Wildcats host Redskins on Monday, Bearcats on Wednesday; visit Safford on Friday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci senior third baseman Jordan Reyes turns to put a seventh inning tag on Safford senior Alyxx Garcia. The Wildcats fell 4-11 to the Bulldogs on April 10 and travel to Safford on Friday, April 23 after hosting Saint Johns on Monday, April 19 and Kearny Ray on Wednesday, April 21. Morenci is averaging a 12-6 (118-55) score per game and Safford a 6.6-7.3 (66-73) score per game.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

MORENCI – The Christopher Aguallo-coached Wildcats opened the season with seven consecutive wins, leading the East Region and debuting at No. 2 in the initial 2A state rankings for 35 teams. After dropping their last two games, however, they have since dropped to No. 7.

Morenci defeated Bisbee 17-1 (March 17), Tempe Prep 6-4 (March 20), Pima 11-7 (March 23), Saint Johns 18-8 (March 26), Eagar Round Valley 12-2 (March 30), Willcox 15-14 (April 6), and Pima 18-2 (April 9) before falling 4-11 to Safford (April 10) and 0-3 to Miami (April 13).

In their next outing, the Wildcats topped Round Valley 17-2 (April 16), ending week five second (5-1) in the region and ranked No. 7.

Miami (8-0 overall, 4-0 region) replaced Morenci (8-2, 5-1) atop the 2A East Region standings, followed by Saint Johns (5-4, 3-2), Pima (1-8, 1-5), and Round Valley (3-7, 0-5).

Rankings for the region members are No. 1 for Miami (11.6477 rating), No. 7 for Morenci (4.8490), No. 13 for Saint Johns (minus 0.2096), No. 22 for Round Valley (minus 5.6466), and No. 25 for Pima (minus 7.0524).

This week, the 2021 Morenci “Boys of Spring” host Saint Johns on Monday, April 19, and Kearny Ray on Wednesday, April 21 before traveling to Safford for an evening contest Friday, April 23.

Saint Johns has averaged a 9.8-9.4 (88-85) score per game. The Redskins have wins of 13-3 over Pima (March 30), 13-4 over Joseph City (April 1), 11-7 over Round Valley (April 6), 12-7 over Show Low (April 14), and 16-12 over Pima (April 16). The losses are 8-18 to Morenci (March 26), 7-12 to Holbrook (March 27), 3-16 to Miami (April 9), and 4-6 to Heber Mogollon (April 13).

Games remaining on the Redskins’ schedule are with Round Valley (April 23), Miami (April 27), and Whiteriver Alchesay (April 29).

Raymundo Frasqullo Photo/Gila Herald: Preston Johnson delivers a pitch during a loss to Safford on April 10. The Morenci senior retired six players in order during two innings of relief.

Ray has averaged a 17-5 (132-36) score per game. The Bearcats have wins of 38-0 over San Manuel (March 29), 12-4 over Bisbee (March 31), 120-2 over Chandler Lincoln Prep (April 1), 26-0 over San Manuel (April 5), 11-5 over Queen Creek San Tan Foothills (April 9), 10-3 over Tempe Prep (April 14), and 9-8 over Mogollon (April 16). The loss was 6-14 to Winkelman Hayden (April 13).

Games remaining on the Bearcats’ schedule are with Tempe Prep (April 19), Superior (April 23, 26), Lincoln Prep (April 28), Hayden (April 30), and Saint David (May 3).

Safford has averaged a score of 6.6-7.3 (66-73) per game. The Bulldogs have wins of 17-4 over Lakeside Blue Ridge (March 27), 13-2 (March 30) and 8-7 (April 1) over Tucson Tanque Verde, and 11-4 over Morenci (April 10). The losses were 0-14 to Sahuarita (March 18), 6-14 (April 6) and 3-4 (April 9) to Tucson Empire, 0-6 (April 13), and 1-10 (April 16) to Tucson Sabino, and 7-8 to Thatcher (April 14).

Games remaining on the Bulldogs’ schedule are with Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (April 27, 30) and Thatcher (April 28).

The other pairings for region members this week are Round Valley at Miami and Pima at Willcox on April 20; Snowflake at Miami on April 21; Tucson Saint Augustine Catholic at Miami on April 22; Pima at Miami and Round Valley at Saint Johns on April 23.

Games remaining for region members are Pima at Morenci, Saint Johns at Miami, and Show Low at Round Valley on April 27; Miami at Globe and Morenci at Benson on April 28; and Miami at Morenci and Pima at Round Valley on April 30.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Catcher Shawn Hudman follows the ball into the strike zone before swinging. The Morenci junior drew a pair of walks and struck out twice versus Safford.