Streaking Sunrise Mountain steals win from Mingus baseball
Mingus Union baseball’s surprising season came to end Saturday at Peoria Sunrise Mountain.
The No. 5 Mustangs beat the No. 12 Marauders 12-2 in six innings in the first round of the state tournament.
“The game didn’t go in our favor obviously,” Mingus head coach Erick Quesada said. “It was a hard fought game for the most part but towards the end of it we kinda let a few things slip away from us and in turn they capitalized and in the result the better team won in the end, so you gotta tip your cap where it’s due and that pitcher pitched a great game and Sunrise Mountain played a great game as well.”
Sunrise Mountain stole a state record 17 bases against the Marauders, eclipsing the previous best of 15 that Phoenix Sunnyslope set twice in 1990, once against Phoenix Cortez and once against Prescott. The record across all conferences is 45 from Salome against Seligman in 1992 in the 1A ranks.
Senior Jordan Huey gave Mingus Union a 2-0 in the top of the first when he knocked in two runs but the Mustangs tied it up in the bottom of the first. Then they scored three in the third, fourth in the fifth and three more in the sixth to get the win.
Sunrise Mountain has won 17 games in a row, two more since knocking off the Marauders. After wins over Oro Valley Canyon del Oro and Tucson Salpointe Catholic, the Mustangs are in the semifinals and No. 1 Nogales or Salpointe needs to beat them twice to make the championship game.
“They don’t get enough credit for the region that they’re in for sure but winning 15 games in a row is still a great testament to that program,” Quesada said. “They’re a great program, they have a really good coach and they know what they’re doing and they put it all together and they tied things together at the right time against us I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a serious run in the tournament.”
Although the Marauders started the season with a lot of turmoil, they almost won the region, earned a postseason win and made it to the state tournament. Quesada is the Marauders’ third head coach in less than a year and they had key players suspended as a result of the alleged hazing scandal.
“The season as a whole was nothing but success given our certain circumstances that began the year,” Quesada said. “I couldn’t be more proud of my team and my guys to be completely honest with you I’m very thankful to be their coach and for them to really buy into what I was trying to get across so I just love my team and I wish them nothing but the best from here on out.”
When Quesada took over the program in March, the Mingus Union alum had hoped to have success like this but wasn’t sure if they could.
“I kinda was hoping for it but like it’s baseball, anything could happen but it just shows that the guys, they wanted to be better, they expected more of themselves and I demand a lot out of them, there’s not question about it,” Quesada said. “I came in with a whole new philosophy and mindset and it takes a lot for 15 players to buy in and that’s what every one of them did and like I said it just shows how true of a character these kids have and as athletes in general, they’re just great all around guys.”