Category: Baseball

Maricopa High School Spring 2014 Sports Wrap-Up

Spring WrapSchool is out and the long, hot summer is upon us. The Maricopa Unified School District welcomes two new members to its ranks with Athletic Director Mark Cisterna and head football coach Chris McDonald.

McDonald joins a relatively new batch of head coaches at Maricopa High School with Andrew Pollak finishing his first year at the helm of the baseball team and Chris Ansley heading up the softball team for his fourth season.

Pollak’s baseball team started off the season well. Winners of six of their first ten games, the Rams looked to put to rest any questions about the team’s inability to stay competitive. Senior pitcher Dallas Speer was 3-1 and Tristan Hartley was 2-1 in that time frame and the future looked bright for the Rams.

Unfortunately, Maricopa would hit hard times and would only grab two more wins throughout the year to finish 8-17 overall with a 2-9 section record. It wasn’t all bad news for Coach Pollak and the varsity baseball squad as the February 27 game vs. the Arizona Charter Academy set the record for highest single-game on-base percentage (.733), in program history.

Dallas Speer

Dallas Speer

Even in the March 25 defeat at Catalina Foothills, the Rams tied the program record with fewest strikeouts (0) in a game.

Sophomore Tyler Rapp led all batters (15 + appearances) with a .323 batting average and paced the team with 19 runs scored. Junior Nick Diaz led the team with 12 RBI, three home runs, and was tied for the team lead in triples (1) and hits (21).

Senior Tristan Hartley shared the team lead for hits and led the Rams with two doubles Senior Noah Anderson tied for the team lead in triples.

Of the 11 teams in division II, section six, three players earned postseason accolades. Diaz was named to the 2nd team while Hartley and Rapp were selected as honorable mentions.

The softball team had a bit of a bumpy start to the 2014 season, losing three of its first four games including a 25-0 loss to Xavier Preparatory. Ansley’s squad would turn the season around when they hosted the annual Krystin Diehl Tournament, winning six straight and outscoring opponents 52-4 to take home the trophy.

The Lady Rams would split the next eight games with big wins over Horizon Honors, Seton Catholic and Coronado, scoring double digits but also suffering tough losses to Flowing Wells and Salpointe Catholic, both in Tucson.

A late season swoon doomed the softball team as they dropped their final nine games of the season. Heartbreaking losses to Cibola (12-10) and Poston Butte (8-6) ended the season and the Rams finished 11-16 overall, 1-8 in section.

Chelsea Trejo & Madi Moncel w/ Coach Ansley

Chelsea Trejo & Madi Moncel w/ Coach Ansley

Sophomore pitcher Yasmin Santa Cruz finished the season 3-1 with 3.75 ERA while fellow sophomore Amber Cramer ended up with a 4-3 record and a 3.85 ERA. Junior Victoria Andrade led all pitchers with 49 strikeouts.

On the offensive side of the ball, senior catcher Madison Moncel fueled the Rams with a monstrous .436 batting average and 34 hits. Moncel was tied for the team lead with 26 runs and three triples.

Keeping up with Moncel in runs was senior Chelsea Trejo while senior Madison Byrd and junior Shay Barney were tied in the triples category. Junior Isabel McCloskey powered the team with 35 RBI and nine doubles.

Moncel signed her letter of intent earlier this year and will be heading to Colby Community College in northwest Kansas. The educational futures for the outgoing seniors of Maricopa baseball and softball players are promising even without athletic scholarships.

When asked of Moncel if she knew of any players going off to college, Moncel replied “Yeah, actually, a lot of them. Mainly all of the baseball/softball players.”

Regardless of what the final records were, I would say that both coaches could be considered a success with all graduating seniors going off to college.

NCAA Baseball Regional Preview – San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly to Host

ASU Anthem

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly has had a charmed season in 2014. The Mustangs won the Big West Conference title for the first time in program history with a 19-5 conference record. The 45 total wins shattered the previous record of 38 wins in a season in 2009. Lastly, Cal Poly will host its first-ever regional at Baggett Stadium this weekend while conference mates Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Long Beach State must travel to play.

The first game of the regional will be on Friday at 1 p.m. PT and will pit No. 2 Arizona State against No. 3 seed Pepperdine. Cal Poly will face No. 4 seed Sacramento State at 6 p.m. PT.>>>Read more on College Baseball Central

 

 

 

NCAA Baseball Regional Preview – Bloomington, Indiana to Host

card base

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University has flexed its baseball muscles in an otherwise unproductive Big Ten Conference. The Hoosiers have won the regular season and conference tournament championships in back-to-back seasons with only Nebraska and Illinois providing any competition. Indiana is one of the few teams that benefits from a weak conference schedule and the 42 wins is hard to resist when doling out regional site invitations.

The first game of the regional will be on Friday at 2 p.m. ET and will pit No. 2 Indiana State against No. 3 seed Stanford. Indiana will face No. 4 seed Youngstown State at 7 p.m. ET. >>>Read more on College Baseball Central

 

NCAA Baseball Regional Preview – Nashville, Vanderbilt to Host

Ducks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt jumped out of the starting gates like a team possessed this season. The Commodores won their first seven games and 17 of their first 20 with an conference-opening series win over Louisiana State. A mainstay to the top 10 all season long, Vanderbilt fell on some difficult times in conference play yet managed to earn a regional host despite it all.

The first game of the regional will be on Friday at Noon ET and will pit No. 2 Oregon against No. 3 seed Clemson. Vanderbilt will face No. 4 seed Xavier at 7 p.m. ET. >>>Read more on College Baseball Central

NCAA Baseball Regional Preview: Oregon St. Host In Corvallis

Beavers Cover

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State had a great final regular season weekend. Despite losing two of three to USC, the Beavers were crowned Pac-12 Champion for the second consecutive year and was named the No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NCAA  Men’s Baseball Tournament.  This is the second straight year that the Beavers have hosted and the ninth time they have advanced to the postseason in the past 10 years.

The first game of the regional will be on Friday at 2 p.m. PT and will pit No. 2 UNLV against No. 3 seed UC Irvine. Oregon State will face No. 4 seed North Dakota State at 8 p.m. PT and will be nationally broadcast on ESPN U.>>>Read more on College Baseball Central

 

 

Arizona softball drops super regionals opener to Louisiana-Lafayette

Wilson ArizonaLAFAYETTE, La. — Arizona began the game with a leadoff home run from All-Conference first team selection Hallie Wilson, but would get little offense until the final frame of a 5-3 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette Friday night in Lafayette, La. The final Wildcat runs came when shortstop Kellie Fox launched a 2-run homer over the center field wall scoring Kelsey Rodriguez who reached on an error in the prior at-bat.

Cajuns’ junior Christina Hamilton pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits while only giving up two earned runs with four strikeouts and four walks.

For Arizona, seniors Estela Pinon and Shelby Babcock each pitched three innings. Pinon took the loss after giving up five hits and five earned runs, while striking out one and walking four. Babcock shut down the Cajuns’ bats, only surrendering one hit and no runs in the final three frames.

Aside from Wilson’s homer in the first and Fox’s two-run shot in the seventh, the Wildcats couldn’t find a groove. Power hitters Chelsea Goodacre, Katiyana Mauga and Mo Mercado managed a meager 1-for-11 with three strikeouts.

Arizona (44-15) and Louisiana-Lafayette (48-8-1) will meet tomorrow at noon PT with the Wildcats needing a victory to force a decisive third game at 3 p.m. for the right to go to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series.

Arizona State Baseball Closes Packard Stadium With Class

 

Corey Hahn2TEMPE, Ariz. —  Arizona State ended its 40-year stretch at Packard Stadium with a first-pitch strike from recent graduate and former Sun Devil Baseball student-athlete Cory Hahn. The Sun Devils then took a 4-2 victory over Abilene Christian in front of 3,466 fans on Tuesday night.

Hahn decided on Arizona State in 2010 after being heavily recruited by other colleges. He was paralyzed from the chest down sliding into second base against New Mexico in first weekend series at Arizona State in 2011. Hahn continued to be omnipresent at many games and events as a student coach as well as the inspirational leader. He had his lifetime dream realized when he was drafted by the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th round of the 2013 Major League Draft.

Hahn graduated from the W.P. Carey School of Business with a Bachelor of Arts in business with a communications concentration. The W.P. Carey School is one of the most widely-respected business schools in the nation and is ranked in the top 30 programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Hahn's #34 worn by all players

Hahn’s #34 worn by all players

The Sun Devils baseball program closed Packard with a .785 winning percentage over 1,430 total games. The legendary stadium was home to 80 NCAA postseason games; 20 regional series and four super regional series. The Sun Devils have won 16 conference titles and two National Championships and have produced 19 ASU Hall of Fame players during the Packard era.

80 Major League Baseball players have called Packard home during their college years including two Most Valuable Players, four Rookies of the Year, an ALCS and NLCS MVP and four World Series champions.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Seth Martinez took the mound for his seventh start and lasted 5.2 innings giving up a run in the third and the Wildcats’ go-ahead run in the sixth before being relived by fellow freshmen Hever Bueno and Eder Erives. Sophomore Jordan Aboites took the mound in the 8th inning and took the win to raise his record to 4-2 and fellow sophomore Ryan Burr fanned the side in the ninth inning to record his 11th save of the year.

Center fielder Johnny Sewald began the game with a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Drew Stankiewicz and a wild pitch before he crossed home on first baseman Nate Causey’s RBI double to right-center field in the bottom of the first inning.

The Devils’ bats went silent until junior right fielder Trever Allen led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple to center field and scored the game-tying run in the next at-bat on a RBI single from third baseman Dalton DiNatale. Stankiewicz and left fielder Jake Peevyhouse opened the eighth with a single and a double, respectively, and Causey was intentionally walked two batters later to load the bases for Allen, who drove in the winning runs.

Pac-12 Player of the Week Stankiewicz

Pac-12 Player of the Week Stankiewicz

The Sun Devils have now won a season-high seven straight games and have yet to lose while wearing their throwback “Tequila Sunrise” uniforms. Arizona State moved to 31-21 overall this season extending the nation’s longest 30-win season streak to 52. They are also 17-10 in the Pac-12 Conference, tied for third place with the Oregon Ducks.

The Sun Devils hit the road for the final regular season series against Washington State with Pac-12 Player of the Week Stankiewicz looking to earn back-to-back honors. Also looking to extend streaks are Trever Allen, who has hit safely in 10 straight games and Jake Peevyhouse who has safely reached base in 18 games, the longest of any player this season.

5 Pac-12 Teams Finish Regular Season in Top 10

 

ASU_UCLAThe Arizona State Sun Devils dropped the weekend series to UCLA, yet only fell one spot with Arizona doing the same, dropping its series to Washington. Here’s how the Pac-12 fared in the latest release of the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll:

No. 1 Oregon (49-7-1, 20-3-1 Pac-12)

Oregon traveled to Tucson to take on the No. 9 Wildcats and managed two wins in a stadium where no visiting team had won this season. Sophomore ace Cheridan Hawkins went the distance on Thursday and worked a run-rule victory on Saturday. Hawkins picked up her 29th and 30th wins while striking out 17 batters while only walking three. Oregon finished the regular season as the top-ranked team for the sixth consecutive week and was named the overall No. 1 seed for the NCAA softball championships.

Catcher Janelle Lindvall paced the Ducks’ offense with 5-of-9 hitting with six RBI, including a home run on Thursday and a double in the finale. Center fielder Koral Costa also knocked a two-run HR in Saturday’s 14-3 slufgest. Oregon hosts Albany, Utah Valley and Wisconsin in the regional round this weekend.

No. 2 UCLA (48-6, 19-5 Pac-12)

Ally Carda

Ally Carda

No. 2 UCLA also completed the regular season in Arizona, with the Bruins visiting Tempe and Arizona State. After suffering a 2-0 shutout Thursday night, junior pitcher Ally Carda revived UCLA with wins on Friday and Saturday. Carda, Thursday night’s starter, won both games in relief, taking over for Paige McDuffee and Jessica Hall. Carda fanned 21 Sun Devils in 17.2 innings pitched.

The National Player of the Year candidate also knocked a two-run HR in Friday night’s extra-inning matchup, finishing 2-of-4 with three RBI and four runs scored. The monster effort from Carda earned her the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week nod, her third of the season.

The Bruins are the NCAA championship’s No. 3 national seed and host Long Beach State, Notre Dame and Southern Utah in the regional round.

No. 4 Arizona State (44-10-1, 15-7-1 Pac-12)

 

The Sun Devils have faced the top two teams in the country the past two weeks, finishing with an admirable 2-3-1 record against the cream of the nation’s crop. Senior pitcher Dallas Escobedo pitched a two-hit masterpiece Thursday night, shutting out the Bruins for the first time, 2-0. The first-inning home run by catcher Amber Freeman, a team-tying 11th on the season, brought the only scoring in the pitchers’ duel.

Friday night’s game also went down to the wire with the Sun Devils taking a 5-4 lead in the fourth inning, only to allow the Bruins back into the game in the seventh inning and ultimately lose in the ninth. Senior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle finished the weekend with 3-of-7 hitting with three RBI including a two-run HR on Saturday. Arizona State was named the No. 9 national seed and hosts No. 13 Michigan along with San Diego State and Dartmouth in the NCAA regionals this weekend.

 

No. 8 Washington (33-13, 13-9 Pac-12)

Bryana Walker

Bryana Walker

Washington stayed put at the No. 8 spot despite making quick work of the California Golden Bears over the weekend. Senior pitcher Kaitlin Inglesby picked up her 12th win on Thursday and pitched a masterful performance on Saturday, giving up only one hit in a 14-0 run-rule victory. Fellow senior Bryana Walker picked up the save on Thursday night and her 18th win on Friday.

The Huskies’ bats were electric in Berkeley, outscoring the Bears 27-4. Kylee Lahners paced UW with five RBI, including a double on Saturday and two home runs. Not to be outdone, senior first baseman Hooch Fagaly also knocked homers on Friday and Saturday and finished the weekend 4-of-9 with four RBI and three runs scored. The 12-seeded Huskies host BYU, Iona and Northwestern in the regional round.

No. 10 Arizona (40-11, 13-8 Pac-12)

Arizona dropped back-to-back series for the first time this season after losing two of three to the No. 1 Ducks last weekend. The Wildcats suffered their first loss at home on Thursday night and their second mercy-rule loss of the season on Saturday – all in the final week of the season. Under the bright Friday night lights and in front of 2,566 fans, Arizona erupted for 11 runs, including a six-run first inning over Oregon’s Karissa Hovinga, who suffered only her second loss of the season.

Chelsea Goodacre, Katiyana Mauga and Kelsey Rodriguez all connected with long balls on Friday, while Estela Pinon earned her 17th win on the year and Shelby Babcock collected her second save. Rodriguez finished the weekend with a double, two homers and three RBI while Goodacre hit 5-of-8, including two doubles and a home run. Arizona received the No. 11 national seed and hosts No. 23 LSU along with Louisville and Boston University this weekend in the regionals.

Arizona State Baseball: Sun Devils Secure Series Win Over Oregon

Drew Stankiewicz-ASU Athletics

TEMPE, Ariz.—  The Arizona State baseball team has 12 wins over nationally ranked teams this year and has walked away with series wins over three in the top 15—including two on the road. The Sun Devils (26-21, 14-10 Pac-12) took two from No. 9 Oregon (36-16, 14-10 Pac-12) this weekend and moved into a third place tie with the Ducks in the Pac-12 Conference.

Coach Tim Esmay’s squad has won eight of its past 12 games at home and have only four games remaining in the forty-year old Packard Stadium before moving to nearby Phoenix Municipal Stadium beginning in 2015.>>>Read more on College Baseball Central

 

5 of Nation’s Top 10 Teams From the Pac-12

ASU OregonThe Washington Huskies return to the top 10 and leapfrog the Arizona Wildcats while the top three teams in the nation represent the Pac-12 Conference. Here’s how the Pac-12 fared in the latest release of the USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll:

No. 1 Oregon (47-6-1, 18-2-1 Pac-12)

Despite only winning once in their past three games, the Ducks managed to hold on to their first-place ranking for a fifth straight week. Oregon dropped the series opener to No. 3 Arizona State, 4-2 due to fielding errors in the sixth inning. Sophomore ace Cheridan Hawkins fanned 10 batters in 6.2 innings and was the hard-luck loser, dropping to 28-4 on the season. The Ducks roared back on Saturday and run-ruled the Sun Devils for the first time since 2010.

