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Little League All-Star tournaments are underway all across Southern Arizona and today we spotlight two games: a 9-10 battle between Thornydale and Frontier held at Kriegh Park and a Major League game between Western and CDO held at Arthur Pack in Marana.
Frontier and Thornydale met in a 9-10 elimination game on Monday night at Kriegh Park in Oro Valley. Frontier pulled out a 5-3 victory to stay alive in the Championship Bracket and the team from Fort Lowell Park will play Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. against Western. That elimination game will also take place at Kriegh Park.
With the loss, Thornydale claims fourth place in the District 5 tournament.
Oscar Perez led the game off with a double and Ethan Bell sacrificed him home to give Frontier a 1-0 lead but Thornydale tied things up in the bottom of the first inning after Diego Elias doubled home Xavier Urias. Urias had reached on a walk.
Frontier scored two runs in the top of the third after Perez reached on a two-out single and Sam Cullen followed with a single that was misplayed in the outfield. Perez scored on the play and then Cullen scored on a passed ball.
Frontier would add another run in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. Thornydale scored two in the bottom of the fifth after Urias drove in Scott Thompson with a double and Alex Fitzgerald knocked in Urias.
Damian Tapia doubled to lead off the top of the sixth and Mikey Martin drove him in. Frontier held on for the 5-3 win after Perez retired Thornydale’s last five batters.
Both Hardy and Tapia went 3-3 for Frontier.
As mentioned before, CDO and Western met in the first round of the Championship Bracket of the District 5 Major Division. Western posted a 6-5 comeback-victory to advance to the championship series where they will face the winner of CDO and Continental Ranch on Wednesday night at Arthur Pack. Western would have to be beaten twice by either team in the double-elimination format.
Joaquin Murrieta Park is the home of Western and Kriegh Park is the home for CDO. In three to four years, players from both of these teams could conceivably be playing for Canyon del Oro and Tucson High.
Western is coached by Fred Robles, Steve Armenta and former University of Arizona standout George Arias. Arias is also an assistant coach at Tucson High under Oscar Romero.
CDO is coached by Thom Martinez, Mike Schindler and Ed Bracy.
George Arias, Jr. pitched against Canyon del Oro in the Division II state baseball championship this spring and his brother Nick plays for Western. Anthony Felix was the starting second baseman for the Dorados and his younger brother Dominic plays second base for CDO.
Dante Schindler took the mound for CDO and he held Western scoreless for three innings, only giving up a walk and a single. Meanwhile, Arias took the ball for Western and he held CDO to one hit and a couple of walks in the first two innings.
CDO broke through with three runs in the top of the third after the team worked the bases loaded with no outs. Hayden Palmer singled, Konnor Hopton walked and Felix followed with an infield hit.
Jayden Bracy reached on an error but picked up an RBI in the process to score Palmer. Mac Kochanski was hit-by-pitch to score Hopton. Tyler Delk took the mound for Western and Andrew Stucky delivered on a sacrifice fly to score Felix.
Delk held CDO in the fourth and Western posted two runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead down to 3-2.
Ruben Alvarez hit a one-out single and Chris Olea reached on an error to the outfield, advancing both runners. Sebastian Robles reached on an error, scoring Alvarez on the play. Nathan Romero followed with an RBI groundout.
CDO picked up two runs in the top of the fifth after Bracy led off with a towering home run. Kochanski followed with a walk and Brandon Barnes came in to pitch for Western.
Barnes picked up a strikeout but three straight walks brought in the second run on an RBI walk issued to Schindler. Alvarez came in to pitch and picked up two quick outs to limit the damage.
Down 5-2, Jesse Ramirez started the rally with a single then Arias blasted a two-run shot one out later to cut the lead down to 5-4.
Schindler induced an infield grounder for the second out but Alvarez reached on an infield chopper to keep Western alive. Olea singled and an error on the play allowed Alvarez to score to tie the game up 5-5.
Robles brought in Olea with a hit up the middle for the 6-5 lead.
Alvarez retired the last five batters to pick up the win.
CDO will face Continental Ranch Tuesday night. The loser will claim third place while the winner will need to beat Western twice to win it all and qualify for the state playoffs to held in Claypool on January 16.
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com