Mingus Union High School’s baseball team picked up two key Grand Canyon Region victories over Bradshaw Mountain High School, winning 11-4 away and 8-3 at home on March 28 and 30, respectively.
The Marauders [10-1, 5-0 Grand Canyon] are now riding a seven-game winning streak, and have risen to No. 4 in the Conference 4A poll.
“They were good wins. We try to get a little better every week,” Mingus head coach Bob Young said. “We thought that Bradshaw would be one of the teams to beat in the region. Beating them two times definitely helped our cause.”
A 5-0 lead after the second inning in game one was fueled by a triple by sophomore right fielder Justin Tanner that scored junior third baseman Tyler Kelly. Senior catcher Gus Henley then scored Tanner on a sacrifice fly.
Kelly drew a bases-loaded walk in the second inning before junior shortstop Skylar Waynick singled and later scored on an error to create the five-run lead.
The Bears did not get a runner on base until the third inning, and did not score until the fourth. They left five runners on base while the Marauders failed to score 13, something Young looks for his team to improve upon moving forward.
“The guys are starting to figure it out, we work on situational hitting in practice all the time, but it’s hard to get high school guys to do it in the game,” Young said. “There’s going to be times when we need to that. We’re not where we need to be but we’re definitely getting better at it.”
A five-run fifth inning gave Mingus a 10-1 lead. Junior outfielder Jose Pacheco hit a leadoff triple before three singles, a walk and a Waynick double capped the scoring run. Bradshaw Mountain scored their last three runs in the sixth.
Senior pitcher Mitchell Lindsay got the complete game win, giving up eight hits and three earned runs with one strikeout and no walks.
Five of the six teams in the Grand Canyon Region are ranked in the top 16 of Conference 4A, giving the Marauders good experience game-in and game-out.
“These games get us ready if we’re fortunate enough to make it to state,” Young said. “There are a lot of good baseball teams up here. There’s no easy days in our region, that’s good, it just makes it better.”
In game two, the Bears led 1-0 and 3-2 after the second, but the Mingus defense then retired six straight while taking a 5-3 lead and never looked back. That same defense had been inconsistent throughout the season, but Young saw it return to form during the two-game stretch.
“Our pitching was solid both games and our defense was really good,” Young said. “As long as we do that we can be in the game.”
On the mound, Huey gave up four hits, three earned runs and five walks with three strikeouts in six innings for the win. Kelly pitched the seventh, giving up one hit while striking out one.