state Baseball: Apaches win shocker; I-Ridge earns victory

2013-05-03T00:00:00Z state Baseball: Apaches win shocker; I-Ridge earns victoryJason Harris Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SURPRISE - It only seemed fitting in a city called Surprise that Nogales would pull off one of the biggest stunners in the Division II state baseball tournament.

The 10th-seeded Apaches shocked No. 2 Phoenix Greenway 7-4 on Thursday night, snapping the Demons' 29-game win streak.

Dedicating their play this season to Austin Grijalva, a teammate battling leukemia, the Apaches manufactured runs all night at Surprise Stadium with timely base running and an unselfish approach at the plate. Nogales will play Ironwood Ridge at 4 p.m. Saturday at Camelback Ranch Stadium in Phoenix.

"We are playing with heavy hearts," Nogales coach Oscar Favela said. "He's fighting for his life, and we are fighting for him. Every win is for him."

After losing its 2-1 lead on a balk call in the bottom of the fourth, Nogales regained the lead, 5-3, when Al Cruz had a two-run double in the fifth.

The Apaches would tack on two more in the seventh and hold on for the win.

"We bounced right back and put the pressure back on them," said Favela. "I can't say enough about my pitcher. He was a bulldog out there."

Senior Marcel Renteria gave up four runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out six, including the final two batters. He also went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and scored two runs.

• Ironwood Ridge 3, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep 1: At Surprise Stadium, the sixth-seeded Nighthawks took down No. 3 Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep in the quarterfinals of the Division II state tournament.

The Nighthawks (25-5) scored all the runs they would need in the first inning with the help of three consecutive singles and an error by right fielder Cody Fisher.

Sophomore pitcher Matt Blandeburgo did the rest. He gave up one run and three hits in seven innings, recording four strikeouts and one timely double play in the sixth inning, two batters after plunking the leadoff man.

"He pitched his butt off today," Nighthawks coach Dennis Toia said. "Absolutely killed it."

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