When a baseball team scores 30 runs across two games, more often than not it will come away the winner from both. Such was not the case for Sedona Red Rock High School’s team, splitting its two games on Friday and Saturday,
April 7 and 8.
On Friday, the Scorpions [3-7, 2-2 Central] picked up a 17-2 region win over visiting Glendale Preparatory Academy but then lost to Conference 1A Joseph City High School 17-13 the following day.
“Our bats are alive,” Red Rock head coach Craig Eagle said. “The problem against Joseph City is we were missing key players. We should’ve handled that team no problem.”
The pick up in offense was much needed for Red Rock, who had averaged four runs per game through its previous three contests.
In the win against the Griffins, the Scorpions put the game to bed in the first inning with 12 runs.
They almost batted through the lineup twice over, chased freshman starting pitcher Micah Piestch after just one out, and junior Michael Ortega picked up two of his game-high four hits along with two RBI and two runs scored. For the game, the team totaled nine hits.
Freshman pitcher Michael Lagorio struck out four through the first two frames. The Griffins only scored in the third.
With the game already in hand, Red Rock did not stop scoring, but it also appeared that Glendale Prep wanted them to. Three Scorpions batters were hit by pitches in the third inning, including one that drove in the 13th run, and another wild pitch welcomed home the 14th.
Ortega’s three-run home run in the fourth put the icing on the win, which slated the Scorpions into third in the Central Region standings. He finished with six RBI.
“It came down to the practice prior, we said we were going to play as more of a team,” Eagle said. “We wanted to finish games and not have a letdown.”
But a letdown came against Joseph City. Just as things picked up offensively, Red Rock’s defense and pitching went away. The team also played without three regular starters, giving its younger players a chance to play and forcing others to play in unusual spots.
“We were able to play some of the younger guys and give them a chance to showcase themselves,” Eagle said. “I saw positives, some good stuff from the freshmen and sophomore guys.”
The Scorpions jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first, but the lead changed hands four times.
Joseph City went up 8-4 in the second. Red Rock junior Winston Cox hit a three-run home run to cut the deficit to 8-7, then sloppy play by the Wildcats allowed the Scorpions to regain a 9-8 lead.
Six straight singles fueled a seven-run fourth frame that saw Joseph City take the lead for good at 15-10.
“Our defense wasn’t on at all, pitching wasn’t there either. It was a sloppy game, especially on the mound and defensively on both sides,” Eagle said.
Ortega had three hits, four runs scored and two RBI in the loss. Freshman Jake Hobson started the game, throwing two innings and giving up eight earned runs on nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
Junior Wyatt Ross came in and finished the game, giving up nine earned runs on 11 hits with three walks and three strikeouts.