Two teams from the Nogales National Little League were 2-0 in their respective Arizona state tournaments through Wednesday.
In the Junior Division (ages 12-14), Nogales cruised to victory in the opening round of the state playoffs in Sierra Vista last Sunday, defeating Gilbert 20-0 in four innings.
Esteban Acevedo and Alan Durazo teamed up on the mound to no-hit the Gilbert offense, while also helping their team at the plate. Acevedo went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Durazo scored three runs in the leadoff spot. Jerry Alcantar went 2-for-4 with a team-high four RBIs.
On Tuesday, Nogales faced a much tougher battle against the Western Little League team from Tucson, managing only two hits in the game against Western pitcher Troy Ituralde – one by Durazo and another by Uriel Quintero. But they still managed to score three times, and that was enough to win 3-1 as Acevedo pitched a complete-game gem, holding the Tusconans to one run on five hits and a walk while striking out nine batters.
The Nogales Junior Division All-Stars were next set to take on Sunnyside Little League in a winners bracket game on Wednesday, but the contest was postponed due to bad weather.
The Minors Division (ages 9-11) All-Stars from Nogales traveled to Flagstaff for the opening of their state tournament and started off with a bang, defeating Freedom Little League 7-3 on Monday.
Ivan Molina was two-for-two with two doubles and three runs, and Jesus Rodriguez and Angel Taddey combined to throw a six-inning four-hitter.
The next day, Nogales exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the first inning and eight more in the second as they beat Arcadia 17-2 in three innings.
Xaciel Garcia, E.J. Meyer, Juan Pablo Tapia and Nico Bernal all had two hits for the winners.
Nogales was scheduled to play the Oro Valley All-Stars, also 2-0, on Thursday, after the NI’s press deadline.
(Game statistics courtesy of gamechanger.com)