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By Brian Bergner Jr.

Larson newspapers

 

Small in stature, it might seem like the Sedona Red Rock High baseball players don’t have a chance when they walk onto the diamond prior to a game, any game for that matter.

But when sophomore second baseman Tyler Hollmann, the smallest kid on the field, hit a three-run home run just over the left field fence to make it 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning while the sun was going down against Estrella Foothills High on Monday, March 16, it was business as usual.

“I was thinking it was at least a double right off the bat and that it might hit the fence ... maybe ... but when it went over the fence, I couldn’t believe it,” Hollman said in a postgame interview on Monday.

The Scorpions fought for everything they got on Monday, but came up short against one of the best 3A teams in the state, losing a wild one by the final score of 13-9.

Hollmann’s home run describes this pesky Sedona baseball team perfectly, a team that never looks like they should beat you ... until they beat you.

The Scorpions found themselves trailing most of the game with Estrella Foothills taking an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

Senior hurler Mike Karp was on the hill for the Scorpions on Monday and in his six innings of work, he gave up five runs, four of which were earned, on two hits while walking five and striking out five batters.

“I wasn’t pleased with my performance. I think we needed to get the bats going a little earlier than we did,” Karp said on the field after the loss.

Down 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Sedona managed to scratch across a run, making it 5-1, then made it 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning before Estrella Foothills made it 6-2 in the top of the seventh.

Pitching for Karp in relief, sophomore Dylan Rose did a nice job holding the powerful Estrella Foothills lineup in check in the top of the seventh, allowing Sedona a chance to come back.

Enter the heroics of Hollmann as sophomore right fielder Blake Barker singled in a run to make it 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning and with two runners on and one out, Hollmann picked out the perfect pitch and went “ya-ya” as the boys called it after the game, tieing the score at 6-6.

The Scorpions had a chance to win the game with Karp coming to the plate, but after an intentional walk the Wolves found their way out of it and ran back to the dugout for the top of the eighth inning.

Unfortunately for Sedona, the top of the eighth spelled frustration for the Scorpions as Estrella Foothills scored seven runs in the inning, taking a 13-6 lead as the sky got darker, and darker and darker.

Sedona used three pitchers in Rose, junior Jimmy Grossi and freshman Arley Leyva in the one inning with Leyva being the only pitcher to not give up a run.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Scorpions scored three more runs to try and come back a second time, but they didn’t have enough to finish it off as they lost, 13-9.

“I think we tried to do to much. We need to come out with more intensity to start,” Karp said.

With the loss, the Scorpions drop their record to 5-4 overall on the season and are now 0-1 in 3A-West region play.

The Scorpions were No. 2 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point standings with a perfect 4-0 record in games that matter, having beaten Camp Verde High to begin the season on March 3, Williams High on March 10 and Tuba City High twice on Thursday, March 12.

Sedona will surely drop after the loss to Estrella Foothills on Monday, but the Scorpions are off to a good start.

Next up, the Scorpions will make the long drive to River Valley High in Laughlin, Nev., on Wednesday, March 18. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

The next home game for Sedona will be on Wednesday, March 25, when they play host to powerful Chino Valley High.

Mike Karp will probably start that game for the Scorpions with a first pitch start time of 3 p.m.


Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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