One-and-done no more.
After a couple of early exits in recent tournaments, Kearny Ray won its opening game in the Division IV baseball tournament, defeating Flagstaff Northland Prep 11-1 in six innings.
“We played pretty solid baseball,” Ray coach Rene Pacheco said. “I thought our kids executed the hit-and-runs and put people in scoring position. Our small ball was really good today.”
Senior ace pitcher Alex Carrera led Ray, as he went all six innings. allowing just the one earned run, while giving up four hits and striking out eight. Though Carrera had some trouble with his command at times, walking one and hitting three batters, he was able to avoid trouble with multiple pickoffs of runners on first.
Northland Prep started the scoring with a run in the top of the third, but allowed Ray to answer with two of its own in the bottom half. After Northland Prep’s starting pitcher, Andrew Peters, was forced to leave the game following a line drive off the shin in the fourth, Ray blew the game open scoring six in the inning.
Dominic Bravo set the tone for Ray’s offense, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases, but the entire lineup contributed in the win. The game ended on a wild pitch by junior pitcher Keegan Martinjako that allowed sophomore Jacob Pace to score after his two-out triple.
“Getting this win in the second round is huge for our kids,” added Pacheco, whose team had a first-round bye. “Our goal was to make a run, especially for the seniors, and it was a total team effort.”