The Camp Verde baseball team avenged a loss to Chino Valley High School from earlier this season, but not before losing its first Central Region contest to Northland Preparatory Academy.
A Cowboys team that averaged nine runs per game this season was held to two during its 3-2 loss on Friday, April 7, but rebounded with a 7-3 win at Chino Valley on Saturday, April 8.
They beat Paradise Honors High School 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, April 4.
Against Northland Prep, both teams got just five hits. The host Spartans got on the board in the first inning, scoring two runs on an RBI ground out and sacrifice fly after leading things off with consecutive singles.
Both defenses ruled from then on, as Camp Verde [10-3, 3-1 Central] got just one baserunner on a walk through the first three innings. Senior Ryan Cain singled in two runs in the fourth inning, and the Cowboys had the opportunity to take the lead with runners on the corners and just one out.
They had the bases loaded with two outs, but senior Zach Wester flied out to left field to end the threat. All told, five runners were stranded in the game and only two Cowboys reached base in the final three innings.
Northland Prep got the game-winner in its next at bat. A single and two walks loaded the bases, and another sac fly plated the final run.
Senior Darren Franklin gave up two earned runs on four hits with the three walks and three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings of work.
Against Chino Valley, the teams were tied at three in the top of the sixth inning. Camp Verde produced a four-run seventh, avenging the 11-3 home loss on March 6.
Consecutive walks put the Cougars in a bind. Senior Easton Braden singled in fellow 12th-grader Rafael Zapata before senior Carson Zale doubled in Braden and Cain.
Zale later scored off of a Chino Valley error.
But the Cowboys trailed 3-1 after the third inning before managing one run each in the fifth and sixth to climb back into the game.
Seven different Cowboys got hits to total 10 hits on the game. Franklin led the way with three while Zale led with two RBI.
Zale also took the mound, throwing six innings and giving up zero earned runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Camp Verde jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Paradise Honors before using a five-run fourth inning to take control of the game. Two runs in the fifth gave it the run-rule win, but the team put together just four hits.
Six Panther errors helped along the way, with two directly contributing to three of the Cowboy runs.
They hosted Anthem Preparatory Academy on Tuesday, April 11, but results were unavailable at press time. The second round of region play begins at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, April 13, against Glendale Preparatory Academy.