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Baseball: Teams prepare for hectic spring break schedule

Mountain View has had nine different pitchers earn a victory. (Jason P. Skoda/MyNewsMesa.com)

Spring break means a boatload of games for baseball teams.

The area teams are heading off to different tournaments with the majority at Highland for the Bob Everett Spring Classic while a couple of others take on the challenge of the Boras Classic at Corona del Sol.

Five of the teams are off to a quality start at about 10 games into the season.

Red Mountain began the year as one of the state contenders, and still feel good about what’s ahead after winning six of its first 10 games, especially when looking at the 4-1 power point record.

“We were working through some things early on,” Mountain Lion coach Ross Pagel said. “A lot of coaches were not going with their best pitchers and throw some other kids. We beat Mesquite and we lost to Hamilton. We’re in a good spot right now.”

Some of Red Mountain’s top players are off to slow starts and the Mountain Lions, who had some junior pitchers quit to hurt team depth, are still playing well because others players have stepped up to give the team a spark.

“We’ve had some of our seniors really step up,” Pagel said. “What we are seeing is that guys who didn’t have big numbers (last year) have matured and are coming through, while some of our big guys are trying to do too much to show that they are worth that scholarship.”

Left-hander Kai Murphy has been strong on the mound the last two starts after some struggles in the season opener against Desert Vista.

“For me these first few starts have been a learning experience, trying to take everything I worked on this offseason and put it all together in game situations,” the Oregon State commit said. “I was fortunate enough to get to work with some great baseball minds this offseason and I think I am just now beginning to tap into the player I can be. Being able to throw all my pitches for strikes in any count has also helped me stay ahead on the mound.”

While the Mountain Lions were expected to be a contender, Mountain View is playing like it to start the year. The Toros have won nine of their first 10 games behind depth in the pitching staff – nine different pitchers have a win – and an offense that puts the ball in play to put pressure on the defense.

“I’m really pleased with our overall play,” Mountain View coach Mike Thiel said. “We really haven’t had our No. 1 (John Neeley) pitch much yet and we’re swinging it pretty good.”

The Toros, who are 5-0 in power point games, have played at a high level and will be tested in the first-round of the Boras Classic as they face 4A Nevada state champion Basic High, which brings back a strong core.

“We are excited to see what we can do this week,” Thiel said of the 16-team bracket. “We’re going to play the first game straight and if we win it we will try and go win it all. If we lose that first one and we can’t win it all then we will get some other guys innings and at bats.

“Right now, we want to ride this level of play as long as we can.”

Here is a look at each team as tournament week begins:

Desert Ridge

Record: 3-8

Tournament: Bob Everett Spring Break Classic

Leaders: Matt Bailey .333 (6 for 18), four runs, three doubles, three RBIs; JC Dyer .316 (6 for 19), three doubles, five RBIs; Noah Michel 0-2, 3.18 ERA (5 ER in 11 IP), Branden Cohn 9 Ks in 11.3 IP


Record: 4-5

Tournament: Bob Everett Spring Classic

Leaders: Ben Ferguson .417 (10 for 24), eight runs, four doubles, two home runs, six RBIs); KeKe Romero-Miranda .333 (6 for 18), four runs, four RBIs; Cuba Miranda .333 (5 for 15); Trevor Neilson 1-1, 3.28 ERA; Romero-Miranda 1-2, 2.21 ERA, 11 Ks in 12.6 IP.


Record: 6-2

Tournament: Bob Everett Spring Break Classic

Leaders: Not listed on MaxPreps

Mountain View

Record: 9-1

Tournament: Boras Baseball Classic

Leaders: Sean Rimmer .480 (12 for 25), 13 runs, three doubles, two home runs, 11 RBIs; Brandon Todd .455 (10 for 22), five runs, five doubles, five RBIs; Joe Georgini .429 (10 for 22), five runs, three doubles, eight RBIs; Cam Jowaiszas .308 (8 for 26), six runs, four doubles, home run, 13 RBIs; Georgini 1-0, 1.05 ERA (1 ER in 6.6 IP);  John Neeley 1-0 0.00 (0 ER in 8 IP).

Red Mountain

Record: 6-4

Tournament: Boras Baseball Classic

Leaders: Andrew Hayes .550 (11 for 20), four runs, two doubles, nine RBIs; Riley Pagel .452 (14 for 31), eight runs, six doubles, 13 RBIs; Luke Hydzu .414 (12 of 29) 15 runs, four doubles, two home runs, six RBIs; Kai Murphy 2-1, 1.75 ERA (4 ER, 16 IP, 19Ks); Conner Thurman 2-0, 4.29 ERA (10 ER, 16.3 IP, 27Ks).


Record: 7-3

Tournament: Bob Everett Classic

Leaders: Not enough games on MaxPreps


Record: 7-4

Tournament: Best of the West Spring Classic

Leaders: Ryan Pothumus 3-0.

– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to jskoda@mynewsmesa.com.

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