Chris Lopez
ASU Student Journalist

Cibola Raiders outslug Marcos de Niza

February 28, 2020 by Chris Lopez, Arizona State University

The Cibola Raiders claim victory in their final game of the Adam Donnenfield Memorial Tournament on Friday. (Photo: Chris Lopez/

Chris Lopez is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Marcos de Niza for

The Cibola Raiders went into Padres territory and cemented a 12-2 victory on Friday in the Adam Donnenfield Memorial Tournament.

The final score was deceiving.

The first half of the game was controlled by the Padres.  An RBI single and two stolen bases from team captain Ethan Galetti, along with an RBI from junior Zachary Piaz, lifted the Padres to a 2-1 lead.

That small lead was maintained by some solid pitching by right-hander Josh Matuz and good infield defense that included a couple acrobatic catches by junior shortstop Daniel "Tubby" Rodriguez.

One of the catches had Rodriguez fully stretched out on a line drive hit with the bases loaded on a full count to end the third inning.

"That's my first time ever doing that," Rodriguez said.

However, at the top of the fourth inning the Raiders made their run. 

Esteban Hernandez doubled with the bases loaded, driving in three runs and giving Cibola a 4-2 lead.

"Once we started to get down, we lost energy," Galetti said. "On the bench, too, cause energy is contagious. We needed to keep that going."

The Raiders lineup offense started to pile on runs in fifth inning by a combination of well-placed hits that drove in runs, along with errors by the Padres, allowiing the Raiders to build a 9-2 lead.

The Padres just couldn't make contact at the plate after they started to fall behind.

"We weren't jumping on fast balls early," team captain Nate Meyer said. "He (the pitcher) was throwing first-pitch fast balls and we were just letting them go by. We can't let that happen."

The game was called at the end of the sixth inning due to the "10-run rule". If a team is leading by 10 runs after the fifth inning, the game ends.

"It's all about bouncing back, mamba mentality," Galetti said. "Keep our heads up, stay strong."

Marcos De Niza, which earlier lost to Tucson and Desert Ridge in the Donnenfield tournament, will try to snap their three-game losing streak when they face the Queen Creek Bulldogs at home at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Cibola Raiders finished the tournament with a 3-1 record and they will head into the Panther Invitational where they will face the Walden Grove Red Wolves at Amphitheater High School on Thursday at 3 p.m.