The Camp Verde High School baseball team beat visiting Central Region foe Glendale Preparatory Academy 14-1 in five innings on Thursday, April 13. But it could have put away even more runs.
The Cowboys [12-3, 4-1 Central] did not capitalize on their opportunities with runners in scoring position until the fourth inning, and ultimately left 11 runners on base. Moving forward, Camp Verde head coach Will Davis is looking for his team to improve in its plate discipline in order to be successful during the Arizona Interscholastic Association 2A State Championship, which begins Saturday, April 29.
In the second inning only two runs found home after the hosts found themselves in a situation with the bases loaded and zero outs on the board. A pop out and two strikeouts prevented further damage from being done as the Cowboys batters were clearly eager to get the big hit.
“We were overswinging, that kid doesn’t throw real hard so we were pressing too much,” Davis said. “We just needed to get to the fundamentals and hit the ground ball.”
Two innings later, up 4-1, the bats calmed down and the runs began to rain in, 10 in total. A pair of singles and a hit batter replicated the scoring threat from two innings prior.
Cowboys senior Darren Franklin sent home the first run with the help of a Griffin error. The next four batters kept the run going with three singles and a walk; one run scored on a passed ball, too.
“Fourth inning they did exactly what they needed to get runs, put pressure on them, the game was over,” Davis said.
Glendale Prep almost saved itself from the run-rule loss by getting two outs, but consecutive RBI doubles by senior Easton Braden and sophomore Dominiq Bruno scored three more runs. Franklin capped the run with an RBI single, and the bases loaded were loaded two batters later, but senior John Castillo grounded out to end the inning.
Franklin pitched four of the five innings, giving up zero earned runs on two hits with zero walks and six strikeouts. Franklin and the Cowboy defense retired 10 straight Griffin batters after giving up their lone run in the first; Franklin struck out the side in the third.
“They got a couple of hits in the beginning, then after that I started striking them out and throwing hard,” Franklin said.
Senior Carson Zale finished things off in the final frame with two strikeouts.
Griffin junior Shane Kennedy hit a leadoff single in the first, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on an error by Cowboys senior third baseman Jose Diaz. It was the only error Camp Verde, the second-place team in the Central Region, made in the game.
Glendale Prep, winless in the region, committed six.
The Cowboys hosted the second Verde Valley rivalry game of the season against Sedona Red Rock High School, opening a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning and ultimately coming away 9-0 winners. They next play 3:45 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Paradise Honors High School.