PHOENIX — Farmington High and Piedra Vista safely arrived in Phoenix ready to play some of the toughest competition either team will see all year.
Both teams began play in the Open Division of the Coach Bob National Invitational on Wednesday.
Piedra Vista played two games on Wednesday, defeating Colorado’s Ponderosa High 8-4 in the Panthers’ first game behind six and two-third innings of quality work on the mound by starting pitcher Nate Dominguez.
Isaiah Valdez recorded the final out of the game for the Panthers in relief of Dominguez but surrendered two runs while walking two and hitting a batter before striking out the final Ponderosa hitter of the game.
“It was a good win. They are the No. 9 team in 5A in Colorado, and they ran good arms at us. Ponderosa had already played three games in the tournament, so it was good for us to play a team who had legs under them,” said PV head coach Mike McGaha.
Game 2 was a different story for Piedra Vista as the team failed to produce with runners in scoring position — a trait the Panthers have shown throughout the season so far.
Piedra Vista (9-2) lost to Sandra Day O’Connor High School (19-0), a Phoenix school that is ranked No. 10 in the country.
“We went and played at their home field. We made an error and walked eight guys,” McGaha said. “Then we didn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position. We left the bases loaded twice and runners on second and third three times.”
Jacy Cave pitched in the second game and had the worst outing of his season, McGaha said.
“He had his worst outing of the year and yet it is still a 3-1 game with two outs in the fifth inning. We had every opportunity but didn’t capitalize,” McGaha said. “Last year we had a Cinderella performance beating Santa Fe High (Oklahoma). We wanted to steal one again from the No. 10-ranked team. They had a bunch of big guys and they were really physical. It was still a very good opportunity for us but we feel like we squandered our opportunities.”
PV’s only run came when Ian Doughty was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
McGaha was encouraged by the performance of Gunner Archuleta in relief of Cave. Archuleta faced just two hitters to record the final two outs of the game.
The Panthers will play again today against Valley Vista High School out of North, Medford, Ore.
“We will throw (Doughty) at them and hopefully be 2-1 down here,” McGaha said.
Farmington High (6-5) faced Tolleson Union out of Phoenix at Tolleson’s home field Wednesday night, dropping a 7-5 game.
The game was tied 5-5 in the sixth inning when Tolleson was able to score two runs off relief pitcher Easton Haskill
The Scorps also struggled to put runs on the board with runners in scoring position as they left the bases loaded in the first and stranded runners in each of the first five innings.
“Tolleson is a pretty good club. A top-10 Division I team in Arizona. They had good team speed and threw a good lefty at us,” said FHS head coach Sean Trotter. “I thought, for the most part, we did well at the plate, but we couldn’t come up with a big hit.”
Frankie Gutierrez started the game and went three and two-third innings before giving way to Haskill.
Tyler Stock was 1-for-3 in the game with 2 RBIs for Farmington. Beamer Wick went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Lance Lee was 2-for-3 at the plate.
Farmington will play two games today as they face Canby, Ore., and Bonneville, Idaho.
John Livingston may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.