Sports Stories

Defensive problems continued to hold back the Sedona Red Rock High School baseball team, this time resulting in a 9-8 away loss to Paradise Honors High School on Tuesday, April 11.

Leading 6-1 after the top of the fifth inning, a Scorpions [3-8, 2-3 Central] error allowed the Panthers to knot the game at six, and from there rode momentum to the Central Region victory. The loss also dropped the team to fourth in the region standings.

“The root of the game was there were a lot of physical errors on the defensive side,” Red Rock head coach Craig Eagle said. “They should not have scored more than one or two runs. They didn’t hit the ball hard.”

Junior Michael Ortega has led the charge offensively during the team’s last five games, accumulating 12 hits, 11 RBI and nine runs scored. Ortega came through with a two-out, two-run double to give Red Rock an 8-7 lead in the seventh inning. But in the bottom half of the frame, a leadoff walk put the game-tying run on base.

A double immediately plated the run, and a follow-up single ended the game.

After accomplishing the five-run comeback off the back of a Red Rock error in the fifth inning, Paradise Honors was not deterred when Ortega tied the game with a half inning left.

“They still had their confidence, they hit the ball, and it was the bottom of the order,” Eagle said.

Two Panther runs crossed home without them having to swing the bat. Their first score of the day walked to get on, and a bases-loaded walk sent him home. The 6-2 run also found its way on the base paths after a base on balls.
The Scorpions also committed five errors, four directly resulting in Paradise Honors runs.

“I don’t know if it’s nervousness or mental ... it came down to bad throws and misplays on ground balls,” Eagle said. “In practice they make throws just fine, but once the game is on it’s a whole different story it seems sometimes.”

Paradise Honors managed just one base runner in each of its three scoreless innings and left eight runs on the base paths.

The last time out on March 21, the Scorpions beat the Panthers 12-2 after jumping out to a 6-1 lead in the second inning. This time around they did not score those early runs, but they had the opportunity to.

With the bases loaded in the first, senior Walker Cox struck out.

“We came out a little flat, we didn’t get out of the gate and left lots of runners on base,” Eagle said.
A total of 12 Scorpions runners were stranded.

But in the second, Scorpion sophomore Ryan Farmer reached on an error and later scored on a Winston Cox single to tie it.

Two innings later Red Rock produced four more runs. Sophomore Clark Borjon earned a leadoff walk, stole second and touched home on a Jake Hobson single. Freshman Michael Lagorio followed with an RBI triple, and the run ended when Farmer hit an RBI ground out.

Borjon scored the seventh run after Farmer drew a walk in the fifth.

Thursday, April 13, was senior day for the Scorpions. Randy Rodriguez, Dawson Barber and Walker Cox were the three honored after the team’s game against Bagdad High School. Results for that game were not available at press time.

The second Verde Valley rivalry game of the year will be played at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at Camp Verde High School.


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