Superior’s McConnell does it all against No. 4 Bearcats

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  Top-ranked Superior benefitted from a memorable performance by junior Daniel McConnell, who starred on the mound and at the plate in the Panthers’ 4 – 1 victory at Ray last Wednesday.

  The loss was the Cats’ first of the season and ended their seven-game winning streak.

  On the mound, McConnell limited the Cats’ high-scoring offense, which entered the game averaging more than 15 runs per game, to only two hits and an unearned run with three walks and eight strikeouts in 6-2/3 IP. He also helped himself at the plate, going 3-for-4, including a pair of doubles, with three RBI’s.

  “(Daniel) had an all-around performance by helping himself out and drove in some runs,” Superior head coach Manuel Ortega told the Superior Sun. “His performance on the mound was amazing. He controlled the game and executed very well.”

  Gabe Otero, Kale Major and Jesus Castellanos each had two hits for the Panthers, Castellanos, a senior, pitch one-third of an inning to pick up the save.

  Wednesday’s game was the first of two – and likely more – between two teams that may be the favorites to play for the state championship later this spring.

  “I like how my team is playing right now,” Ortega said. “This is a team game and everyone from the first batter all the way down to the bench players have to execute and do their job. If we keep playing like this, we will be a very tough team to beat.”

  Superior up next:  Mar. 28 at Bagdad (5 p.m.), Mar. 29 vs. Valley Union (3:15 p.m.), and Apr. 2 at Duncan (4 p.m.).

  Ray up next:  Mar. 29 vs. Duncan (4 p.m.), Apr. 1 vs. NFL Yet Academy (4 p.m.) and Apr. 2 at Ft. Thomas (4 p.m.).

Andy Luberda (1120 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.


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