Zach Davies took the mound Thursday in a big game against the highest scoring lineup in the state. The undersized Arizona State commit came up big, scattering 5 hits in a dominant complete game performance to knock off the 16th ranked team in the nation, Hamilton.
Ron Brenham of Arizona Diamond Report said of Davis "It was the same Davies we've grown accustomed to seeing.He sat 90-91 early and had command of 4 pitches, including a high 70s breaking ball that at times is a knee buckler. He was still working at 88 in the 7th.He's a strike throwing machine with great mound presence and poise."
Davies (3-0), who lowered his ERA to 1.67, also got things started for the Wildcat offense in the 1st by stealing second and coming around to score on OF Garrett Jeffries' RBI single. OF Matt Porterson provided all of the rest of the run support that Davies would need with a solo Home Run in the 2nd. Mesquite tacked on 5 more runs for good measure. Lane Doty went 2-for-3 with a double, Nick Rosales was 2-for-4, as was Jeffries.
The lone Husky run came on a solo Homer in the 2nd by OF Parker Osborne. Hamilton's was coming off an 11-1 blowout win the previous day of Buena the previous day, in a game that saw the Huskies pile up 13 hits, including a pair of Home Runs by Mitch Nay. The loss drops the Huskies to 11-3, snapping a 4-game win streak. The sledding doesn't get any easier for the Huskies who return to action on Monday in the Big League Dugout National Invitational tournament. They open the tournament with a matchup against Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman, winners of 5 consecutive state championships and currently ranked 9th in the country.
With the win Mesquite extends their winning streak to 11 games, dating back to February 28th. They won't have long to celebrate though, as they take on Central League opponent Highland this afternoon.
This week the high school baseball world turns its eyes towards the desert as two nationally ranked teams in what could potentially be a preview of the 5A Division I State Championship. Hamilton (#16) takes on Mesquite (#33) on Thursday in what figures to be a big test for both teams.
There has been a lot of parity in Arizona to this point in the year, with no undefeated teams remaining in class 5A. Mesquite comes in at 15-1, with their only loss coming against defending 4A Champion Saguaro. Hamilton currently sits at 10-2 with their last loss coming on March 9th against the 44th ranked team in the nation; Boulder Creek.
As if the proposition of the two top ranked teams in the state facing off didn’t create enough intrigue, the budding rivalry between the two schools should add to the intensity. Mesquite coach Jeff Holland said “Hamilton and Mesquite is always a good game, the team that comes through with the big hit at the right time usually comes out on top. There will certainly be intensity in this matchup, some juices flowing.”
Mesquite will send their ace, RHP Zach Davies to the mound to try and slow down one of the highest scoring lineups in the state. Davies, who is committed to Arizona State is a 2011 Rawlings All-West 1st team selection and is off to a great start to his senior season. Davies features a Fastball that generally sits 88-90 MPH, but Holland says that his best pitch is the Changeup. Davies’ Changeup was clocked at 78 MPH at the 2010 Area Code Games last summer, where he also showed off his 74 MPH curve with 12-6 break and touched 90 with his fastball. Davies has been very effective in the early season to this point, coming in with a record of 2-0 with 2 Saves and a 2.00 ERA. More impressively, Davies has allowed just one walk over 14 innings, while striking out 16.
Davies will have his hands full with Hamilton’s loaded lineup. The Huskies have scored 117 runs in their first 12 games. Their lineup is led by Junior 3B Mitch Nay, a 6’ 3” 195 lb. slugger who is considered to be one of the best hitters in Arizona’s class of 2012 and features very impressive bat speed. The Huskies talent certainly does not end there though. OF Parker Osborne is a very good table setter with good on-base skills, posting a .538 OBP last year as a Junior, and is known for being a good defender. Junior SS Trent Goodrich has impressed at PG events in the past with his bat speed. Derek Hill also provides some pop to the Huskies lineup.
RHP Zak Johnson will get the start for Hamilton. The senior has thrown well for the Huskies thus far but he will be challenged when he faces a tough Mesquite lineup. Wildcats 2B Nick Rosales is hitting .451 with a team high 19 RBIs and CF Garrett Jeffries is hitting .543 out of the leadoff spot. 1B Lane Doty, whose trademark is batting with yellow work gloves, provides a power presence to the Wildcat lineup and currently leads the team with 11 extra base hits, including 4 HR. SP Zach Davies is yet another good hitter in the Wildcat lineup.
The game promises to be a good one and gets underway at 4:00 (MST) on Thursday afternoon at Hamilton High School (Gilbert, AZ). Be sure to check back on Friday for a full recap.
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