BASEBALL: Southern Arizona Division III-V Futures All-Star Game

June 4, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Retiring Desert Christian head coach Grant Hopkins threw out the first pitch
(Andy Morales/

The 2nd Annual GARB Athletics/OC Sports Southern Arizona High School All-Star Series presented by the Kino Baseball League concluded Friday night at Catalina Foothills High School.

About four dozen baseball standouts from Southern Arizona took part in the Division III-V futures game with Team Teal coming away with a 9-2 win over Team Copper. Former Desert Christian head coach Grant Hopkins led Team Copper and Catalina head coach Shane Folsom was in charge of Team Teal.

Teal plated three runs in the top of the first inning to take a lead the team would never give up. Amphitheater standout Max Leon and Pueblo standout Isaias Lucero hit back-to-back singles and Jesus Lopez (Pueblo) followed with a double to being in both runners.

Lopez scored the third run of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Rafael Padilla (Nogales).

Copper responded with two runs in the bottom of the second with Andre Greene (Rio Rico) making most of the noise. Greene reached on a dropped third strike, stole second base and advanced to third on a misplay. Christian Barraza (Cholla) drew a walk and then he took off for second base, allowing Greene to score from third.

Sean Hahn (Valley Union) sacrificed Barraza home for the second run.

Copper was limited to only five hits the rest of the way with Obed Cordova (Bisbee) and Mario Corrales (Amphi) collecting doubles.

Teal added three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh for the 9-2 win. Alex Phillips (Catalina) had two RBI in the sixth and Sherrick Sanborn (Willcox) had an RBI in the seventh.

The game marked the end of the high school coaching career of Hopkins. Maybe.

“I was getting rid of things and my wife made me keep a pair of white and a pair of grey pants,” Hopkins said laughingly after the game. “Just in case.”

There’s a small chance Hopkins might help out at Tanque Verde next year but the three-time state champion coach is at peace with his decision to step away from the game after another incredible post-season run.

After winning state championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015, it looked like the Desert Christian dynasty was over but Hopkins led his team to a semifinal finish this spring.

“Honestly, after we lost the playoff game I was at ease with my decision,” he added. “The pressure to win and the death of Ryan (Hanson) caused a lot of grey. I am happy with my decision.”

His assistant coach Ryan Hanson passed away in 2014 and the team dedicated that year to him. It was part of an incredible three-year run that included no losses to divisional opponents and very few losses to teams from Arizona. The team finished with a record of 86-7 from 2013-2015.  Hopkins finished his career with 200 wins and 86 losses.