Mesquite, Salpointe Head to The ‘Ship
Forgive Seton Catholic Coach Brian Stephenson if he doesn’t miss Mesquite’s TJ Clarkson when the senior lefty graduates later this month.
Clarkson continued to be kryptonite for the Sentinels on Wednesday night, knotching his 3rd win of the season against Seton as Mesquite blanked its region rival 5-0.
Clarkson moved to 9-0 on the year, tossing a complete game one hitter with 12 punch outs.
In 3 outings against Seton, Clarkson has thrown 18 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits with 30 Ks and a 3-0 record.
The big southpaw took a no-no into the 6th inning before Rocco Gump lined a 2 out single to center field for Seton’s lone knock.
Clarkson helped himself at the plate as well, cranking a first inning 2 out double. Courtesy runner Thomas Vogiatzis would then score on a line single to left off the bat of Davis Heller to make it 1-0.
Seton starter Mike Kenney did a great job of keeping the Sentinels in the game, holding the ‘cats scoreless for the next 3 innings before showing signs of fatigue in the 5th.
Daniel Johnson led off the inning with a walk, and Holden Breeze followed with a single to put runners at first and second.
The Sentinels then made a pitching change, bringing shortstop Ryan Johnson to the mound to face Grant Gorrell, who laid down a sac bunt to move the runners to second and third, and forcing Stephenson to make a tough decision.
With Clarkson stepping to the dish, Seton opted to issue an intentional walk to load the bases for Heller.
On a 3-2 count, Heller launched a laser beam line drive over the head of left fielder Kyle Ferrance for a bases clearing double to make it 4-0 and it was good night now.
Heller would move to third on a wild pitch and score on Jayden Orozco’s sac fly to make it 5-0.
Heller finished the day 2-3 with 4 RBIs and a run scored, and stole a bag for good measure.
Mesquite will face off with Salpointe on Monday night at Hohokam Stadium for the 4a State Championship.
Salpointe 8 Vista Grande 4
Salpointe scored runs in the first 5 innings and cruised to an 8-4 win over Vista Grande to advance to the 4A State Championship game.
The Lancers pounded out 11 hits in the game.
Romeo Ballesteros was 2-3 with double, 2 RBIs and a run scored.
Nano Vasquez went 2-4 with a triple, an RBI and 2 runs.
Ricky Santiago was 2-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored
Levi Padilla doubled and was 2-3 with an RBI and a run.
Jaeden Swanberg tossed 5 innings to get the W, allowing 4 hits and fanning 4.
Ray Aguilar worked 2 scoreless frames in relief.