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Sun, July 21

Marauders take 2nd at Spring Classic

The Mingus Union baseball team continued its quest for a tournament win in the Spring Classic on Tuesday as the Marauders headed into the quarterfinal game against Thunderbird. The Marauders continued to prove that they are a formidable team with a 15-5 win.

With Trevor Sanderlin on the mound and the Marauder bats flying, Mingus Union had no trouble knocking Thunderbird out of the tournament.

Mingus scored its first run when Sean Simonz and Tony Vocca started things off with back to back singles. With two outs, Mike cook got a single and drove Simonz in.

Thunderbird tied the game up 1-1 in the bottom of the 2nd. Both teams remained scoreless in the third as they battled it out. Mingus scored the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth, but Thunderbird battled back and scored three runs to take the lead, 4-2.

From then it was all Mingus. In the top of the fifth the highlight was a two-run homer by Schultz to get the party started. The Marauders added two more runs in the top of the fifth to lead 6-4. Defensively the Marauders shut out Thunderbird in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the sixth, all bats broke loose as the Marauders pounded the ball, one batter after another. Billy Grant started things off with a single, followed by Simonz, Vocca, Brandon Holmes, Pat Moran and Mike Cook who all had singles.

With one out, Spencer Earl and Sanderlin were hit by pitches, Grant doubled, Simonz hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Vocca finished things off with a two-run single for a total of nine runs.

Thunderbird scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Marauders were able to hang on and 10-run mercy rule the home team, 15-5.

Vocca and Cook both went 3-for-4 with three RBI's, followed by Grant who hit 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI, Homes went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI's, Moran went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Schultz crushed a two run homer.

After Tuesday's excitement in the quarterfinals, the Marauders traveled back down to take on Millennium in the semifinals. Again the Marauder bats were hitting anything that moved and Mingus won the semifinal game, 16-7.

In the top of the first, Simonz led off with a single. Vocca followed with a double and Holmes drove in Simonz on a ground out. Moran worked the pitcher and was walked. With Vocca on third, a pass ball gave him the opportunity to score and Mingus went up 2-0 after one.

Mingus continued to dominate the innings. Mingus scored another one in the second and four in the top of the third to make it 9-1 after three.

In the top of the third inning, Moran and Cook led off with back-to-back doubles. Schultz reached on on an error. With two outs, Billy Grant walked, Simonz singled and got an RBI, then Vocca singled and knocked in two more runs.

An inning later, Millennium began having control issues on the mound. Moran got on base after being hit by a pitch, then Cook walked. Both runners advanced on a pass ball. Then Schultz reached on an error and scored a run. Earl followed with a single, all with no outs. With one out, Grant singled and got an RBI, Grant singled to get an RBI and then both Simonz and Holmes knocked out doubles for two RBIs apiece.

The hitting continued and Millennium never had a chance to catch up.

Having gone 5-1 in the tournament, the Marauders were finally going to the championship game. Their opponent was Queen Creek. Despite a stellar effort throughout the tournament, the Marauders fell to Queen Creek, 14-10.

The game began as a battle, both teams were scoreless in the first inning. In the top of the second, Queen Creek was blanked again by the Marauder defense. Once the Marauders put the bats in their hands, it was a free-for-all inning. Cook started things off with a single, then he stole second base. Schultz got up and scored Cook on a single. Schultz scored on a triple by Earl. With Earl on third, Tim Kessel walked to put runners at the corners. Still with one out, Simonz singled, which scored Earl and the Vocca came up big with a two-run triple.

Leading 5-0 after two, the Marauders looked to have great momentum to win the game and the tournament. Both teams scored a run in the third inning, but in the top of the fifth, disaster struck. Queen Creek began timing the ball and they had a big inning at the plate.

With one out, Queen Creek got back-to-back singles. The third batter reached on an error. Two more singles were served up and the scoring began. The next batter hit a double, followed by a walk and a single. After the dust settled, Queen Creek has scored six runs to go ahead, 7-6.

Two runs were scored by each team in the sixth inning. Mingus kept Queen Creek from scoring any more runs in the top of the 7th and the Marauders headed into the bottom of the inning behind by one.

With one out, Earl reached first on an error, then stole second base. With one runner on, Sanderlin got the RBI to tie the game with a single. Grant followed with another single and put runners on first and second. The bats cooled and two fly-outs ended the inning and sent the game into the eighth inning, tied 9-9.

"It wasn't pretty," said assistant coach Frank Vocca.

Queen Creek began the hitting with a single. That runner made his way around the bases to third. With two outs, Mingus walked the bases loaded. An error led to the first run scoring, then a triple cleared the bases and one more runner crossed the plate before the end of the inning, adding five runs to the Queen Creek tally.

Behind 14-9 Mingus scored one more run in the bottom of the eighth but their opportunity to win slipped away and Queen Creek won the game and the championship in the Spring Classic Tournament.

Mingus finished 2nd out of 20 teams competing in the tournament. Most of the teams were from the greater Phoenix area and the Marauders were the only team traveling the two hours to play.

"We were the only ones that jumped on a buss for a million days in a row," said coach Vocca.

The team's record is 11-5 and went 5-2 in the tournament.

The Marauders were scheduled to play Buckeye Thursday night. Then the team has a few days off before they face Flagstaff on Tuesday in their conference opener at home. Game time is 3:30 p.m.

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