Panthers defeat Hayden at Padilla Tournament

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Panthers Nicolaus Cruz warms up on the mound.
Kelli Luberda | Superior Sun

Panthers’ Ricky Longoria at bat. Kelli Luberda | Superior Sun

Superior Sun

The Panthers’ baseball team won its first game of the season last week versus Hayden, 18 – 6. Like many other teams, the Panthers competed in the Joe S. Padilla Baseball Tournament last weekend.

The results weren’t as positive in other games for the Panthers. But playing in these tournaments is not as much about wins and losses as it is about gaining experience. For a team with a number of freshmen, the experience is more important.

“It’s helping us,” Panthers’ head coach Manuel Ortega said of playing in the Padilla Tournament. “We’re getting used to live play and seeing teams that are better than us, which will help us in the future.”

Ortega wants to see his team improve and believes they are talented enough to do just that.

“They’ll get more comfortable,” Ortega said after an 11 – 0 loss to Combs. “They’ll be ready (when the regular season starts).”

Some of the younger players on the team know there are high expectations on them and appear ready to meet the challenges of playing at the varsity level.

“I’m sure I speak for all the freshmen – people were telling us it’s a different game up here and it is,” freshman phenom Nicolaus Cruz said. “We just need to adapt quick. People are expecting a lot from us and I think we can pull it out.”

Varsity veterans like senior Ceasar Villalobos know their responsibilities include helping the younger players adjust to the speed of the game.

“We need to have them work hard at practice and get reps,” Villalobos said. “They’re adjusting well, so far.”

The Panthers upcoming schedule includes a home game versus Duncan on March 13 at 3:30 p.m.

Andy Luberda (995 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Superior Chamber to host 10th annual Superior Home and Building Tour

    January 15th, 2018
    by

      Have you ever wondered what the insides of some of the homes in Superior look like?    We have […]


    In Your Biz: Superior Chamber of Commerce

    January 15th, 2018
    by

    The Superior Chamber of Commerce has been a leading organization in Superior for decades.  The organization formed to support and […]


    San Manuel alum Warner Smith loses battle with ALS

    January 15th, 2018
    by

      All Warner Smith wanted was a fighting chance, and like he did on the gridiron at San Manuel High […]


    Arbizo, Barragan to advance to State Hoop Shoot

    January 15th, 2018
    by

       On Saturday, Jan. 6, the Kearny Elks were represented at the East District Hoop Shoot Contest with the six […]


  • Additional Stories

    United States Forest Service finalizes plan to protect Apache Leap; approval comes after detailed consultation with stakeholders

    January 15th, 2018
    by

      The United States Forest Service has finalized plans for the Apache Leap Special Management Area (SMA) to protect the […]


    Pastor’s Corner: What Comes After ‘For God So Loved The World’

    January 15th, 2018
    by

    Most of us know and can quote John 3:16, but do we know verse 17? “God did not send His Son […]


    Superior boys doubled up in loss

    January 15th, 2018
    by

      In its first game in three weeks, the No. 15-ranked Superior boys’ basketball team looked like it hadn’t played […]


    Miner wrestlers earn sweep during holiday break

    January 15th, 2018
    by

      The San Manuel wrestling team swept the Miami multi-meet, defeating Pima (40 – 36), Dobson (46 – 24), and […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger