Sedona Red Rock High School’s baseball team split a pair of back-and-forth games on back-to-back days to finish out its season.
The Scorpions [4-12, 3-5 Central] won its final region contest of the year, 12-11, against Glendale Preparatory Academy on Tuesday, April 25, before falling 10-9 the following day at Ash Fork High School.
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The April 25 matchup against the Griffins was a much tighter contest than the 17-2 win at home on April 7.
“They threw a new pitcher we hadn’t seen before,” Red Rock head coach Craig Eagle said. “He kept us at bay until about the fourth or fifth inning. We were able to hit their relievers.”
Down 8-3 after the third inning, the Scorpions chipped away to make it 8-7 after the fifth inning. A five-run sixth inning propelled them to a 12-8 advantage that they held on to.
In the decisive sixth frame, Red Rock sophomore Clark Borjon drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on an error by the Griffins’ pitcher to knot the game at eight.
Senior Dawson Barber walked, freshman Jake Hobson singled and fellow freshman Michael Lagorio singled Barber home to give the team its first lead since the second inning.
Red Rock junior Michael Ortega later hit a three-RBI triple to cap the big inning.
Defensive errors, five by Red Rock and six by Glendale Prep, lent a mutual hand to both offenses.
“Walker [Cox] threw the ball well, but we weren’t able to make the plays behind him,” Eagle said. “He could have had a complete game if we made the plays that needed to be made.”
Cox threw 5 2-3 innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits with six walks and five strikeouts. Lagorio came in relief.
“Lagorio shut them down and got the save,” Eagle said. “He was lights out in the last inning.”
Lagorio struck out the final two batters to seal the victory, but not before the Griffins scored three runs to make things close while Red Rock left more runs on base, 13 total for the game.
Against Ash Fork, the Scorpions again scored in the first inning. However the Spartans plated five in the second inning and two in the fourth to go up 7-1.
The Scorpions exploded for eight runs in the next two frames to regain a one-run advantage. But Ash Fork scored one run in each of the same innings to remain neck and neck.
In the bottom of the seventh, an error allowed the leadoff Spartan on, who the stole second. The runner advanced to third on a wild pitch before a single handed the Scorpions the walk off loss.
Another combination of a senior and freshman took the mound in Barber and Hobson. A lot of younger players got experience during the season.
“We’re working on players for the future,” Eagle said. “Getting young arms in there is great for their future.”
With just two departing seniors, a young foundation along with a group of incoming freshmen will give the team a solid core for the coming years.
“The guys will be stronger next year, bigger, faster, so I’m excited for that,” Eagle said.
The team played one of the tougher schedules. The Scorpions played against top teams from both Conference 3A and 1A along with playing in a region with top 2A teams like Camp Verde High School and Northland Preparatory Academy.