Arizona Junior State Baseball Tournament
July 16-24: Jesse Owens Park
Nogales outlasted Sunnyside 6-3 Saturday morning to capture the Arizona Junior League Baseball state championship. With the win, Nogales advances to the Junior League West Regionals to be held in Vancouver, Washington from Aug. 3-10.
Nogales went 5-0 at the state tournament held at Jesse Owens Park this past week with wins over Kingman (14-1), Arrowhead (12-2), Show Low (15-5) and Casa Grande (12-1) to set up their game with Sunnyside. Sunnyside (5-2) battled through the Elimination Bracket including big wins over Tucson Mountain (22-3) and an 8-4 win over Casa Grande to get to the title game.
Nogales scored three runs in the bottom of the first with Matthew Bachelior coming up with an RBI double to help pace the scoring. Nogales added another run in the second but Sunnyside responded with two runs in the top of the third thanks to two RBI’s from Christian Rodriguez.
Julian Grijalva put Nogales up 6-2 with a two-run shot in the bottom of the third but that was all Nogales would get the rest of the way. Fernando Medina started the game for Sunnyside, allowing only one earned run and he was replaced by Juan Garcia in the second. Rodriguez took over in the third and Jesse Huerta took the mound in the fifth.
Aaron Solis worked five innings for Nogales and he limited Sunnyside to two runs on three hits. Bachelior took over with two outs in the sixth and he gave up a run in the top of seventh with Rodriguez picking up a bases-loaded walk with two outs. Bachelior induced a ground ball to preserve the victory.
Rodriguez led Sunnyside at the plate with a single and three RBI while Medina and Frankie Trujillo picked up the other two hits. Grijalva went 2-for3 with the two-run home run to pace Nogales. Luis Rodriguez, Kenneth Jimenez, Aiden Jimenez and Jesus Miranda all picked up singles.
13 teams from 11 state will take part in the West Regional and Nogales will play Alaska on Wednesday, Aug. 3 and Montana on Aug. 4.
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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