After splitting their four games at the Kingman Invitational tournament last weekend, Wickenburg High School’s baseball team will start 3A West Region competition by hosting Chino Valley at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 17.
However, the Wranglers will have two more games under their belts by then. They hosted Parker earlier this week and will travel to North Pointe Prep’s home field at the Victory Lane Complex in Glendale beginning at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, March 12.
Coach Gary Hodgkiss’ team started this week with a 3-3 record and will face a Chino Valley squad that held a 3-1 season record heading into this week’s action. The Cougars will be coming off a game against Williams that was held earlier this week and will compete in River Valley High School’s Route 66 Baseball Classic tournament this weekend.
The Wranglers, after posting their season-opening 9-5 victory against Coronado late last month, suffered their first loss of the season in a home game against Odyssey Institute last week, 3-1, before they traveled to Kingman the following day.
In the Kingman tournament, they opened with a 6-5 win against Youngker but then lost to Snowflake, 8-6. On the second day of the tournament, they edged River Valley 5-4 before being eliminated in their 5-1 loss to eventual tourney runner-up Lee Williams of Kingman.
Odyssey Institute 3
Managing only four hits through seven innings, the Wranglers plated their only run in the final inning.
Sophomore Korbyn Dowdy’s double scored senior Tyler Ness to avoid the shutout while sophomore Vinny Lorefice went the distance on the mound — allowing three runs (two earned) on seven Minotaur hits. He struck out seven and walked two through the seven innings.
Wrangler singles were recorded by sophomore Calogero “Ro” DiCamillo, junior Jakob Allore and sophomore Deven Vigueria.
Converting only three hits into six runs, the Wranglers were able to jump on top early with a five-run first inning before giving up three runs in the bottom of the first.
Another run in the second inning was all they needed to hold off the Roughriders, who added a run in the second inning and one more in the fourth.
DiCamillo, Lorefice and sophomore Drake Matney each rapped one hit, with Lorefice and Matney driving home runs with their singles.
Vigueria picked up the win on the mound, tossing the first two innings while Allore closed out the final two frames.
Carrying a 6-4 lead through the first three innings, the Wranglers gave up four runs to the Lobos in the fourth inning before being shut down in the fifth and final inning.
They plated their five runs on six hits, led by two-hit performances from Dowdy and junior catcher Danny Smith. They both smashed doubles, and Smith ended up driving in three runs while Dowdy sent one run home.
DiCamillo pitched three-plus innings while giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits, while Matney allowed two runs on two hits before retiring the Lobos in their final chance at the plate.
River Valley 4
Being the No. 8-seeded team in the championship bracket, the Wranglers needed a two-run rally in the fifth and final inning to knock off No. 9-seeded River Valley.
DiCamillo’s triple highlighted his two-hit day while Allore and junior Bryson Alder contributed one hit each that also produced runs.
Freshman Aaron Marquez started on the mound and gave up four runs on seven hits over three innings while Dowdy shut down the Dust Devils offense in allowing only one hit over the final two innings.
Lee Williams 5
Like they did against Odyssey Institute two days earlier, the Wranglers managed only one run on four hits and couldn’t score until the final inning.
Matney included a double in his two-hit day while DiCamillo and Alder provided the two other hits (singles).
Junior Elijah McGuire pitched all five innings and limited the No. 1-seeded Volunteers to only two earned runs, with the other three crossing the plate after three Wrangler errors.