Gael Martinez and Carlos Urias combined for nine strikeouts and Urias went 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs to lead the Sunnyside Little League Juniors All-Stars team to a 12-2 five-inning win over Copper Hills in the District 12 Juniors championship.
The victory, at Jesse Owens Park on Friday night, advances Sunnyside to the Juniors state tournament hosted by District 5 in Tucson at Curtis Park and Mehl Park starting July 8. Western (District 5 champions) and Nogales (District 8) are also in that tournament.
Sunnyside played the game Friday with acting manager Javier Ruiz, who took over after the team’s two lead coaches were ejected for arguing the game-ending call at third base in Thursday’s 13-11 loss to Copper Hills. A baserunner was called out at third base on a steal attempt to end that game.
Copper Hills won three straight games in the elimination bracket before the win over Sunnyside on Thursday that forced a deciding game Friday.
Martinez struck out four and walked five while allowing three hits in his three innings. Copper Hills scored two unearned runs against him.
Urias pitched the last two innings, allowing only one hit with five strikeouts and three walks.
With the game tied at 2 going to the bottom of the third, Sunnyside rallied for 10 runs to pull away.
Omar Flores had a two-run triple and Alex Martinez hit a run-scoring double in the rally that included five Copper Hills errors.
Henry Kafton had an RBI double and Nicholas Alegria had a single, run and two stolen bases to lead Copper Hills.
Ruiz finished 2 for 3 with three runs for Sunnyside. Angel Rodriguez contributed a single with two runs, Flores was 1 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs and Alex Martinez was 2 for 3 with a run and RBI.
D-5 SOFTBALL 8-10: THORNYDALE
D-12 SOFTBALL 8-10: SUNNYSIDE
D-12 SOFTBALL 9-11: RINCON
D-5 SOFTBALL 10-12: THORNYDALE
D-12 SOFTBALL 10-12: SUNNYSIDE
D-5 SOFTBALL JUNIORS: MARANA
D-12 SOFTBALL JUNIORS: SUNNYSIDE
D-5 BASEBALL 8-10: CANYON VIEW
D-5 BASEBALL 9-11: CANYON VIEW
D-8 BASEBALL 9-11: NOGALES
D-5 BASEBALL 10-12: MARANA
D-5 BASEBALL 50/70: WESTERN
D-8 BASEBALL 50/70: NOGALES
D-12 BASEBALL 50/70: SUNNYSIDE
D-5 BASEBALL JUNIORS: WESTERN
D-8 BASEBALL JUNORS: NOGALES
D-12 BASEBALL JUNIORS: SUNNYSIDE