Queen Creek had no trouble walking away with an opening-round victory in the 3A state baseball tournament Friday, despite the fact the school hasn't been in a playoff game since 1989.
Three Camp Verde pitchers accounted for 12 walks, and Queen Creek had no trouble taking what was given to it in an 11-0 victory at the Maryvale Sports Complex in a game called after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule. The Bulldogs will face Snowflake at noon today at Maryvale in second-round play.
Queen Creek senior right-hander Tommy SanFilipo (10-2) allowed just three hits.
"He had great location and just did a super job on the mound," Queen Creek co-coach Ben Rodriguez said. "He's done a great job all season long."
SanFilipo struck out five and walked one.
"It was the first time we made the playoffs in 15 years," SanFilipo said. "We came out ready to play today. My arm felt really strong."
The Bulldogs (11-7) were led by leadoff hitter Hayden Moss, who was 2-for-3 with five RBIs.
Jody Jenkins' two-out single gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the first off Camp Verde starter Dillon Morgan. Morgan walked two in a row in a two-run Queen Creek second and was lifted for Luke Hicks. Hicks struggled with the strike zone as well, walking three in succession in the third, and Moss made him pay with a two-run single for a 5-0 lead.
Moss drove in another run with a single in the fifth. He added a sacrifice fly and an RBI walk with the bases loaded.
FOUNTAIN HILLS 4, SANTA CRUZ 1: Sophomore left-hander Tyler Ruch (8-1) scattered six hits to send the Falcons (25-4) into today's second round of the 3A state tournament against against Lakeside Blue Ridge at noon at Maryvale Sports Complex.
Ruch also helped out offensively with a double and two RBIs. Austin Jones was 2-for-3 for Fountain Hills.
Jones doubled and scored on an infield out in the first. After Santa Cruz tied the game in the third, Ruch's RBI double and a two-out RBI single by Jason Demore gave the Falcons a 3-1 lead. Mark Bolstad's RBI triple, again with two out, extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth.
Ruch did the rest from there.
"He's a seasoned sophomore," Fountain Hills coach Mike Briguglio said. "He makes his pitches, and our defense does a good job. When he's on, he and our defense are a good combination."
HIGLEY 2, WINSLOW 1: Pat De La Cerda had 12 strikeouts and hit the game-winning sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to lead the Knights (21-8) over the Bulldogs.
Higley advances to face Chino Valley today.
CHINO VALLEY 3, SETON CATHOLIC 2: John Tobin went 1-for-3 with an RBI as the Sentinels (15-6) fell to the Cougars.