Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Saint David team members position themselves along the first baseline at the start of the Morenci Lions Club tourney last month. The No. 3 Tigers are in the 1A state semifinals against No. 2 Bagdad on Friday, May 13.
By Raymundo Frasquillo
TEMPE – Two of nine teams participating in the three-day 42nd Morenci Lions Club Baseball Tourney are in the state semifinals Friday, May 13. The games are at Tempe Diablo Stadium and fields and will not face one another as both are competing in different classes.
Miami (18-0 seeding, 12.4084 rating) faces No. 3 Benson (13-4, 9.9873) as No. 2 in the 2A tourney in the stadium at 4 p.m. while No. 3 Saint David (16-2, 8.1726) meets No. 2 Bagdad (14-1, 14.4765) in the 1A tourney on Field #2 at 6 p.m.
The Pinal County Vandals slipped past No. 15 Phoenix Christian (7-11, minus 1.2905) 6-4 in the first round on May 6 and No. 7 Scottsdale Prep (16-2, 6.2136) 12-11 in the quarterfinals on May 7.
Benson eliminated No. 14 Glendale Trivium Prep (8-6, minus 0.8936) 9-0 in the first round and No. 11 Willcox 11-3 in the quarterfinals.
The Cochise County Tigers ended the seasons of No. 14 Mayer (4-9, minus 3.6374) 13-0 in the first round and No. 6 Anthem Prep (15-3, 4.1925) 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
Four other Morenci tourney participants extended their play into the post-season, 2A No. 21 Saint Johns (8-8, minus 2.8381), No. 9 Pima (8-7, 4.0922), and No. 5 Morenci (11-5, 7.6637) along with 3A No. 9 Thatcher (14-3, 9.8568).
Saint Johns and Pima both exited following the May 3 play-in round, falling 1-10 to No. 11 Willcox (6-11, 1.6327) and 0-2 to No. 24 Phoenix Veritas Prep (5-9, minus 4.4926), respectively.
Morenci defeated No. 12 Glendale Prep (13-5, 1.4004) 9-6 in the first round and fell 1-7 to No. 4 Tombstone (13-4, 8.9539) in the quarterfinals.
Thatcher shutout No. 24 Fort Defiance Window Rock (11-5, minus 0.9089) 16-0 in five innings during a play-in game, eliminated No. 8 Mesa Benjamin Franklin (9-9, 10.2279) 11-10 in the first round, and fell 7-8 to No. 1 Phoenix Northwest Christian (18-0, 24.7275) in the quarterfinals.
The other three teams, 3A Florence and Safford plus 1A Duncan were done after completing regular season pairings. Florence and Safford both were bumped out of the play-in round by other teams, having finished as No. 23 and No. 24 of 40 teams, respectively, and Duncan ended as No. 18 of 26 teams. The 1A state tourney field included only the top 16.
Saint David defeated Miami 10-4 in five innings for third place a month earlier during the 3-day tourney in Morenci. The Tigers went 3-1, Miami 1-2, meet winner Thatcher 3-0, Morenci 1-2, Pima 1-2, Saint Johns 0-3, runner-up Safford 2-1, Florence 3-1, and Duncan 1-3.
Thatcher edged Safford 11-10 to decide the 42nd Morenci Lions Club Baseball Tourney champion on April 9. It was only the eighth time a lone run decided the meet champion. Five of the previous six title games were abbreviated in five innings.
The Eagles got their fourth title, having qualified for a 14th tourney championship game by topping Florence 7-3 in six innings on April 7 and Miami 9-6 in five innings on April 8.
First-time tourney finalist Safford reached the title game with wins over Saint Johns, 14-1 in four innings on Day One and 10-5 in six innings over Saint David on Day Two.
The consolation bracket had 1A South Region Duncan defeating 2A North Region Saint Johns 7-3 in five innings, 3A South Central Region Florence defeating 2A East Region Morenci 11-7 in four innings, and 2A East Region Pima defeating Duncan 15-4 in five innings.
The other Day Two results were Florence 11-3 in three innings over Duncan, Morenci 11-4 in five innings over Saint Johns, and Pima 7-5 in six innings over Florence.
In other Day One pairings, Saint David defeated Duncan 17-4 in five innings, Pima defeated Miami 11-1 in five innings, and Saint David defeated Morenci 16-6 in five innings.
The Morenci Lions Club realized a net income of around $16,000, treasurer John Antonson said recently.