HS softball, baseball finish local tourneys ahead of the rain

The rain and high winds that began in northern Arizona held off rolling down through the Phoenix Valley long enough for high schools to get in plenty of baseball and softball tournament play.

Tournament action started early in the week in Gilbert and Tempe, and wrapped up Saturday with the Cleats Sports Classic Invitational at Arizona State’s Packard Stadium.

Mesquite High School and Gilbert High School closed out play in their own Mesquite-Gilbert Baseball Invitational with big wins.  Mesquite beat Desert Vista High, 5-3, Wednesday night and Gilbert enjoyed a decisive 12-2 win over Mesa’s Mountain View High School.

Desert Vista pitcher, Luke Leftwich, kept Mesquite off the scoreboard until the seventh inning of their game, but the Wildcats roared back, thanks to a three-run homer by Garrett JeffriesTyler Adams led Desert Vista with a 2-for-4 night.

Spencer Applebach, Mesquite’s senior pitcher, was credited with the save after taking over for sophomore Matt Heibult in the fifth inning.

Gilbert went through the tournament without a loss to run its season record to 11-5.  Taylor Stapley was on the mound for the Tigers’ win over Mountain View and also contributed three RBIs in a 3-for-3 night at the plate.  Dustin Peterson went 2-for-2 and Jack Zoeliner homered for the Tigers.

Wednesday was also the wrap-up day for the Marcos de Niza/McClintock Spring Break Softball Tournament in Tempe, which started the weekend before.

The Gilbert High Tigers extended their record to 15-2 by beating Hamilton High School in the championship game at Marcos.  But it hardly resembled a championship-type encounter, as Gilbert rolled over the Huskies, 15-4, and the game was run-ruled after six innings.

It wasn’t any more of a contest in the battle for third place, as Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School blanked Poston Butte High from Forence, 14-0.

Taylor McCord was on the mound for Gilbert in the title game and dominated from the start, as the Tigers gave her plenty of support at the plate, scoring eight runs before Hamilton could put up its first.

On Thursday, tournament play bounced back to Gilbert, where Mesa’s Dobson High School shut out Williams Field High from Gilbert, 4-0, in the championship game of the Highland Triple Play Classic baseball tournament.

Dobson jumped out to an early lead, going up 2-0 on a double by Chris Pennell and a triple from Nick Kaltenbach.  The win gave the Mustang’s a perfect 5-0 record for the tourney.

Cade Montplaisir got the win in his first start of the season, notching eight strikeouts.

Then it was back to Tempe Saturday for the 23-team Cleats Sports Classic at ASU, where the most anticipated match-up in this inaugural event was between tournament hosts, Chaparral High School and Saguaro High School – cross-town rivals from Scottsdale and defending state champions.

This was the third meeting of the teams this year, with Saguaro winning the first two.  But this time it was Chaparral that claimed the bragging rights as the Firebirds rolled to an 11-4 win.

Collin Gabel, the Chaparral sophomore, helped the Firebirds to an early lead with a double in the first inning that scored two runs.  He went on to total three RBIs in a 2-for-4 performance.

Chaparral padded the lead and were up 7-1 by the fifth inning, before Saguaro began closing the gap, thanks to a two-run double by Reed Austin.

But Chaparral added four more runs in their turn in the sixth and cruised home.