Tanque Verde's Mark Harris, waiting for a throw in the 1A state title game last year, is hitting .587 this year and is 7-0 on the mound. PAT SHANNAHAN / THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC 2010

Most everything about Tanque Verde's baseball game against St. David on Wednesday afternoon was normal.

The matchup saw the two top teams in the 1A South go at it in front of a normal-sized crowd.

In the middle of that crowd though was the reason it wasn't just another game. A scout from the Detroit Tigers was in the stands to catch a glimpse of Tanque Verde senior Mark Harris.

Not that abnormal for high school baseball, but definitely unique on Wednesday considering Tanque Verde is a 1A program.

"(Harris) is playing at a very high level," coach Jim Lawwill said. "That's really the only way to describe it."

Harris, a 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pound shortstop/pitcher, has been about as effective as possible.

Offensively, he's hitting .587 through 56 plate appearances with five home runs, 12 doubles, 29 RBIs and 27 runs scored.

He has collected at least one hit and one RBI in each of Tanque Verde's 16 games and scored at least one run in 15 of the 16.

"He's very confident at the plate," Lawwill said. "He can get around on anyone's fastball and can hit the off-speed stuff well."

His offensive numbers are staggering, no doubt, but they don't hold a candle to what he's done on the mound.

Harris started the season with three straight no-hitters. None of the games went a full seven innings, but it's impressive nonetheless.

All together, Harris is 7-0 in seven starts with seven complete games and four shutouts. He has struck out 63 batters in 35 innings and has given up just two earned runs on the season, giving him a 0.40 ERA.

The senior throws in the mid to upper 80s and has hit 90 mph on the radar gun. He also features a curveball and a change-up.

"He never gets rattled out there," Lawwill said. "People try to take him out of his game with bunts and things, but he moves around very well and fields his position.

"There are moments where he can be overwhelming."

Harris, who is regarded as a pitching and hitting prospect, will likely have to choose one to focus on to benefit his future.

Lawwill said Harris has several offers from Division II and III schools and will wait to commit to a school. The two schools showing the most interest right now are University of Redlands and Chapman University, a pair of Division III schools in California.

The Major League Baseball draft remains a possibility, but Harris will likely go the college route to start.

Local teams in national poll

Two Southern Arizona softball teams made an appearance in the latest ESPN Rise Top 50 national rankings.

Canyon del Oro (22-1) is the highest-ranked team from the state of Arizona, checking in at No. 10. Sahuaro (20-1) is No. 22 in the rankings.

CDO beat Sahuaro 10-5 earlier this season in the Dorado Classic.

Quick hits

• Sierra Vista Buena basketball standouts Merle Branch and Devonte Malcolm have made their college choices for next year. Branch will attend Western New Mexico, while Malcolm, an All-Southern Arizona first-team selection, will head to Trinidad (Colo.) State Junior College.

• New England Patriots All-Pro receiver Wes Welker was at Salpointe this week to present an award to UA signee Jacob Arzouman. Arzouman was selected as the school's Old Spice Player of the Year. The school won a national competition to have Welker come there to present the award.


Tanque Verde's Mark Harris isn't the only player from a small school making big noise this season. Here's a look at three other Southern Arizonans putting up big numbers.

• Cole Plouck, Empire. Left-handed pitcher, first baseman. Stats: 4-2, 1.62 ERA, 62 Ks, 34 2/3 IP.

• Trevor Beck, Desert Christian. Pitcher, infielder. Pitching stats: 4-1, 2.83 ERA, 46 Ks, 42 IP. Hitting stats: .492 batting average, eight doubles, 24 RBIs.

• Mike Skiles, Tombstone. Left-handed pitcher, first baseman. Stats: .614 batting average, 56 at-bats, 17 RBIs, six doubles.