Sports Stories
The Sedona all-stars baseball team [ages 13-14] won the 2007 District 10 championship July 11, defeating the Chino Valley all-stars, 11-4.
 By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers

The Sedona all-stars baseball team [ages 13-14] won the 2007 District 10 championship July 11, defeating the Chino Valley all-stars, 11-4.

The boys put on their uniforms, tightened their belts, made sure their gloves were in working order and headed to the diamond to play baseball under the lights at Cottonwood Middle School.

Nerves were only part of this championship night, as fans, players and coaches arrived to a lake in the infield and a mud pit in the dugouts fitting only for a barnyard pig.

It rained very hard only a few hours before game time, and plenty of diamond sand and rakes would be used to get the ball field ready.

Once the field was ready, it was time to play baseball.

Sedona would bat first, looking to get off to a fast start and score some early runs.

Chino Valley’s starting pitcher Jeremy McMullin had other plans, and he retired the side in order.

Starting pitcher Kyl Chartier would toe the hill for Sedona, as he would look to mirror his counterpart on the mound.

A walk and two base hits later, Chino Valley had taken a 1-0 lead, but Chartier calmed down and retired the next three batters in order to get out of an early jam.

“I didn’t feel tired at all. I was totally nervous,” Chartier said.

In the top of the second inning, Sedona would rally and score four runs as McMullin was removed after only 1 2/3 innings pitched.

Relief pitcher Tyler Foley was brought in by Chino Valley Manager Fred Garcia, but it  didn’t seem to matter.

Tyler Hollmann hit a two-run double that scored Arley Leyva and Ari Aranda to give Sedona a 4-1 lead.

Chartier would take over from here, shutting out the Chino Valley offense by allowing no runs over the next four innings of play.

At the end of five innings, Sedona was now up 5-1.

“Kyl [Chartier] kept us in the game, and he did everything right,” Sedona Manager Rob Henry said.

In the top of the sixth inning, Sedona would score four more runs to pad its lead at 9-1.

Leyva started the inning off with a single but was caught at second base trying to stretch it into a double.

Aranda doubled, and Blake Barker hit him in with a double of his own.

Hollmann then stepped to the plate and doubled in Barker.

With two runs already across, Chartier came up with the big stick and corked a 1-1 balloon pitch over the right center field fence for a two-run home run.

“That was really a big home run. We told him to wait on that balloon pitch, and he crushed it,” Henry said.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Chartier got two outs and was removed because of pitch count rules.

Chartier went 93 pitches, or 5 2/3 innings pitched, allowing only six hits and two runs while striking out five batters.

One of those runs was unearned.

Enter Team Captain Regan Cavanaugh, who came in and got the last out by way of strikeout.

After two more runs were put up by Sedona in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 11-2, Cavanaugh would close out this game.

Henry paced in the mud-filled dugout and eventually came out to do some more pacing.

Cavanaugh would give up a base hit and walk four batters while allowing two runs to score.

But he got the last out as the shortstop flipped the ball over to first base, game over.

Gloves went flying into the dark summer night, and parents jumped out of their lawn chairs in pure excitement.

The boys met on the infield and jumped on each other, knowing they had accomplished something that no other Sedona team at this age level had accomplished — a District 10 title and a trip to Tucson to play in the state tournament.

“This win feels really good. Coming in, I just wanted to get this all over with and win the title,” Barker said.

Barker has been named team captain, along with Cavanaugh.

“We played good baseball overall to win this game and will have to continue to play hard,” Henry said.