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Unlike its game against Paradise Honors High School 10 days prior, the Sedona Red Rock High School baseball team got off to a slow start against Verde Valley rival Camp Verde High School, losing 7-4 on Friday, March 31.

The Scorpions [2-5, 1-1 Central] did not score until the last two innings when it was already too little too late. They had runners in scoring position in three of the first five innings, but never came up with the big hit.


“Part of me feels like it was a little nervousness playing Camp Verde, our rival,” Red Rock head coach Craig Eagle said. “We’re just missing those one to two situations where we need to come through in the clutch.”

In the sixth, Red Rock leadoff batter, junior catcher Wyatt Ross, drew a walk before a single opened a real scoring threat with no outs. Junior center fielder Winston Cox singled to Camp Verde sophomore left fielder Dominiq Bruno, who committed an error. Ross and junior shortstop Michael Ortega scored and Cox reached third.

Senior first baseman Walker Cox doubled to the same spot as brother Winston, who scored, then advanced to third base on another Bruno error. However, a line out and two strikeouts ended that threat before more damage was done.

Senior pitcher Randy Rodriguez led the seventh inning off with a stand-up triple, and scored the final run on a sacrifice fly by Ross.

“We’re getting more experience every game, I’m glad we have lots of games left to get a chance to string along some victories,” Eagle said. “It’s about getting these kids more action, confidence and experience.”

Red Rock’s defense started off on a high note by turning a double play in the first inning, but the Cowboys scored twice in the second. Two doubles scored the first run and a sacrifice fly the second.

With two outs in the second, the Cowboys came through with another opportune hit with a runner in scoring position to make it a 3-0 game.

Aggressive base running by the visitors saw them create run-scoring opportunities from what were otherwise less-dangerous situations. On three occasions Camp Verde players stole second base and eventually scored, either by way of a base hit or passed ball.

Defensive miscues were also costly; three unearned runs crossed home plate. One reached base via error, one scored on a passed ball and a third found home on a sac fly that otherwise would not have originally been on third base were it not for a passed ball.

“I think they’re lacking in confidence, which comes along with the inexperience,” Eagle said. “Sometimes it comes down to the mental side. More repetitions are needed, too, and that comes down to us coaches.”

The team continued Central Region play on Tuesday, April 4, when it lost to visiting Northland Preparatory Academy 9-3.

They host fellow region foe Glendale Preparatory Academy at 3:45 p.m. Friday, April 7, before traveling to nonleague Joseph City High School for an 11 a.m. start on Saturday, April 8.

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