Baseball: McClintock off to hot start
March 1, 2017 by Perry Cohen, Arizona State University
Hitting. Pitching. Defense. McClintock High School baseball did everything last weekend except win an Oscar.
The Chargers demolished their competition en route to the Falcon Invitational title, posting a 48-10 run differential, including a 17-3 championship win over Scottsdale Christian. Team captain Sergio Jimenez led the force with two home runs, eight runs batted in, and five runs scored in the 5-0 series sweep.
Despite a persistent threat at the plate, coach Paul Mather said pitching was the key component to the team’s successful start.
“It’s hard to win a tournament without pitching,” Mather said. “Pitching was an asset for us this weekend.”
In the opening game of the tournament, the Chargers blanked Payson High School behind an elite performance from team ace BJ Murillo.
Murillo pitched six innings of one-hit baseball without allowing a run.
“I guess all of my pitches were working,” Murillo said. “Everything was going good.”
Mather said Murillo was not the only standout star of the weekend.
Jonah Wiley, a utility player, was an imposing force both on the mound and at the plate.
He pitched six innings with 10 strikeouts and only allowed two earned runs against Catalina Magnet. His presence at the plate was just as dominant.
Wiley finished the weekend with a slash of .600/.636/.850 including 12 hits, five of which were doubles. Wiley also recorded eight runs batted in.
“I haven’t had a weekend quite like this,” Wiley said. “My mind set was to win and to do the best I can. Baseball is about fun but my goal is to win and to win a state championship.”
Selfless baseball was a common theme for the Chargers.
Junior Mario Munoz finished second behind Wiley in on-base percentage (.571) and runs scored (5) but led the team in walks with seven.
“My thinking was team-first,” Munoz said. “I was trying to get on base and do my job.”
In addition to his team-first hitting approach, Munoz also exhibited a stellar pitching performance, allowing only three hits over six inning in his start against Seton Catholic Prep.
“My performance on the mound definitely helped boost my confidence at the plate,” Munoz said.
Overall, the Chargers posted a .368 team batting average with 54 hits in addition to an astonishing team ERA of 1.75 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.18 to 1.
After the tournament, the Chargers’ opened their home schedule against cross town rival Tempe High and continued to shine, winning 7-0 to improve to 6-0.