Kino Baseball Sun Belt College League: Tucson’s Summer Baseball League is underway

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

The Catalina Aztecs moved to 3-0 this summer with a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Speedway Gamblers Wednesday night at the Kino Baseball Complex. The Gamblers fell to 0-4 in the Sun Belt College League, Tucson’s Collegiate Summer League.

Managed by former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Erik Sabel, the Gamblers took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a couple of errors and an RBI from William Martinez. The team went up 2-0 in the third on a sacrifice fly from Martinez and then 3-0 in the fourth on an RBI single from Leonel Villa. The Aztecs got one back in the bottom half of the fourth after RJ Molina beat out an infield single and then Benji Cazares knocked him in with two outs.

The Gamblers went up 4-1 in the fifth on an RBI double from Cougar Cooke but the Aztecs scored three runs in their half of the fifth to tie the game up. Tyler Delk led off with a double and Austin Grimm brought him in one out later to make it 4-2. University of Arizona commit Nicholas Warren tripled in a run to make it 4-3 and then Francisco Yescas hit a groundout RBI to make it 4-4.

The Aztecs, managed by legendary player and coach Mike Odum, went with five pitchers with Sam Sides getting the start with Dominic Phillips, Ricardo Santiago-Gonzalez and Jacob Schlesselman making appearances before Arizona pitcher Drew Calloway took over in the eight inning. Ivan Villa got the start for the Gamblers and he collected 8 strikeouts in six innings of work and Daniel Pacheco finished the game.

The Aztecs picked up the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on an error after Cole Phillips and Grimm walked with one out and Yescas reached on an error with two outs, scoring Phillips to make it 5-4. The Gamblers came alive in the top of the ninth after Karim Soto walked with two outs and Martinez doubled to right to put them both in scoring position. Calloway induced a ground ball to end the game. Cazares went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI to lead the Aztecs.

ASU commit Isaiah Jackson leads the league with 2 home runs and University of Mary pitcher Jonnie Foreman has 12 strikeouts. The league stats have not been updated from Wednesday night.

Play will continue Friday night at the Kino Baseball Complex starting at 6:30 p.m. The All Star Game is slated for July 3 in Kino Stadium and the playoffs are set to start on July 11.

The Sun Belt College League is presented by Kino Baseball.

American Legion play started on June 6 and the regular season runs through July 5 at ten different fields from Casa Grande, Tucson and Sahuarita.

The Summer High School Varsity League started on June 6 and it runs through Jun 18 with 24 teams taking part. Hamilton High School is taking part.


Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was 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 and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a 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, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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