By Nathaniel A. Lopez
The Ray baseball team spent their week competing in the 34th Annual Joe Padilla Baseball Tournament in Florence. The first day saw the Bearcats beat Coolidge in a close 4-3 game. The second day the boys faced off with Round Valley and, unable to claim the win, the final score was 3-10.
Day three was against Santa Cruz Valley, and the Bearcats turned it around for a 10-2 victory. Day four started with a game against Morenci. The final score of the game was a close 8-6, in the Bearcat’s favor. The boys were unable to pick up the win for the second game of the day against Thatcher. The final score of the game was a devastating 3-18.
“We represented Ray High School very well this year in the Florence Tournament. We went three out of five. My three seniors did well at the plate and in the field. Tracon Naranjo, Jack Warren and Issac Robles pitched the bulk of the innings, all three had great outings considering these were our first appearances in games on the mound,” commented Coach Alfred Lechuga. “Hunter Day ate up a couple big innings for us, and some young freshman; Jon Beede and Reggie Lechuga faced a really good Thatcher line up. At the plate, senior Jacob Barajas had an excellent tournament helping out the team huge in the middle of the line up. Mark Chester, a freshman, is really coming along for us on the field and at the plate.”
The Lobos also competed in the Florence tournament. The Lobos faced off with Superior for the first round of the tournament. The boys took it to the Panthers and beat them 10-2. The following day, Hayden was set to play Safford. It was a battle from the beginning, and Safford beat Hayden in the 1-12 game.
Day three started with a close game against Winslow. The Lobos had control for most of the game, and stopped Winslow one run from making the score a tie. The boys were victorious in the close 5-4 game. Later that day, The Lobos took on Show Low. They started off with a strong first inning, scoring 7 runs, but were unable to break past Show Low’s defense for the rest of the game. Hayden’s defense got lucky and once again stopped their opponents one run short of a tie, resulting in a 7-6 game.
The final day of the tournament saw Hayden set to play against Miami. By the end of the third inning, the Lobos had moved ahead 4-3, but Miami’s offense was able to break through during the fourth and fifth inning. Miami’s defense suppressed Hayden from posting anymore runs, resulting in a 4-8 loss.
“We won some, and lost some. I would say we did mediocre; we weren’t playing our best. We made some mistakes, but we’re going to fix them today during practice,” commented Head Coach Robert Lorona. “I told the boys to be ready, because the real season kicks off this week.”
Hayden’s baseball and softball season kicked off with a trip to St. David on March 1. Playing the returning state champions, the boys played a close game, but were unable to walk away with a win. The final score was 1-3. The Lady Lobos took it to St. David. Scoring four runs in the first inning, and six in the second, the girls had control of the game. St. David struggled to get past Hayden’s tough defense, only posting three runs. The final score was 18-3, in the Lady Lobos’ favor. The girls closed out their week with a game against Bisbee on March 3, resulting in another victory, with a final score of 11-8.
Both teams will play their first in-section game on March 11, versus Tempe Prep at home with start times of 4 p.m.
The Ray High School softball team had an eventful week on the field. The Lady ‘Cats kicked off their season by picking up a win by forfeit against Baboquivari on March 1. They continued their week with a game against Sequoia Charter on March 4. The Lady ‘Cats brought it to the Stallions only allowing them to get one run up on the board, as they posted 14. The final score of the game was 14-1, in the Lady ‘Cats favor. The following day, the girls traveled to Anthem and played two games against Anthem Prep. Both games resulted in victories for the Lady ‘Cats. The score of the first game was 19-2, while the score of the second game was 18-3.