Mingus Union High School baseball’s flat start and season-low one run in power-point games led to a 6-1 home loss to Grand Canyon Region rival Prescott High School on Monday, April 17.
Marauders head coach Bob Young had little to say after the loss, the team’s third on the bounce, except that the team has not played the game “the right way.” The defeat further complicated its chances to claim the region title.
“We just weren’t ready to play today, we were nonchalant and it wasn’t good, it wasn’t Mingus baseball,” Young said.
The last game of the regular season, on Tuesday, April 25, saw Mingus travel to Prescott looking for revenge and the Grand Canyon Region title. It lost 3-2 and currently shares the same record as Coconino High School, but since it swept the Panthers, remains atop the standings.
If Flagstaff High School sweeps Mohave High School to round out its season, then the regional championship picture becomes complicated since all three teams would finish with 8-4 records. Flagstaff swept Mingus, Mingus swept Coconino, and Coconino swept Flagstaff.
Down 1-0 in the top of the second, consecutive fielding errors by Mingus junior third baseman Tyler Kelly allowed the lead to grow to 3-0. An RBI single followed, and the hosts had a four-run hole to dig themselves out of.
But for the most of the middle innings, both teams’ pitching and defense put a lid on the opposing offenses.
The Marauders [13-5, 8-4 Grand Canyon] scored their lone run in the fourth frame. Sophomore Justin Tanner hit a leadoff double, but senior Gus Henley’s pop out to Badger junior second baseman Brance Christopherson did not move Tanner to third, hobbling what might have been bigger inning.
Mingus junior Andrew Kulis took a pitch off the elbow before fellow 11th-grader Jordan Huey hit a pop up to shallow right that dropped in. But Prescott junior right fielder Ryan Greene gunned down Tanner at third for the force out.
Marauders junior Jose Pacheco batted in Kulis on an error, but a strikeout ended the threat.
“We hit it right at them, hard a few times, but at the same time we couldn’t get bunts down and stuff,” Marauders junior Skylar Waynick said. “Situational hitting we weren’t the best this game.”
Marauders senior pitcher Mitchell Lindsay and company retired the next six Badgers.
“I don’t know, we’ve got to make routine plays and we didn’t,” Young said. “Mitchell [Lindsay] pitched a great game, and we didn’t back him up. I think he gave up one earned run.”
However the Prescott defense was up to the task, turning a double play in the fifth and allowing zero runs from five Mingus baserunners.
As it had in its previous two losses the week prior to Flagstaff, Mingus gave up seventh-inning runs. Junior left fielder Justin Link missed a diving catch that turned a single into a triple, and two batters later the deficit was 5-1.
A two-out RBI single made it 6-1, and the Marauder batters hit straight at the defense in its last chance for a comeback.
Mingus rounded out its regular season home schedule on Saturday, April 22, with a regional doubleheader sweep against Lee Williams High School. The Marauders won game one 11-1 before a closer game two, a 9-8 victory.