Safford baseball wins Joe Padilla Tournament in Florence

Contributed Photo: The Safford Bulldogs baseball team celebrate winning the 20-team Joe Padilla Tournament in Florence.

Keegan McKinney named tournament MVP

Contributed Article

FLORENCE – The Safford Bulldogs baseball team traveled to Florence for the 32nd annual Joe S. Padilla Baseball Tournament and out of 20 teams came out as tournament champions. The tournament was held Feb. 27 – March 2.

Contributed Photo: Safford junior Keegan McKinney celebrates being chosen as tournament MVP with head coach Robert Abalos.

Junior Keegan McKinney was named as the tournament’s MVP and Pat Ornelas and senior Alex Garcia were chosen for the all-tournament team. 

The Bulldogs bounced back from an opening loss to Valley Christian, 5-1, to hold Santa Cruz Valley scoreless on a no-hitter thrown by sophomore Landon Shurtz to win 13-0. 

The bulldogs then beat Eager Round Valley, 14-1 and kept the winning streak rolling the following day with a 5-0 victory over Apache Junction behind a complete-game victory by Justin Torrio.

The final game was a tough one as Safford squeezed by San Tan Valley behind a complete-game shutout by senior Alex Garcia, 1-0, to capture the championship. 

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