Nick Arias hits a 3-run walk-off for Tucson High

April 13, 2021 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Nick Arias (Andy Morales/AZPreps365)

Nick Arias took the mound in the top of the seventh with a runner at second base with one out. The game was tied 2-2 and a run here could make life difficult for the Badgers with their No. 10 ranking on the line against Brophy Prep at home. The Broncos came in ranked No. 13 in the 6A Conference and a loss here for Tucson could put the program on the edge of the playoffs the rest of the way with only the top 16 teams earning an invite.

Arias picked up a grounder for the second out but that also moved Henry Chabot to third base where a variety of mistakes could bring him home for the lead. Those hopes faded when Arias fielded the third out himself and, with a quick toss to Benjamin Cazares covering first base, the threat was over.

He was now the pitcher of record and he went through the top of the eighth with relative ease after Tucson was unable to get the bats going in their half of the seventh. That all changed when Maximiliano Leyva belted a double to start off the bottom of the eighth and Gerardo Mungaray walked one out later. Arias stepped to the plate and he delivered on a home run for the 5-2 win.

Tucson (9-2) entered the game with a 1-0 loss to Salpointe (9-1) and a 6-5 setback at Canyon del Oro (9-1). It’s easy to see how a few at bats could have had the Badgers at 11-0 at this point but the game of baseball is full of second chances. Brophy dropped to 5-6 on the year but the Broncos will have their chance to turn that record around with back-to-back games scheduled against Chandler (4-7) coming up.

Brophy took a 2-0 lead on Tucson in the fourth inning after Zach Wadas drew a one-out walk and Masen Schechterle followed with a 2-run shot to left. The Broncos threatened in the first inning with the bases loaded with one out but Mario Bejarano settled down and struck out the next two batters and he picked up six strikeouts through five innings of work to keep the Badgers in the game.

The Badgers tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth on a single from Arias, an RBI double from Bejarano and an RBI single from Francisco Olea. John Clasen got the start for Brophy and he picked up four strikeouts and induced two double plays but a one-out single and passed ball to Leyva brought in Jake Kingsbury in the fifth.

Ruben Villaescusa-Galaz replaced Bejarano in the sixth and Arias took the ball in the seventh for the Badgers. Tucson will have a rematch with Canyon del Oro at home on Monday, April 19 before traveling to play at Rincon/University (5-6) on Tuesday and then hosting the Rangers next Friday for the Chris Moon Memorial Game.

Zach Wadas (10) congratulates Masen Schechterle after Schechterle put Brophy Prep up 2-0 with a home run to score them both. (Andy Morales/AZPreps365)