Roadrunners advance to state semi-finals, end Winslow Bulldogs' season

SURPRISE, Ariz. - The Holbrook Roadrunners defeated the Winslow Bulldogs 13-8 in the first round of the Arizona State 3A Baseball Tournament played in Surprise on May 6. The loss ended Winslow's season with a record of 18-12 during the campaign. Holbrook continued its winning ways in the state tournament with a 9-5 win over Empire on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals against Estrella Foothills, a 15-0 victor over Safford. That game will be at 3 p.m. on Friday.

The Roadrunners got a brilliant mound performance from Javier Quintana who allowed five runs on six hits and four walks in four and a third innings. Matt Smith suffered the loss for Winslow going four innings plus before relief from Vittorio Sells.

Winslow had a brief 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a double by Colton Corum and a single by Matt Smith. Holbrook tied the score in the second inning on a single by Ryan Baldenado, a stolen base and an error. The Roadrunners went up 5-1 in the third inning on a single by Kory Koerperich, a hit batsman, a home run by Ryan Baldenado, a walk and a double by Joey Aguilera. It became 6-1 in the fourth on a single by Caleb Layden, a hit batsman and a ground out.

The Roadrunners built a commanding 13-1 lead in the top of the fifth on a walk, a single by Blake Maestas, a walk, a single by Caleb Layden, a hit batsman, singles by Levi Reyes and Ryan Baldenado, Jesse Spangler and Joey Aguilera.

Winslow cut the margin to 13-6 in the bottom of the fifth to avoid the 10 run mercy rule. There were three walks followed y doubles by Colton Corum and Matt Smith and a single by Jevon Estelle. Two Holbrook errors in the bottom of the sixth led to a run to cut the lead to 13-7 and a run scored in the bottom of the seventh on a single by Rhett Hardy, a balk, a hit batsman and a walk but that was as close as the Bulldogs could come.

Holbrook defeated Empire on Saturday to advance to meet Estrella Foothills, 15-0 winners over Safford. In the other bracket, Blue Ridge will meet River Valley in the semi-finals. Blue Ridge defeated Florence 8-1 while River Valley bested Chino Valley 11-2.

In games on Friday, Blue Ridge had beaten Monument Valley 222-0, Florence had blanked Payson 10-0, River Valley had beaten Show Low 11-6, Safford had thrashed San Tan Foothills 12-1, Estrella Foothills had topped Sedona Red Rock 11-2, Holbrook defeated Winslow 13-8 and Empire had upended Fountain Hills 8-6.

The Roadrunners were the only 3A North Region team to win in the state playoffs. They defeated Winslow and both Monument Valley and Window Rock lost first round games though the Scouts gave Chino Valley a scare before losing 2-1. Holbrook was the 3A North Region Champion and Window Rock the second place team and regular season champion.


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