Catcher Janelle Lindvall powered a huge nine-run second inning with a 2-of-3 performance resulting in two RBI and two runs scored. Pinch hitter Stevie Joe Knapp threw the knock-out punch with her three-run homer in the sixth inning. Sunday’s game was declared a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning after rain delays of 34 and 36 minutes. Oregon ends the season on the road at Arizona on a Thursday to Saturday set.

No. 2 UCLA (46-5, 17-4 Pac-12)

Ally Carda

Ally Carda

Taking their cue from Oregon, the Bruins dropped their series opener to Stanford, 12-9. Trailing 12-4 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, UCLA rallied to score five runs, however that would not be enough to overcome the eight-run deficit.

Also following suit with Oregon, UCLA would run-rule its opponent on Saturday, 9-0 in five innings.

Junior Ally Carda continued her domination on both sides of the ball, knocking in a three-run homerun and pitching a three-hit shutout en route to her 26th win of the season. Carda roared back on Sunday, breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning on a two-run homer and then improved to 27-4 after picking up the win in relief. UCLA sees its final opponent of the regular season in Tempe when it takes on Arizona State beginning Thursday night.

No. 3 Arizona State (42-7, 13-4 Pac-12)

The Sun Devils visited the top-ranked Oregon Ducks and only lost once, a remarkable feat in itself. In Friday’s matchup, shortstop Cheyenne Coyle shocked Oregon by knocking a solo homer off ace Cheridan Hawkins in the first inning. The Ducks would strike back, scoring two runs in the fourth inning before the Devils rallied for three runs in the sixth. Senior pitcher Dallas Escobedo proved once again that she is one of the best pitchers in the country, striking out eight Ducks batters and allowing only five hits.

Saturday’s game was an emotional letdown after topping the No. 1 team in the country and the Devils were shelled for nine runs in the second inning while only managing three hits in six innings. The rain-interrupted game on Sunday saw Escobedo return to the circle and second baseman Nikki Girard pace the offense. Girard hit 2-of-2 with two RBI and a run scored, and it was her two-run homer that put the Devils up 2-0 in the fifth inning. Arizona State hosts No. 2 UCLA this weekend to complete the 2014 regular season.

No. 8 Washington (30-13, 10-9 Pac-12)

Hooch Fagaly

Hooch Fagaly

The Huskies jumped three spots and returned to the top 10 after taking two of three from visiting Arizona.The Huskies battled on Friday as the teams were knotted at seven runs apiece heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Senior first baseman Hooch Fagaly stepped up big, delivering a walk-off grand-slam home run. Fagaly hit 4-of-6 over the weekend with four RBI and five runs scored, and was namedPac-12 Player of the Week for her efforts.

Senior pitcher Bryana Walker picked up the win in relief of Kaitlin Inglesby. Saturday’s game was rained out, so Walker returned to the circle Sunday morning to shut out the Wildcats, surrendering only one hit in the mercy-rule five-inning game, 8-0.

Walker’s luck would run out in the second game of the doubleheader as she was a handed a 2-0 loss despite surrendering only four hits over three innings. Inglesby pitched the final four innings, but neither team would plate another run. The Huskies travel to Berkeley this weekend to finish their season against Cal.

No. 9 Arizona (40-11, 13-8 Pac-12)

The Wildcats dropped their third series of the year, losing two of three to Washington and remaining stagnant in the polls. On Friday, Arizona jumped out early on Washington starter Kaitlin Ingelesby with three runs in the first inning and three more in the fourth. First baseman Hallie Wilson fueled the Wildcat offense with 3-of-4 hitting and her 13th home run. Not to be outdone, catcher Chelsea Goodacre knocked a two-run shot, her 21st of the season to tie the NCAA lead with homers on the season.

After the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, senior pitcher Estela Pinon took the circle for the second game and pitched a two-hit gem that moved her record to 15-5. Shortstop Kellie Fox hit 2-of-3, but it was Kelsey Rodriguez who was the hero with a two-run shot in the third inning. The ‘Cats host the top-ranked Oregon Ducks this weekend in Tucson.