Piedra Vista advances to Scorpion Invite finals

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − The Piedra Vista High School baseball team advanced to the championship game of the Scorpion Invitational after a 4-1 win Friday afternoon over Grants.

Meantime, Uintah (Utah) High School throttled Farmington by a final of 19-2 to advance to play the Panthers in the championship game on Saturday afternoon.

Here's a recap of area and local baseball and softball team scores.


UINTAH 19, Farmington 2

The Uintah (Utah) High School baseball team scored five runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back, rolling over Farmington 19-2 in the second round of the Scorpion Invitational Friaday night at Ricketts Park.

Ryan Mansfield drove in six runs, Brenner Kunkle drove in three runs and Angel Rios scored five times in a runaway win for the Utes, improving the team's overall record on the season to 4-2 and setting up a championship game against Piedra Vista in the tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Mansfield drove in three runs in the top of the first inning, scoring Kunkle, Rios and Wade Benson to get the offense rolling. Uintah extended the lead to a 9-2 margin through five innings before a 10-run sixth inning sealed the victory for the Utes.

Derreck Hardy started the game on the mound for Uintah, throwing one inning before being replaced by Jason Dansive, who went the rest of the way, pitching five innings and giving up only one run on two hits, striking out six Scorpion batters.

Farmington's Hunter Martin scored a run in the bottom of the first inning, being driven in from third base when James Martin hit into a fielder's choice. Carson Padilla scored the other Scorpions run in the second inning when he was driven in from third off the bat of Santiago Long.

Farmington (5-3) will face off against Grants on Saturday at 2 p.m. in a consolation game. Following that game, the Scorpions will be in action on Saturday, March 25 at home in a doubleheader against Volcano Vista.

PIEDRA VISTA 4, Grants 1

Kendrick Aragon scored a pair of runs and also had a big day on the mound, striking out six batters as Piedra Vista extended its win streak to four straight games with a 4-1 decision over Grants in the second round of the Scorpion Invitational.

The win advances the Panthers into Saturday's championship game at Ricketts Park where they will face Uintah.

The Panthers got on the board in the bottom of the first inning when Kelton Mitchell drove in Aragon with a single to center field. Piedra Vista extended the lead to 4-0 after two innings when a Pirates error allowed both Keenan Bejar and Dax Vigil to reach home safely. Aragon scored again in the same frame thanks to a single by Kaden Peace.

Piedra Vista's Kendrick Aragon warms up between innings of a second round game against Grants in the Scorpion Invitational, Friday, March 17, 2023 at Ricketts Park

Grants scored its only run in the top half of the third inning and had a chance to close the gap in the fourth inning, but left a pair of runners on base.

Aragon threw 88 pitches to record the win, improving Piedra Vista's record on the season to 8-2.

Following Saturday's tournament game, the Panthers will hit the road again for a tournament at West Point (Ariz.) High School with a first round game on Thursday, March 23 against Ralston Valley (Colo.) High School.

AZTEC 11, George Washington 10

Playing from behind throughout much of the game, the Aztec High baseball team rallied for an 11-10 win over George Washington (Colo.) High in consolation round action of the Scorpion Invitational Friday afternoon at Ricketts Park.

Trailing 10-7 heading into the top half of the sixth inning, Aztec scored four runs thanks in large part to a 3-run double off the bat of Jacob Prada-Johnson, lifting the Tigers to a dramatic victory. Prada-Johnson had a big day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with five runs batted in.

The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Tigers and improves the team's record to 6-3 on the season. Aztec will face off against Pueblo West (Colo.) on Saturday for the fifth-place game in the tournament. Pueblo West won its consolation round game on Friday over Smoky Hill (Colo.) by a final of 12-5.

Following tournament action, Aztec will be home on Tuesday afternoon to face Bayfield.

TOHATCHI 9, Shiprock 5

Thomas Bitsie picked up the win for the Tohatchi High School baseball team on Friday, winning at home 9-5 over Shiprock.

Bitsie threw 2 2/3 innings and allowed only three runs on five hits while Toatchi got on top early to earn the team's first win of the season, improving to 1-1 overall.

Shiprock has lost two in a row and fall to 2-6 on the season. Following tournament action, the Chieftains will be back on the road Saturday at noon to face Rehoboth Christian.


FARMINGTON 5, Cactus 2

The Farmington High School softball team extended its win streak to five straight games after beating Cactus (Ariz.) High School by a final of 5-2 in tournament action on Friday at Avondale, Ariz.

The Lady Scorpions also picked up a victory in earlier tournament action, beating La Joya (Ariz.) High by a final of 19-3.

After starting the season with back-to-back losses, Farmington has now won five straight as their tournament weekend wraps up. They will be on the road to face off against Espanola Valley.