Paulo Rodriguez picked up the win. (Andy Morales/AZPreps365.com)
There were some close calls, there were some blowouts, there were teams eliminated, there were teams celebrated – where to begin?
In 4A baseball, No. 1 Nogales had no difficulty getting past No. 16 Combs at home with a score of 11-1 in five innings. Ralph Padilla had a home run in the fourth to help pace the Apaches.
No. 2 Salpointe survived a scare against No. 15 Rio Rico but held on for the 2-0 victory. Zaid Abril took the mound for the Hawks and he limited the Lancers to four hits in five innings of work but the Lancers cashed in on two costly errors to seal the win.
Paulo Rodriguez reached on an infield error in the bottom of the first and J. Bill Rivera knocked him in two batters later. Daniel Durazo singled in the fifth but he advanced to second base on an error during a rundown on a pickoff attempt. Ian Ponce sacrificed him home two batters later.
The two unearned runs held up with the Hawks stranding several runners in scoring position. Javier Cota led off the fourth with a double but Rodriguez induced three straight fly balls to erase that threat.
Bobby Gonzalez was hit-by-pitch in the sixth and Andre Greene singled to put two on with no outs but a strikeout by Rodriguez was followed by a double play, with the final out coming on a tag at home to get Gonzalez.
Sean Fanning reached on an error to start the top of the seventh and Abril hit a double one out later to put the tying runners in scoring position. Ponce, who had relieved Rodriguez to start the inning, picked up a strikeout and a line drive to preserve the 2-0 win.
Abril went 2-for-3 at the plate to help out his own cause. Likewise, Rodriguez went 2-3.
The comeback of the evening came at No. 4 Canyon del Oro with the Dorados erasing a 5-1 deficit against No. 13 Apache Junction in the bottom of the seventh.
Kiko Romero singled and Brian Romero followed with another single. Angel Ochoa reached on an infield hit to load the bases with no outs. Alec Ivanoff came up and knocked in two runs with a hit to left. The Dorados were now down 5-3 with two runners on and no outs.
Michael Santorelli came up to the plate and he delivered on a double to tie the game, 5-5. Alex Bustamante and Tyler Porter were intentionally walked to reload the bases because Santorelli advanced to third on a throw home.
Apache Junction picked up an out but Simon Lytle hit a fielder’s choice to score Santorelli.
In 5A softball, No.1 Cienega beat Mountain View Marana 10-1 to advance to Round 3. Mountain View has shifted over to the elimination bracket along with No. 6 Ironwood Ridge.
No. 3 Sahuaro beat the Nighthawks 4-3 with Ashley Bradford hitting a triple and scoring the winning run on a passed ball.