A two-out, four-run rally in the top of the fourth inning provided all the runs the Casa Grande Cougars needed to defeat the Rio Rio Hawks 4-2 on Friday at RRHS.
The Hawks took an early 1-0 on a single by Edgar Olmos and an RBI double by Jose Valle in the bottom of the first. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Ryan Zuniga kept the visitors off the scoreboard for the first three innings.
But with one out in the top of the fourth, Casa Grande loaded the bases on a walk, a hit batter and a single. The next hitter popped out, but the Cougars’ Zack O’Dell followed with a bases-clearing double to center. O’Dell then came in to score on a single.
Trailing 4-1, Rio Rico had a chance to close the gap in the bottom of the fourth when a walk to Gerardo Alcantar and a double by Saul Sedano put runners at second and third with nobody out. But Casa Grande pitcher Jacob Marshall got out of the jam by fanning the next three batters.
The Hawks loaded the bases with two out in the fifth, but again couldn’t score.
They finally plated another run in the sixth when Juda Dominguez singled and Ricky Arredondo doubled him home.
Sedano came on in relief of Zuniga to start the fifth inning and shut down the Cougars in their final three at-bats, but the Hawks couldn’t rally in the seventh and lost the game, falling to 1-4 on the season.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association’s executive committee is set to meet Monday to discuss the fate of the remainder of the high school sports season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. If games are allowed to continue, the Hawks would play at the Lancer Baseball Classic tournament March 16-18 in Tucson, and then at Nogales on March 23 in a game set to begin at 6 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium.