Maricopa Rams’ baseball ends season on high note

Karyn Speer Photo

MARICOPA, Ariz. —  The Maricopa High School baseball program struggled in the final month of the season, losing nine straight. However, the Rams took the final game with an 8-4 win over Poston Butte High in SanTan Valley last Wednesday.

Sophomore Tyler Rapp paced the Rams, hitting 3-of-4 with an RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored.

Senior pitcher Dillon Moran pitched six innings of six-hit baseball, issuing four strikeouts and allowing only three earned runs to pick up his second win of the season.

Senior Tristan Hartley pitched an artful inning of relief, retiring the Broncos in order in the seventh.

The Rams would finish the season 8-17 overall and 2-9 in section play. Coach Andrew Pollak’s squad only managed two wins at home.

Dallas Speer

Dallas Speer

Final season stats show that senior Bernardo Juarez led all batters with a .364 batting average. Tyler Rapp’s .323 average was the best among players with a minimum of 50 at-bats. Rapp led the team with 19 runs scored.

Junior Nick Diaz was the star from the plate and was the only player to record a home run this season, and he did it three times. Diaz also paced the team with 12 RBIs and was tied for most triples (1) and total hits (21) with seniors Noah Anderson and Hartley, respectively.

Senior pitchers Moran, Hartley and Dallas Speer were the heart of the Rams’ pitching staff. Speer led all pitchers with 57 strikeouts while Hartley issued the fewest walks among the three with 19. Speer allowed the fewest hits (37) while Hartley allowed the fewest earned runs (21).

Rapp and freshman Jackson Stensgard are the only returning pitchers with seven pitchers graduating this month.

Softball recap

The varsity softball team was not as fortunate, finishing the season on a nine-game losing streak, including the final two at home. The Lady Rams took a 4-0 lead into the fifth inning over Poston Butte last Wednesday but allowed three runs in the fifth and five in the sixth before falling 8-6 at home.

Coach Chris Ansley’s squad finished the season 11-16 overall and 1-8 in section. The Rams were 7-9 at home including a 6-0 sweep of the Krystin Diehl Softball Tournament and 4-7 away from home.

Through 25 of 27 games, senior catcher Madi Moncel led the Rams with a .437 batting average, 31 hits and was tied with junior Shay Barney with three triples.

Chelsea Trejo & Madi Moncel

Chelsea Trejo & Madi Moncel

Senior third baseman Madi Byrd tied for most doubles (8) and home runs (1) with junior Isabel McCloskey. Freshman Kayla Martinez knocked in a home run this season.

McClosley was an RBI machine with 31 RBIs in 25 games, averaging 1.24 RBI per game.

Senior second baseman Chelsea Trejo led the Lady Rams with 24 runs scored and was also tied for most doubles with Byrd and McCloskey.

The pitching rotation of junior Victoria Andrade and sophomores Amber Cramer and Yasmin Santa Cruz will all return next season and will look to lead the team to the playoffs.

Andrade was the team workhorse, starting 14 of 25 games. Andrade fanned 47 batters while surrendering only 23 walks. Cramer, in her seven starts and 11 total appearances garnered four wins and struck out 20 batters while only walking five.

The heart of the varsity softball team could be difficult to replace, losing seniors Moncel, Trejo and Rosie Naranjo. McCloskey, Barney, along with Sam Dugan and Alison Korittky, are likely the team leaders in the 2015 season.

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