The Superior Senior Baseball All-Star team lost to Casa Grande in the Championship round of the AZ District 4 Senior Baseball Tournament. Both Superior losses in the double-elimination tournament came against Case Grande, which is playing for the AZ State Championship this week.
Superior handily defeated Maricopa in its first game of the tournament, 12 – 1. The first-round victory set up a July 10 contest with Casa Grande. Unfortunately, Superior didn’t find the same success in the second round, losing its first game in the tournament, 10 – 0. Superior was held to only two hits in the game – one each from Frank Pino and Marc Beuno.
“We just couldn’t get the bats going,” said Superior manager Robbie Real, aware it was an uncharacteristic offensive performance by his team.
Starting pitcher Ricky Longoria pitched an inning-and-a-third before being relieved by Edgar Galindo. Elias Olmos followed when he came in to pitch with one out in the third inning. The early pitching changes were made with a look forward, always part of the strategy in a double-elimination tournament.
“Our pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone,” Real said after the game. “In this league we’re playing in, pitch count is everything and when we’re wasting pitches by throwing balls instead of strikes it’s going to affect us.”
Despite the lopsided loss, Superior’s coaches and players were confident they could still play for the championship.
“It’s not out of our grasps yet,” Real said about winning the District Championship even with one loss. “We have to come to play – a different ball team has to show up. We have to shake it off and come back and play baseball.”
Superior bounced back in its next game on July 11 by shutting out Coolidge, 17 – 0. With the win, Superior would need to beat Casa Grande twice on July 12 to win the District 4 Championship and advance to the Arizona State Senior Baseball Tournament.
Casa Grande proved to be too much in the championship round dealing Superior its second loss of the tournament, 6 – 2, and winning the District 4 Championship.