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Sat, Feb. 22

Mingus baseball rallies to get walk off win over Bradshaw

The Mingus Marauders celebrate their 5-4 inning walk off win over Bradshaw Mountain on Tuesday. VVN/James Kelley

The Mingus Marauders celebrate their 5-4 inning walk off win over Bradshaw Mountain on Tuesday. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus Union baseball rallied from an early four run deficit on Thursday to beat Bradshaw Mountain in extras with a walk off.

In the bottom of the eighth, senior Chaz Taylor’s RBI single drove in Jan Alvarez to give the Marauders the 5-4 win.

“That was a heck of a game,” Mingus head coach Erick Quesada said. “You gotta tip your cap to Bradshaw, they put it on us early, 4-0. I’m beyond proud of my guys, coming back from down 4-0 to make it interesting and push it to extra innings and win it. Chaz Taylor had a very rough day and then one at bat changes the whole game, so I’m over the moon for my guys right now.”

Taylor said he was a little bit mad they intentionally walked the batter ahead of him, but he understood.

He didn’t have to be happy about it though.

“So I was kinda mad and I just wanted to prove them wrong I guess (laughs),” Taylor said.

The No. 30 Marauders (3-9, 2-4 Grand Canyon) avenged a 6-2 loss to the No. 31 Bears on Tuesday in Prescott Valley.

On Thursday, the Marauders fell behind 3-0 in the second inning. After they had a couple innings end in line drive double plays it looked like it wouldn’t be Mingus Union’s day, especially after the Bears drew a bases loaded walk in the third to go up 4-0.

However, the Marauders battled back. Angel Betancourt drove in a pair in the fifth and then Joe Machado and Elian Martinez each drew bases loaded walks to tie it up.

“I’ve been on the guys all year just to try to pick it up in the dugout, try to pick it up on the field and it’s kinda crazy, I see when everything kinda goes in motion with everything how a game could change like that, having the guys in the dug out on our guys in the field, it’s a beautiful thing, it’s baseball,” Quesada said.

Senior Cameron Machek got the start and though he got the no decision because he had to leave when his pitch count neared the limit, Quesada praised him.

Taylor came in to relieve him and got the win.

“Pitching was fantastic, Cameron Machek, he gave us a great outing,” Quesada said. “Our defense once again kinda let us down but then you have Chaz Taylor coming in a very tough spot and he excelled I could tip my cap to both of those, they’re great competitors.”

Taylor returned to baseball this season after two years away from the game.

Quesada, who coached Taylor in football earlier this year, said “without a doubt” baseball is one of the harder sports to return to after a long layoff.

“As the saying goes ‘you could put a baseball player in a football uniform and a basketball uniform and he could compete but you do that vice versa and it’s tough to hit a white ball from 60 feet away going really fast,’” Quesada said. “Chaz Taylor is stupid athlete, he’s a freak and coming back after two years and doing what he’s doing this year, it’s incredible. Like I said, he’s just an amazing kid and an amazing athlete.”

Taylor said as the season has gone on he’s started to overthink his swing more, that it was easier to when was fresh from the basketball court in February.

“The start was rough for me, I’m kinda struggling with my swing right now, but the finish was good,” Taylor said. “It was a team effort with everything that happened, with Chris (Mathe) laying that bunt down and moving Jan to second and it was all a team effort to get that win.”

Quesada said the win gives them great momentum.

“I think it will help us a lot,” Taylor said. “I think just the way the game went, we needed that, we needed something exciting, something upbeat and I think we’ll be good from here on out.”

UP NEXT

The Marauders travel to No. 18 Coconino on Tuesday before hosting the Panthers on Wednesday at 3:45 p.m.

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