While pitching is still the key to a winning baseball season, and a deep run in the playoffs, there seems to be a renewed emphasis on offense this year in the high school game.
The most obvious sign of that can be found in the San Tan Valley, where Poston Butte High School has amassed a total of 158 runs in just nine games, tops in the state. Not surprisingly, they are undefeated so far.
Do the math. That’s an average of more than 17 runs a game. That’s insane.
The Broncos, who play in the 4A conference, have also come to battle this year with effective pitching. The last six games have been shutouts, including a ridiculous 32-0 rout of Goldwater HS.
But there are similar examples of offensive power in most of the other conferences as well.
In 6A, the state’s top conference, Red Mountain HS has outscored its opponents, 87-26. The Mountain Lions (8-2) got off to an explosive start, piling up 53 runs in their first four games, which amounts to an average of 13 runs per game.
After a short cool-down period, the Red Mountain bats are hot once again. The Lions have scored a combined 22 runs over their last two games.
It helps that Red Mountain, which is slotted at No. 2 in The Arizona Republic‘s Super 10 rankings, carries five Division I college commits on this years’ roster.
However, there teams with far less talent that have somehow managed at least one game that has shown power at the plate. Veritas Prep, which plays in the 2A conference, is 1-6 on the season, but scored 22 runs against NFL Yet College Prep for their lone win.
And let’s not overlook another 2A team that also exploded for a big win. Chandler Prep picked the second of back-to-back games with Arete Prep to show that it, too, has some power at the plate. After beating Arete Prep, 3-1, in a Tuesday game last week, the Titans (3-2) unloaded on the Gilbert school with a 27-run onslaught to cap a 27-1 win that lasted just five innings before the run-rule kicked in.
And there’s another team, in addition to Poston Butte, in the 4A conference that is displaying an impressive ability to score runs.
Mesquite High School in Gilbert has built an 8-1 record by averaging 11 runs a game. The Wildcats have put 42 runs on the board in just their last three games, including a season-high 18 runs in a runaway victory over Chandler’s Seton Catholic a week ago.
The Arizona high school baseball schedule is just approaching the half-way point, and already it’s proving to be one of the most high-scoring seasons in recent memory.
That makes it tough on those teams that don’t have the power at the plate to keep up.
But it certainly makes it a fun experience for the fans in the stands.