Gilbert defeats Campo Verde, 9-5

April 17, 2023 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Gilbert's Drew Johnson with emphatic touch of home plate completing his 1st-inning, home-run trot vs. Campo Verde. (Azpreps365 photo)

6A Gilbert High's and 5A Campo Verde's baseball teams have endured rough times of late. Each carried losing streaks to their Monday night contest at Campo Verde.

The end had to come for one team and that was Gilbert. The Tigers batted around and scored five runs in the third inning. That rally snapped a tie and was the impetus to a 9-5 victory over host Campo Verde in a battle of Gilbert sister schools at Campo Verde.

Gilbert, currently #18 in the 6A power-rankings, improved to 13-10 and ended a five-game losing streak. The loss extended Campo Verde's current slide to four games. The Coyotes (16-8) are #10 in the latest 5A power-rankings with new rankings set to be posted by noon on Tuesday.

Gilbert's decisive rally in the third wasn't a hit-fest. The Tigers managed two hits in the frame - both singles - along with two walks, a hit batter and a Campo error. The lone RBI in the inning for Gilbert were from Antonio Gutierrez and Drew Heinze batting in the eighth and ninth spots, respectivley, in the order.

Campo Verde's second pitcher of the game - Brady Tokarski - threw two innings and ended up taking the loss. Tokarski had an easy second, that included a pick off of a runner on first. The third inning was unkind. All five batters he faced in the inning reached and all five scored. 

Two Gilbert players collected multiple hits - Drew Johnson (2-2, 3 runs scored, HR and 2 RBI) and Heinze (2-3, RBI). Every Gilbert player in the starting lineup reached base via hit or walk.

Gilbert starting pitcher Cooper Foster notched the win with 5 1/3 innings of work. Foster wasn't masterful. He allowed five runs, five hits, four walks and struck out eight. Reliever Tanner Leyba finished up and struck out five in 2 1/3 innings.

Gilbert's next game is Tuesday. The Tigers host Desert Ridge in 6A Central Region play. Campo Verde is idle on Tuesday. The Coyotes resume action Wednesday at Mesa Mountain View.