Wed, Nov. 13

Mingus baseball’s rally comes up short against LW

Mingus senior Justin Tanner steals third during the Marauders’ 5-2 loss to Lee Williams at home on Thursday. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus senior Justin Tanner steals third during the Marauders’ 5-2 loss to Lee Williams at home on Thursday. VVN/James Kelley

After getting behind early in the season finale, Mingus Union baseball’s comeback bid came up just short.

No. 3 Lee Williams beat the No. 32 Marauders 5-2 in Cottonwood to win their seventh straight.

“It was a good game, a hard fought game,” Mingus head coach Erick Quesada said. “We knew how Lee Williams was, they’re a good team all around and at the end of the day they just did what they needed to do to execute more and get more runs across the plate, that’s all it was.”

With the victory, the Volunteers clinched their second straight Grand Canyon Region championship.

“In our region we’re neck and neck with anyone honestly and I feel like anyone could have won the region this year,” Quesada said. “Lee Williams has separated themselves and stuff like that, it’s a great program, they’re well coached, but it’s just kind of a bummer to see how we can play against a top tier team like that and our record doesn’t go to show that.”

Lee Williams took the lead in the first inning and then added three more in the second inning to go ahead 4-0.

Mingus first baseman Angel Betancourt responded with a two-run home run in the third.

Quesada estimated the ball, which hit the roof of the training building, went about 380 feet.

“Amazing, what a better way to end his high school career than with a home run on Senior Night,” Quesada said. “So it’s great for him, good kid and I’m very happy that he ended on a high note.”

The Vols would add an insurance run in the fourth and hold on to win. They celebrated by dousing head coach Patrick O’Boyle with water.

Jan Alvarez got two hits for Mingus Union, including a double.

Senior Justin Tanner started for the Marauders, giving up one earned run, five walks and four hits and striking out five in 4.1 innings of work. Cameron Machek relieved him, pitching 2.2 innings of shutout ball.

The Marauders went 7-16, 3-9 in Grand Canyon play, missing the postseason for the first time this century.

“As a whole it was a lot of ups and downs, a rollercoaster of a year,” Quesada said. “To my standards it wasn’t anywhere close to what I wanted or what we initially thought and like I said, if you had told me and the beginning of the year that we would miss the playoffs, I would have just shook my head and laughed at you, but here we are, this is the bed that we made and we just gotta lay in it now There’s no one else to blame but ourselves.”

The young Marauders entered the season with two or three players with significant varsity experience.

“The younger kids really stepped up,” Quesada said. “At the beginning of the year, there was a lot of a lot of inexperience and the game was passing a lot of kids by, a lot of ups and downs but as the season went on they really dialed it in and were able to compete with the best of them.”

Thursday’s Senior Night was the last for eight Marauder seniors.

“It’s a very special class, those are my guys and from last year to this year those are my leaders and it’s tough to see them go and those are eight great men who as I told them when I first took the job last year, by the end of the program you’re going to be better person than you are a baseball player and I truly believe they’re better people now after having me for two years,” Quesada said.

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