CASA GRANDE – Tucson Post 7 battled back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Cactus Cats of Desert View 6-5 Wednesday night at Vista Grande High School to capture the American Legion state championship. Tucson won the best-of-three series 2-0 with the first victory coming Tuesday night 7-3.
Tucson (15-2) advances to the American Legion West Regional to be held in Fairfield, California from August 3-7 where the team will take on the Utah state champion that first Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. There are eight teams in Region 8 including Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, California and the host team. The American Legion World Series is scheduled for Shelby, North Carolina from August 11-16.
Bradie Black got things going for Desert View in the bottom of the first after he drew a walk to start the inning off before stealing second and third with one out. Black took home on a passed ball to put Desert View up 1-0. Max Lialios also took care of business on the base paths for Desert View in the bottom of the second after he hit a leadoff single and Anthony Ortiz sacrificed him over to second. Lialios took third on a passed ball and he took off for home on another passed ball with two outs to make it 2-0 Desert View.
At this point Armando Gutierrez held Tucson to a single through three innings and his teammates added two more runs in the boom of the third to put Desert View up 4-0. Black singled, Angel Gonzales doubled and then Brandon Rodriguez knocked them both in for the lead.
— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) July 21, 2022
The Post 7 bats came alive in the top of the fourth with Isaac Ramirez connecting on a solo shot to lead things off. Juan Hernandez reached on a hit-by-pitch and then Jose Zepeda singled to put two on. Genaro Brito put down a sacrifice bunt but he also reached on an error to load the bases with no outs.
Sebastian Contreras brought in Hernandez on an infield hit to make it 4-2 and then Maddox Jones hit a sacrifice fly one out later to make it 4-3. Jaden Leon walked to load the bases again and then Max Leyva walked to tie the game up at 4-4. Ramirez picked up the final RBI of the inning on another bases-loaded walk to give Tucson a 5-4 lead.
Desert View tied the game back up in the bottom of the fifth on a walk from Black and a hit from Gonzales. The 5-5 tie held up until the top of the seventh with Hernandez reaching on a leadoff single and then taking second base on an error on a fielder’s choice one out later. Contreras walked to load the bases and Ramses Mada came up with an RBI on a fielder’s choice for the 6-5 lead.
Hernandez pitched the last two innings for the win and he picked up three strikeouts to go with the eight Brito had in five innings of work. Gutierrez gave way to Jorge Zazueta and Gonzales finished the game for Desert View.
Gonzales went 2 for 4 with an RBI for Desert View and Rodriguez had 2 RBI. Zepeda went 2-4 for Tucson and Ramirez had 2 RBI. Desert View ended the summer season with a 12-4-1 record.
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 email@example.com