Third time not the charm for Miners’ baseball team

San Manuel Miner

The San Manuel baseball team made its third straight semi-finals appearance in the State Championship tournament last Friday night. After losing in their two previous trips to the semi-final game, the Miners expected a different result on this trip versus Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. Unfortunately, the Miners’ offense was stymied in a 3 – 0 loss.

The Miners’ managed only two hits versus PRCA, one each from Shane Kelly and Alvaro Alvarez.

The Lions grabbed the lead early, scoring two runs in the first off Miners’ starter Anthony Garcia. After threatening several times in other innings, the Lions added another run in the fifth on their way to the win.

Garcia battled all night long and kept his team in the game to give them a chance to come back. The Miners’ defense was outstanding behind Garcia, who allowed seven walks in the game. The defense turned several double plays to keep the game close. Garcia pitched a complete game and allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits and seven walks. He struck out eight Lions’ hitters.

The Miners never could get runners on base to the play their small-ball game and as a result, made it look easy for the Lions’ pitcher.

Despite the loss, the Miners finished ranked in the top five in the state with a record of 19 – 7 and a Sectional Championship.

Seven seniors will graduate this year, leaving a number of positions to be filled next season.

Andy Luberda (145 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.

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