Queen Creek's baseball team had a couple games of the power-ranking variety last week get away. That was not the case Tuesday afternoon.
Chase Beal featured a clump of strikeouts the first three innings to escape trouble and went on to pitch Queen Creek to a 9-3 victory over Seton in a Division II contest at John Omohundro Field.
"Chase has been our guy for a couple years (four-year starter)," Queen Creek coach Mike Campbell said. "He goes out and competes. He may mix in a couple extra walks,, but he has the ability to bear down and get after it."
Exactly what Beal did on Tuesday. After getting help on a nice infield-relay throw in the bottom of the first to cut down a run to go with his first two strikeouts, Beal came back and fanned the side around a walk in the second.
Then in the third after his teammates staked him to a lead with a three-run rally, Beal wiggled out a of second-and-third one out jam by striking out consecutive hitters. That gave Beal seven strikeouts over the first three frames .He finished with 11 Ks over six innings of work and surrendered one run. He left with a 4-1 lead and picked up his third win against one loss. Bryce Dobbs pitched the seventh for Queen Creek.
Lending much of the offensive help for Queen Creek (8-6 overall, 2-2 power-ranking games) were seniors Marcus Still and Ryan Kottcamp. Both players were part of Queen Creek's three scoring rallies (three runs in the third, one in the sixth and five in the seventh).
Still, a four-year veteran of the program like Beal, used his speed to reach on an infield hit in the third while Kottkamp delivered an RBI double in the inning. Also driving in a run in the third was Bohdy Forsgren. Still and Kottkamp singled in the sixth with Kottkamp knocking in Still to extend the lead to 4-1. Still blasted a two-run double to center to hightlight the seventh-inning outburst. Kottcamp drew a bases-loaded walk and Josh Andrews capped the rally with a two-run single.
The third inning was disconcerting for Seton. Not only did the Sentinels give up three runs in the top of the fram, bu head coach Marty Maier and an assistant were tossed in the bottom half for arguing balls and strikes. Seton (4-9, 2-3 prg) didn't score until the sixth, using a walk and Niko Villegas' two-out double. Seton tacked on two runs in the seventh after Beal had been removed.
"We're a veteran club," Campbell said. "We need to show it more. We do at times, but have to do it more consistently than we have."
Both teams continue section play on Wednesday (March 26). Queen Creek hosts Arcadia and Seton entertains Tempe High.