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Refocused after a 10-day break, the Sedona Red Rock High School baseball team will be back in action and on the road for the first time Friday, March 14.

Stefan Zielinski, center, helped the Scorpions’ cause, scoring a run as he slides safely into home ahead of the tag attempt by junior pitcher Leo Lopez, right, while sophomore center fielder Nolen Wilson waits on deck for the Scorpions.

The Scorpions [0-1] hope to rebound from a 9-7 eight-inning loss to Williams High School in their March 4 home opener with their first true road test at Kingman Academy [10-2-1].

While senior-heavy teams like the Tigers, 13-5 victors over Williams on March 1, have used their school spring breaks to test their refined skills in tournament play, SRRHS head baseball coach Craig Eagle has been busy shuffling his lineup and schedule to give his young players the best chance to win.

“We’re working on putting them in pressure situations to make contact with the pitch at the plate, being that we’re so young,” Eagle said. “Also, our lack of communication in the field: We need to get focused to know where the ball’s going to be hit — second base, first base, wherever.

“We did very well being patient at the plate, but we had a mental breakdown with a couple of errors late where we had a good 5-3 lead, but it went to 9-5.”

Vikings senior Jorge Martinez managed to hit a weak dribbler through the middle of the infield — “the worst place for our defense,” Eagle said — off senior Scorpions relief pitcher Carlos Rodriguez, scoring two runs and sending the game to extra innings.

“Carlos Rodriguez came out there in a difficult situation,” Eagle said. “We took time out to talk to him; the game was tight, his curveball wasn’t working.

“Definitely the nerves were a factor, even though he’s a senior. The batter worked our pitcher very well.”

Williams then broke it open with four more in the top of the eighth. The bottom half saw SRRHS fight back with two runs, but junior right fielder Zeke Saxman struck out looking against Vikings junior closer Leo Lopez to end the comeback and the game for the Scorpions.

“Williams is a senior-heavy team compared to us,” Eagle said. “They definitely grind it out.

“They brought in their closer — he couldn’t hit his fastball and ended up loading the bases, walking everybody. We could’ve had our tail between our legs, but we made the guy throw strikes. We almost re-tied the game.

“Last year, we got blown out both games — they ten-runned us with the same team. So, being our first game, I’m happy.”

For the full story, please see the Friday, March 14, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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