Playing .500 baseball so far in 2011, the Camp Verde High School baseball team took a big step in the right direction Friday, March 25, sweeping a doubleheader against visiting Mayer High School.
“We’re getting better,” second-year Camp Verde Head Coach Steve Hicks said. “We’ve got some holes to plug but there are good signs of improvement.”
The Cowboys were a notch over .500 before Friday’s doubleheader sitting at 7-6 in the standings, but two 10-run rule victories put Camp Verde at 9-6 this season.
At the same time last year, Camp Verde was coming along with its record as well, but went on a tear to end the season and wound up playing for the 2A conference state title game.
“It’s baseball. You never know what can happen,” Hicks said.
In the first game Friday, senior Austin Bower toed the mound and gave the Cowboys three strong innings, giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out five.
Bower didn’t allow a run as relief pitcher Tanner Rezzonico threw the final two innings, striking out five and walking two in a 11-0 victory.
Catcher Andy Minner was 2-3 at the plate with two RBIs while shortstop Jesse Fullbright was 1-2. Third baseman Kyle Lobaugh chipped in as well, collecting two hits and three RBIs in the rout.
In game two, junior Gavin Collins would take the ball from Hicks and turned in a masterful performance, pitching the complete game while allowing only one run and striking out 10.
Camp Verde led 2-1 in the third inning but a Cody Rayburn squeeze play to score sophomore Doug Ashley gave the Cowboys all the momentum they needed to win, 11-1.
“Mayer actually played a decent game. We hit the ball well against them but we hit it right at them. We started playing small ball with that squeeze and from then on, it seemed to click for us,” Hicks said.
Minner had a big double to score a couple of runs to break the game open and Andrew Teague had two RBIs as well in the victory.
The Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, March 29, when they traveled to play cross-valley rival Sedona Red Rock High School. Both teams have met already this season with the Scorpions getting the better of Camp Verde on March 17, 9-2. Sedona is currently 8-1-1 overall this season.
Next up, Camp Verde will hit the road again Thursday, March 31, and play Northland Preparatory Academy.
First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.