Tanque Verde, Tucson Mountain victorious in opening round of District 5 LL 8-10 tourney

Tucson Mountain completed its 16-9 win over Thornydale at 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday in the opening round of the District 5 Little League All-Stars 8-10 tournament at Mehl Park — way past what would have been their bed time during the school year.

The teams combined for 10 runs in a sixth inning that took nearly an hour to finish.

Exhilirated from the win, Tucson Mountain’s players ran the warning track in the outfield before joining for their team meeting in the right field grass. The players requested coach Danny Diaz and his staff to treat them to Buffalo Wild Wings after Wednesday’s practice ahead of Thursday’s winner’s bracket semfinal game against Tanque Verde.

After a win like that, which included two separate innings of batting through the lineup, Diaz and his coaches felt obliged.

“We have a good team,” Diaz said. “Everybody stepped up, my pitchers and hitters. We need to work more on the communication a little bit, but overall, they did really good.”

All four teams showed their nerves Tuesday in the opening round of the district tournament, including Tanque Verde outlasting Flowing Wells 13-8 in the other game.

In two elimination games Wednesday at Mehl Park, Western will play Continental Ranch at 5 p.m., followed by Flowing Wells facing Thornydale at 7:30.

The winner’s bracket semifinals Thursday at Mehl Park will include Oro Valley playing Canyon View at 5 p.m. and Tucson Mountain and Tanque Verde facing each other at 7:30.

Tucson Mountain starting pitcher Anthony Faras had a typical response of a player only 10 years old playing in the first game of the tournament in front of a large group of family and friends.

“I felt good; I got a little nervous but when I started going into it, I just started to feel more confident,” said Faras, who allowed only two runs (one earned) on four hira with seven strikeouts and no walks in three innings.

Faras was also one of the top batters for Tucson Mountain going 2 for 3 with a double and three runs.

Cash Padilla took advantage of four walks by scoring three runs and Liam Garcia was 1 for 2 with two runs and an RBI. Garcia, Jassan Provencio and Jasiel Ruiz each walked with the bases loaded to drive in runs as part of a five-run third inning that opened a 7-1 lead.

Tucson Mountain outscored Thornydale 8-7 in the last two innings to maintain its healthy lead.

Thornydale’s Logan Hohn and Santiago Ramirez each had two singles and drove in a run, and Chase Dew had two hits with a double, two runs and RBI.

In Tanque Verde’s win against Flowing Wells, leadoff hitter Titus Suba, son of coach Bobby Suba, went 3 for 5 with three runs and Reggie Browne had two runs and a stolen base.

The teams were tied at 6 through three innings. Tanque Verde broke the game open with four runs in the fourth that included singles and runs from Titus Suba and Weston Mitchell.

“I was pretty nervous,” Titus said. “I didn’t know how Flowing Wells was. I was really nervous. I’m glard we won.”

Browne added, “I felt like we did pretty good. We can do a little bit better. Our pitching skills can do better, our hitting skills and baserunning skills can do better, but overall, we did pretty good.”

Bobby Suba mentioned participation increased in District 5 this year and Little League locally is “pretty healthy.”

“I go back and forth on how Little League compares with club — would I want to push my kid into that much excitment, commitment or try to just keep it fun,” he said. “Little less pressure in Little League. I love being a part of it. I love coaching it. I get to spend time with my own kid and his friends and just try to be a good influence as much as possible.”

Flowing Wells features Kaison Carey, son of former Canyon del Oro High School and Arizona running back great Ka’Deem Carey. Kaison, a first baseman and catcher, walked twice and scored two runs.

Xavier Ulloa, Brandon Stanley, Jamison Lewis and Daniel Hedgepeth each had two hits for Flowing Wells. Hedgepeth had two doubles.


Oro Valley 18, Western 8
Canyon View 18, Continental Ranch 3


Tanque Verde 13, Flowing Wells 8
Tucson Mountain 16, Thornydale 9


Western vs. Continental Ranch, 5 p.m. (Elimination)
Flowing Wells vs. Thornydale, 7:30 p.m. (Elimination)


Oro Valley vs. Canyon View, 5 p.m.
Tanque Verde vs. Tucson Mountain, 7:30 p.m.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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