The following is a report with some of the information provided by Kino Baseball League president Bill Leith, who organizes the Sun Belt College League:
The Sun Belt College League semifinal best-of-three series opened Friday night with an upset by the Speedway Gamblers and the defending champions — Vail Rebels — in a tight tussle but finally breaking away to secure Game One victories at the Kino Sports Complex.
SPEEDWAY GAMBLERS 3, CATALINA AZTECS 2
The Gamblers grabbed the Game One win over the Aztecs behind the pitching of Ivan Villa (Central Lakes Minnesota) who went 7 2/3 strong innings that included seven strikeouts. Villa was the winning pitcher.
Side-armed pitcher Alex Urias-Calvillo (Walden Grove HS) came in to close the game and earned the save by pitching 1 1/3 innings that included three strikeouts and no hits allowed.
Dominic Felix (CDO HS) had two hits and drove in two runs, Devin Alvarez (Eastern Arizona) drove in the other run. Cougar Cooke (Utah Valley) — the son of former Flowing Wells and Arizona basketball player Troy Cooke — chipped in with two hits.
RJ Molina (Gateway CC) had two hits and drove in a run for the Aztecs.
Andrew Calloway (Arizona) took the loss, throwing 6 innings and striking out 11.
Game Two of this series to be played Saturday night at Kino Sports Complex at 6:30 p.m. on Field No. 7.
VAIL REBELS 12, NORTHWEST NIGHTHAWKS 6
The defending champions where pushed for seven innings with a only 6-4 lead over the Nighthawks, who where looking to duplicate their upset win they had Wednesday over the Old Pueblo Kings.
The Rebels broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth by scoring six times to come away with the Game One win in the best-of-three series.
The Rebels were led by Angel Ochoa‘s (SE Oklahoma State) three hits that included two doubles. Nick Arias (Tucson HS/Grand Canyon University) drove in three runs, Caleb Herd (Cienega HS) had two hits including a double that drove in three runs, and MIchael Buchmann (Dakota State) had a double and drove in two runs.
Marcus Delgado was the starter for the Rebels striking out six batters in six innings. Jacob Whiltshire entered in relief and was the winning pitcher by hurling three innings, striking out two.
Mason Saint Hilarie (Ironwood Ridge HS) had two hits, including a triple and drove in a run for the Nighthawks. Josue Franco (Ironwood Ridge HS) also drove in two runs.
Game Two of the series is Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Kino Field No. 5.