No. 3 Sahuarita mercy-rules No. 2 Saguaro to advance to 4A state semifinals

Sahuarita junior Misael Valenzuela pitched a solid six innings to earn the 4A quarterfinal victory over Scottsdale Saguaro (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

No. 3 Sahuarita improved to 3-0 in the 4A state playoffs with a dominating 11-1 victory in six innings over No. 2 Scottsdale Saguaro in a quarterfinal game at Diablo Stadium at Tempe on Wednesday.

The Mustangs (24-5) earned the mercy-rule victory behind the pitching of Misael Valenzuela and the lineup that produced 12 hits, most notably a two-run triple by first baseman Nathan Huie and two-run home run by Dante Johnson in a six-run fourth inning.

Valenzuela, Huie and Johnson are juniors, which means coach Sam Gelardi, in his 16th year as head coach of the Mustangs, will have another contender next season.

Arkansas Class of 2024 commit Nathan Huie hit a two-run triple as part of a six-run fourth inning for Sahuarita in its 11-1 win in six innings over Scottsdale Saguaro (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Sahuarita has advanced to next Wednesday’s semifinals at Diablo Stadium against an opponent to be determined.

The winner of the elimination-bracket game between Saguaro and No. 7 Flagstaff on Saturday at Saguaro at 4 p.m. will face the Mustangs next Wednesday (time yet to be announced). Saguaro and Flagstaff are each 22-8.

No. 1 Salpointe and No. 5 Canyon del Oro are in the opposite bracket from Sahuarita. The Lancers and Dorados started playing each other at Diablo Stadium Wednesday night after the Mustangs beat Saguaro.

Sahuarita, which defeated Douglas and AZ College Prep at home earlier in the playoffs, scored enough runs to beat Saguaro in the second inning when the Mustangs plated two runs.

Robert Sanchez’s RBI single with one out scored Vince Garcia (who led off the inning with a single) for the first run of the game.

Terrence Hicks, who earlier walked and moved to third on Sanchez’s single, scored the second run on Ezra Vidal’s sacrifice fly to center field.

Sahuarita took control of the game after two outs were recorded in the fourth inning by scoring six runs to take an 8-0 lead.

Consecutive singles by Colton Johnson and Brian Brimmer got the rally started. Huie, an Arkansas commit, followed with his two-run triple.

Hector Hernandez then hit a double that scored Huie.

Garcia’s single plated Hernandez and Johnson followed with his two-run home run to left field — his second home run of the postseason — to increase the lead to 8-0.

Sahuarita added three insurance runs in the top of the sixth to make the score 11-1, reaching the 10-run mercy-rule limit.

Valenzuela worked the through the bottom of the sixth to end the game.

He scattered seven hits in his six innings of work, allowing one earned run with six strikeouts and four walks.

Huie finished 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs, Garcia was 2 for 2 with two walks, three runs and an RBI, Sanchez went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Johnson was 1 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top