Best of the West Tournament update
2010 Best of the West champion Pinnacle remained undefeated on the year, going 1-0-1 in the opening games to open pool play in the 2011 edition. The Pioneers tied their game with Mountain Ridge 4-4 on Saturday. They will take on defending Oklahoma 6A state champion Tulsa Union this afternoon. Liberty, who faced Pinnacle in the Cleats 101 championship last weekend also tied and won their opening games, beating rival Sunrise Mountain 7-6 in the first ever meeting between the two programs before tying Fort Collins (CO) 7-7. Millenium won both of its opening games and has now won 5 of their past 6 and look like they could make a run at the tourney title. Millenium’s Tatum Hendrix continued his hot hitting, smashing 3 HRs against Casa Grande, giving him 6 on the season.
Other AZ notes
-Gilbert survived a scare on Friday, knocking off Centennial 13-10. The Tigers came back strong on Saturday, crushing Skyline 12-1 to open the Gilbert/Mesquite tournament. The Tigers have now won 5 of their past 6, with the lone loss coming to Mesquite in the Scottsdale QB Club Invitational Championship game. They will be back in action today against Red Mountain in League play before resuming the Gilbert/Mesquite tourney with a tough matchup against offensive powerhouse Mountain Point tomorrow.
-Salpointe Catholic will host the 32-team Lance Classic starting today in Tucson. The field includes teams from 5 states. Check back for updates throughout the tournament in our News & Notes blog.
-Saguaro will host the 38-team Saguaro Spring Training Invitational beginning this afternoon.
Defending 7A Champions take first loss
Bryant opened their title defense in 2011 with three straight wins before dropping a tough one in their matchup with rival Benton 8-6 on Saturday. Benton’s Stuart Levy snapped the 6-6 deadlock with a 2-run single in the 6th inning to move the Panthers to 5-2 on the year. Bryant will open up conference play tomorrow against Little Rock Central.
Chatsworth Captures Easton SoCal Showdown
The Chatsworth Chancellors pulled out a come from behind win over Valencia on Saturday night to win the Easton SoCal Showdown. Both teams entered the game undefeated, Valencia falls to 4-1, Chatsworth moves to 5-0. Valencia had a 5-0 lead in the 5th inning, before Chatsworth stormed back with 3 in the 5th and a 5-run 6th to win 8-5.
Chatsworth won’t have long to celebrate though, with a tough matchup tonight against 15th ranked Bishop Amat at USC.
Owens K’s 16 in Loara Championship
Vista Murrieta’s impressive run through the Loara tournament came to a halt when they ran into Henry Owens in the championship game on Saturday. Owens struck out 16. The win moves 5th ranked Edison to 5-0 on the season. Vista Murrieta dropped to 4-1, after beating very good teams in Lakewood (19-0) and El Toro to reach the finals. Vista Murrieta threatened in the bottom of the 7th, getting the tying run into scoring position. But Owens came through in the clutch, finishing off his complete game, 3-hit performance to earn the victory.
Mitty Knocks off Elk Grove in battle of traditional NorCal powers
24th ranked Archbishop Mitty knocked off a very strong Elk Grove squad 6-3 on Saturday. An impressive bounce back performance by the Monarchs who have now won back to back games coming off a disappointing loss to Wilcox in the Mike Hazlett tournament championship game last week. Sean Downey got the win in his first start of the season, Brett Fuller nailed down the Save. Kyle Alwyn lead the way offensively for Mitty, going 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBIs to improve his season batting average to .500. Elk Grove was previously unbeaten and looks to be a very strong team this season.
Other tournament results
-Oxnard moved to 5-0 winning the Southern California Invitational Championship game 3-1 over Simi Valley Royal.
-Chaminade Prep continued to struggle offensively while getting solid pitching, dropping their 2nd game of the season, 4-2 to Hart in the East SoCal Showdown consolation bracket. The Eagles will look to get back on track tomorrow when they send ace Matt Troupe to the mound to face Alemany in their Mission League opener.
-St. John Bosco won the El Seguno and now sits at 5-0. Yet another strong start to the season by a Trinity League team, which is making a strong case in the early part of the season for toughest league on the entire west coast. St. John Bosco will be tested in their League opener against Orange Lutheran on Friday.
Defending champs fall to 2-2
The season got off to a good start for defending New Mexico 5A champion La Cueva, as they crushed Artisco 16-0. Since then they have lost 2 of 3 and find themselves sitting at .500 entering this week’s tournament. The 10-9 loss at Rio Grande goes to show that no matter how good a team looks on paper they still have to go out and execute in order to win games. It will be interesting to see how the Bears respond to the early season wake-up call.
Owasso splits pair in Florida
The 6th ranked Rams got their trip to Florida off to a great start on Friday, beating Winter Haven 7-0 on the strength of a Dylan Bundy no-hitter. Saturday they dropped a tough one 5-4 to Lake Wales for their first loss of the season. Owasso could get a chance at revenge in the Terry Donley Blue Devil Classic which begins today in Winter Haven, Florida. The two teams would meet in the semi-finals should they both win their matchups tomorrow.
Jenks Bounces Back, Sweeps Doubleheader
The Trojans picked themselves up and dusted themselves off after being no-hit by the 3rd ranked team in the nation, Broken Arrow, on Thursday. They faced the top two pitchers on arguably the best pitching staff in America in Archie Bradley and Mason Hope. The Trojans bounced back from that 7-0 loss by sweeping Southmore and Edmond North on Saturday, 12-8 and 5-2 respectively. Jenks will be back in action on Friday when they hit the road to face Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Brenham wins Alumni Tournament
Brenham got plenty of offense in their 14-4 blowout victory over Moody in the Alumni Tournament Championship. 1B Colten Walla hit a grand slam and OF Collin Crenshaw added a 3-run bomb. The Cubs improved to 12-4-1 on the season and have played very well of late, going 5-0 this week.
Austin ISD Tournament: Lamar impesses, Lehman takes home hardware
Lamar went 3-0-1 over the weekend to improve to 10-1-1 on the season. Jimmy Wadman threw a complete game shutout against Grapevine 10-0. But it was Lehman who captured the tournament championship, knocking off Austin-LBJ 2-1. Lehman won all four tournament games and is now on a 5-game winning streak to improve to 8-6 for the year.
Klein Collins MIF producing big numbers at the plate
2B Austin Dean has been on fire in the early season for Klein Collins. After going 13-for-20 with 4 home runs, 11 RBI and 14 runs in six games on opening week, Dean now has 7 Home Runs on the year. He currently leads all Houston area players. His teammate, SS CJ Hinojosa had a monster week this week, going 14-for-22 with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs. These two form one of the best MIF in the entire country and a big reason why 17th ranked Klein Collins is seen as a legitimate contender for the 5A state title this season.
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