BASEBALL: Southern Arizona Small-School Senior All-Star Game

June 1, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Sahuarita senior Sergio Santa Cruz waves to the crowd.
(Andy Morales/

The 2nd Annual GARB Athletics/OC Sports Southern Arizona High School All-Star Games presented by the Kino Baseball League got underway Tuesday night at the Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Almost 50 baseball standouts from Southern Arizona took part in the Division III, IV and V senior game with Team Copper pulling out a 9-4 win over Team Teal. Nogales head coach O.J. Favela led Team Copper and Sahuarita head coach Sam Gelardi was in charge of Team Teal.

The game remained scoreless through the first two innings with Desert View senior Marcus Mendez (Teal) and Nogales senior Angel Zuniga (Copper) going head to head. Zuniga shutdown 12 of the 15 batters he faced while Mendez came up with five strikeouts in his two innings of work.

A Pima commit as a position player, Mendez may have thrown his last pitch but he will always have this memory. “I threw strikes and everything was working for me,” Mendez explained.

“I didn’t honestly think I would do this well because I haven’t thrown since the end of the season. I got a full-ride to play for Pima as an infielder but I’ll always have pitching in my back pocket,” he added.

Team Copper took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third after Tracer Wainscott (Coolidge) drove in Miguel Ruiz (Morenci). Ruiz was running for Zuniga who had reached on an error.

Team Teal tied the game up in the top of the fifth after Mendez doubled to lead the inning off and Juan Ponce (Sahuarita) singled him home one batter later.

Team Copper broke the game open in the bottom half of the fifth inning by scoring six runs on five hits including doubles from Carlos Mada (Nogales) and Michael Delgado (Amphitheater). Delgado’s bases-clearing double was his second hit of the game.

“I had a good experience at Amphitheater, making it to the playoffs this year,” Delgado said.  “I need to thank coach (David) Humphreys for making me what I am today. But this game was a great experience. It was really competitive and fun.”

Team Teal scored two unearned runs in the top of the seventh to cut the lead down to 7-3 but Jose Gamez (Valley Union) hit a 2-RBI triple in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead to 9-3.  Team Teal would add one more run in the top of the eighth after Miguel Galvez doubled and Ariel Franco (St. Augustine) knocked him in.

REMAINING SCHEDULE ( 7 p.m. start time)


Tuesday, May 31

Division III-V Seniors: Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium


Wednesday, June 1

Division II Seniors: Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium


Thursday, June 2

Division II Futures: Catalina Foothills High School


Friday, June 3

Division III-V Futures: Catalina Foothills High School