said.

Rincon is producing dominantly overall.

Sapp’s team had 10 hits in the 8-3 win over Gilbert American on Saturday and 16 against Four Peaks.

The tone was set in the first inning against Four Peaks when Mikey Ortiz hit a leadoff single and Nathan Ramirez followed with a one-out double. That’s when Byars hit the inside-the-park home run that rolled all he way to the fence in right-center field.

The lead grew to 8-1 in a four-run third inning highlighted by RBI singles by Byars and CJ Horn and an RBI double by No. 9 batter Bryce Brown, who now has two run-scoring doubles in the state tournament.

Three more runs were scored by Rincon in the fifth after Byars led off with a double and scored with one out another double by Bryant Wall.

Hudson Haner, who earlier walked, and Wall later scored on wild pitches.

Rincon cleanup hitter Brendan Byars went 4 for 4 with three runs, a double, home run and four RBIs against Four Peaks (Andy Morales/

“We haven’t actually changed our lineup. We’ve had the same starting all the way through the district tournament,” Sapp said. “Our subs have come through big. Bryce Brown had a big double. The other night he doubled and tonight he subbed for our nine hitter and had another double with runners on first and second.

“We have kids coming up big and defensively, we were perfect tonight with no errors. We work on that. We work on ground balls more than we do batting practice.”

Rincon also had an errorless game when it won the District 12 championship game against Cactus last month.

Ramirez pitched a solid four innings scattering five hits with two strikeouts and a walk in addition of going 2 for 3 with two runs at the plate.

Field of Dreams

e-elimination bracket game

Monday, July 19
G7: Chandler National North 8, Prescott Valley 7
G8: Paradise Valley North 4, Canyon View 3
G9: Phoenix Arcadia 16, West Flagstaff 7
G10: Rincon 11, Mesa Four Peaks 3
e-G11: Sierra Vista 10, Safford Mount Graham 0
e-G12: Lake Havasu 16, Casa Grande 6.

Tuesday, July 20
e-G13: Gilbert American vs. Prescott Valley, 5:15 p.m.
e-G14: Litchfield Park vs. Mesa Four Peaks, 5:15 p.m.
e-G15: Sierra Vista vs. Canyon View, 7:45 p.m.
e-G16: Lake Havasu vs. West Flagstaff, 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21
G17: Chandler National North vs. Paradise Valley North, 5:15 p.m.
G18: Phoenix Arcadia vs. Rincon, 7:45 p.m.
e-G19: G13 winner vs. G15 winner, 5:15 p.m.
e-G20: G14 winner vs. G16 winner, 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, July 22
e-G21: G18 loser vs. G19 winner, 6:30 p.m.
e-G22: G17 loser vs. G20 winner, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 23
G23: G17 winner vs. G18 winner, 6:30 p.m.
e-G24: G21 winner vs. G22 winner, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 24
e-G25: G23 loser vs. G24 winner, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, July 26
G26: Championship — G23 winner vs. G25 winner, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 27
G27: Championship — If G25 winner wins G26, 6:30 p.m.

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