2024 Baseball

Saguaro, MLB prospect Cam Caminiti top Canyon del Oro for 4A state title

Class 4A runner-up CDO is 70-23 in the last three seasons that included state championships in 2022 and 2023 (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

AllSportsTucson.com reporter/photographer Andy Morales contributed to this report:

No. 3 Canyon del Oro’s two-year run as state champions came to a close Monday night with the 2-1 loss to No. 1 Scottsdale Saguaro — the school it beat last year in the final game — in the 4A state championship at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Saguaro (28-3) won its last 19 games of the season, including against 4A Kino powers Salpointe and CDO in two of its last three games.

“We talked about a Revenge Tour and this puts an exclamation point on a unicorn type of season,” Saguaro coach Joe Muecke said.

CDO, which finishes 25-7, won 14 of its last 16 games.

Saguaro senior left-hander Cam Caminiti and CDO senior right-hander Grant Young engaged in a pitcher’s duel through most of the game.

Caminiti, who has signed with LSU, is listed as the No. 15 “Prep Phenom” in the nation by ProspectsLive.com. He is a likely high pick in the MLB draft next month.

The 6-foot-2 and 205-pound prospect who can pitch 95 mph limited CDO to two hits. He struck out 11 and walked one.

“When you’re throwing that hard against kids this young, it’s just very difficult,” CDO coach Jason Hisey said. “The goal against someone like that is maybe put the ball in play and force some tough plays. The thing is a majority of the time, you’re swinging defensively so the ball is not put in play.

“We just battled and did everything we could to put the ball in play.”

Caminiti, cousin of late MLB All-Star Ken Caminiti, retired the side in the top of the seventh to close the game.

The Sabercats scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice grounder after the first two batters hit a single and walked and then moved up a base following a sacrifice bunt.

Young, 10-1 this season, scattered six hits in 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and four walks.

Saguaro opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning after Zander Bratspis walked and Caminiti hit a single.

Cade Shumard — another left-handed starter for Saguaro who pitched two no-hitters in the postseason — then hit a line-drive single up the middle and centerfielder Michael Jones threw home with Bratspis racing there from second base. The throw was right in time to get Bratspis.

After a strikeout, Alain Gudino-Gomez hit an RBI single.

Caminiti did not allow a hit or run until the fifth inning.

Young helped his own cause with a single to lead off the fifth. Courtesy runner Adrian Encinas replaced him.

Tarrell Reid’s sacrifice bunt moved Encinas to second base.

Following a strikeout, Michael Chop hit a single to center field to score Encinas and tie the game at 1.

After that single by Chop, Caminiti retired the last seven batters he faced in the game, three by strike out.

“This is awesome,” Caminiti said. “I’ve been waiting to beat those guys for 365 days. It’s been a grind. That’s what I’ve been working for everyday.”

The Sabercats won their fourth state championship, first since 2011.

CDO has 10 championships, including three in the last 10 seasons.

“They have the same team they had last year and we have an entirely different team,” Hisey said. “The year before, when we played Salpointe (in the 2022 championship), we had an entirely different team. We had an entirely different team in 2023 and an entirely different team in 2024.

“The CDO program has been here three years in a row. Our seniors are 16-2 in the playoffs. I don’t know who else is 16-2 in four years in the state tournament. You’ve gotta give it to these guys. You know, we’ll put the shoes back on next year and see what happens.”

CDO will move to 5A next season and longtime rival Salpointe will remain in 4A. Ironwood Ridge is moving from 5A to 4A.

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