Sun, Dec. 08

Verde Valley edges Flagstaff's Continental in State Tournament

The 10-11 Verde Valley Little League began its trek through the State Tournament, which is being held in Kingman and hosted by the Kingman South Little League.

On Wednesday, Verde Valley faced its first opponent of the tournament, Continental Little League of Flagstaff. After six tough innings, Verde Valley emerged the winner with a 2-0 score.

It was a pitcher's battle. Continental was held scoreless through the game with the arm of Brett Pinar keeping batters at bay and the Verde Valley defense playing solid ball.

Verde Valley's bats were cold at first but then came alive in the bottom of the third inning when Miguel Gonzalez hit a single. He advanced to second on an error. Then Zane Scott hit a sacrifice to the second baseman, which advanced Gonzalez to third. Jalin Scott followed and hit a single to score the first run of the game.

An inning later Verde Valley doubled its lead when Ruben Contreras led off with a double. Then Cordell McKeever followed with another double to drive the run in.

Ahead 2-0, Verde Valley stayed tough on defense and Continental was denied any runs through six inning and Verde Valley hung on for the win.

On the mound, Pinar fanned 11 batters and allowed four hits. He pitched a complete game, reaching the 85-pitch maximum allowed on his final batter of the game.

At the plate Jalin Moore went 1-for-2 with an RBI, Cordell McKeever went 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI, Orland Machado went 2-for-3 and Contreras hit a double.

Verde Valley will play again today at 7:45 p.m. vs. the team from District 14. Then the team will take the field on Saturday vs. District 12 at 5:30 p.m. and then round out the pool play on Monday vs. the team from District 6 at 7:45 p.m. If Verde Valley can finish as one of the top two teams in their pool, then they will advance to the semifinal game to be played on Thursday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m.

The two winners of the semifinal games will face off on Friday, July 25 for the State Tournament Championship. That game will be played at 7:30 p.m.

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