High school baseball: Sahuarita 4, Cienega 3: Santa Cruz drives in winning run, picks up victory in relief

2012-03-15T00:00:00Z High school baseball: Sahuarita 4, Cienega 3: Santa Cruz drives in winning run, picks up victory in reliefDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 15, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Sahuarita freshman Sati Santa Cruz knows how to do it all but he really isn't sure how to take it all in yet.

Especially after the Mustangs' wild 4-3 walk-off win over Cienega on Tuesday in the Tucson Conquistadores Lancer Baseball Classic.

Santa Cruz not only drove in the winning run but he also pitched two scoreless innings in relief of starter Joe Carrillo to earn the win.

"I'm so excited," Santa Cruz said, "just happy, I can't even really speak right now because I'm so happy."

It was the third and final day of pool play of the 24-team tournament hosted by Salpointe Catholic at the Reid Park Annex. Seeded play begins today and the finals are on Friday.

Sahuarita coach Sam Gelardi said his game felt like it was already in seeded play.

"It had a playoff atmosphere I think," he said, "and I had kids that didn't even know they were going to be part of it become the true champions."

Along with Santa Cruz, Jacob Jaeger and Rocco Vega were those surprise champions.

Santa Cruz was the most obvious hero of the night when he sliced a full-count line drive to the right side with no outs and the bases loaded to bring in senior Jesus Romero for the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. He said he was expecting a fastball down the middle because a ball would walk in the winning run.

"I just sat back and drove in the run," Santa Cruz said.

In the top half of the seventh with two outs, Jaeger kept the Bobcats (11-3) from scoring a go-ahead run when he made a perfect throw from left field to home and catcher Gordon Emerson tagged out Cienega's Matt Stewart.

"It was a two-hopper right to me and I just threw a strike to home," Jaeger said.

Vega, a sophomore, relieved starting catcher Jose Alvarez early in the game because of an injury suffered in a previous game. In Vega's first at-bat in the fourth inning, he singled on a drive to right field to bring in two runs and give Sahuarita (8-3) a 3-1 lead, it's first of the game.

Two batters before Vega, junior Cesar Felix singled to snap a stretch of seven straight Mustangs retired by Cienega pitcher Jake Repavich, who took the loss.

Cienega tied the game in the sixth when TJ Snyder scored just one batter after he launched a triple to the right side. He was the final batter Carrillo faced in five innings of work.

Carrillo threw 31 pitches in the first inning and almost immediately loaded the bases, but he escaped by giving up only one run when he walked Daniel Gonzales to bring in Snyder.

Cienega coach Tony Gabusi said his team lost, in part, because it was unable to capitalize on opportunities like it did in the first.

"We just didn't put the ball in play enough to score runs," he said. "The good part about it is that we need to get used to playing close games."

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Latest Video

More videos

Election 2014: Columnist Tim Steller reviews attack ads

The Star's Tim Steller and Joe Ferguson break down campaign attack ads.


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...