Playoffs: Catalina Foothills boys win 103rd tennis match in a row and then baseball team pulls out late win
April 24, 2019 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365
The win total keeps rising and no one knows when it will end. No. 1 Catalina Foothills beat No. 16 Agua Fria 5-0 Wednesday to advance to the Division II quarterfinal round against No. 8 Mesquite (13-2). That match is scheduled for next Wednesday, May 1 at Catalina Foothills (14-0). Mesquite beat No. 9 Thunderbird 5-4 to set up the quarterfinal match at Catalina Foothills.
Agua Fria (12-3) became the 103rd victim in a dominating streak that extends back to the semifinals of 2013 and it includes five straight championships under two different coaches.
(Mason Lee/Andy Morales/AZPreps365.com)
Meanwhile, some 100 yards or so away from the tennis courts, the Falcon baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to defeat No. 21 Coconino 3-2 in the 4A Play-In Tournament.
No. 12 Catalina Foothills had some difficulty running the bases in the close contest and the team was aided by an illegal contact play in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.
Sam Gustafson led off the bottom of the second with a double and he scored on an error later in the inning but Jordan Lucero singled in the top of the second and he made his way around the bases and eventually tied the game up 1-1 on a passed ball.
The Falcons loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the second but running miscue erased what might have been a 2-RBI single off the bat of Gustafson. The result was a double play initiated from the outfield that erased all possible runs.
Christian Rodriguez tripled with two outs in the fourth but the Falcons couldn’t cash in and then Gustafson doubled again in the fifth but a pinch-running mistake ended that threat. Coconino came alive in the top of the sixth after Kyle Casados set the table with a single and Tyler Walters brought him home with a triple to go up 2-1 but Walters was thrown out at home attempting to score on an errant throw on the play.
Rodriguez induced a pop fly for the second out, Tanner Mickelson followed with a single and Nathaniel Flores doubled to put two on. Gabe Soto took the mound at that point for the Falcons and he got a fly ball to end the threat.
Down 2-1, Logan Sanders led off with a double and Patrick McMahon reached on an error one out later to put two runners on. Rodriguez was walked to load the bases and the Soto brought in Sanders on a fielder’s choice to tie the game up 2-2. Noah Rojas singled to bring in McMahon and then Gustafson walked to reload the bases. Zac Lopez got out of the jam with a ground ball.
It looked like the Panthers were about to take control of the game in the top of the seventh after Cole Thornsley reached on a hit-by-pitch and Ty Furr and Tyler Tapia reached on back-to-back sacrifice bunts that were mishandled. Soto picked up a strikeout but the bases were still loaded for Walters.
Walters hit a grounder to shortstop Alec Larson for the second out and it was ruled the runner made illegal contact with Larson on the throw to first base for the third out of the inning.
The Panthers finished 9-10 in power-ranking games.
Catalina Foothills (11-7) will move over to the 4A state bracket scheduled to start on Saturday, April 27.