Panthers drop two games to Miners

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Superior batter bunts during Friday’s game against San Manuel.
Kelli Luberda | Sun

Superior catcher Eric Oatis (#10) watches the progress of a foul ball hit by the Miners’ Armando Sierra (#7). Jennifer Carnes | Sun

Superior Sun

The 16th-ranked played back-to-back games last week versus the fifth-ranked San Manuel Miners and lost both games. The Miners were able to capitalize on the poor defensively play of the Panthers.

“We came out strong,” Ricky Longoria said after the 14 – 4 loss last Friday. “But one bad inning just killed us.”

The team knows an improvement in its defense is a must as the playoffs approach.

“Our defense has to get tougher,” Panthers’ head coach Manuel Ortega said after Friday’s game. “We’ve had two bad games defensively, but we’ll shape up before our next game.”

Including the two games versus San Manuel, the Panthers have played three straight games against teams ranked in the top seven in Division IV. Their next two games are against 18th-ranked Pima and 7th-ranked Ray. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, but the experience helps with the state tournament coming up.

“This helps us,” Ortega said about the tough stretch in the schedule. “We’ve seen three good pitchers over the last two games and we’re hitting the ball well. That’s the positive we have (out of the last two games).”

The players remain confident as the regular season winds down. They know where they were when the season started and where they are now.

“We’ve definitely improved from the beginning of the season,” Longoria said.

They have to make one last improvement – on defense – to finish strong.

Upcoming schedule: Apr. 23 vs. Pima, Apr. 25 @ Ray, and Apr. 28 DH vs. Gilbert Classical Academy. Games versus Pima and Ray begin at 4:00 p.m. Check with the school for game times and location for the doubleheader vs. GCA.

Andy Luberda (391 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Fourth of July Festivities

    July 3rd, 2015
    by

    Hayden: Come join the Town of Hayden for a fun Fourth of July Celebration! Come out to Hastings Park for […]


    Arizona Supreme Court Censures Justice of the Peace Larry A. Bravo

    July 3rd, 2015
    by

    PHOENIX – The Commission on Judicial Conduct announced today that on June 26, 2015, the Arizona Supreme Court censured Justice […]


    Pinal Libraries to Begin “Operation Digitization” Thanks to Grant from State

    July 3rd, 2015
    by

    FLORENCE – Do you have boxes of old photos that are sitting the closet gathering dust and beginning to fade […]


    “Frida Kahlo: Her Photos” to Present Selections of 241 Images in Exhibit to Open Oct. 31 Heard Museum

    July 3rd, 2015
    by

    Phoenix, AZ – For fans of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, an exhibit of her photographs opening Oct. 31 at the Heard […]


  • Stories Just For You

    Superior Schools: when to go, what you need and how to dress when you get there

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    Superior – Superior Junior and Senior High Students, and, the family and friends who love them, should take heed of this article, which is offered as a means of making


    All Stars underway, but it’s the volunteers that keep things running smoothly

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    The Superior Little League is the host for the district 11-12 year old boy’s all star tournaments this year.


    Superior 4th set for Saturday

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    The Town of Superior will host a Superior Fourth of July on Saturday, July 4, to celebrate Independence Day.


    New doc comes to CVRMC

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    Bryan A. Gunnoe, MD is one of the newest doctors on staff at Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center; he relocated and joins the staff as an Orthopedic Surgeon and everyone at


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather