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Marauders escape 9-8, eliminate Bears’ baseball from postseason
Prep Baseball: State Play-In Round

Bradshaw Mountain Paxton Prentice (22) gets into second base after recording a two-RBI single against Mingus on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cottonwood. (James Kelley/Independent)

Bradshaw Mountain Paxton Prentice (22) gets into second base after recording a two-RBI single against Mingus on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cottonwood. (James Kelley/Independent)

COTTONWOOD — Bradshaw Mountain’s late rally at Mingus came up just short in the state play-in tournament.

The No. 13 Marauders held on to beat the No. 20 Bears 9-8 on Thursday at home.

Mingus led 9-4 after five innings.

“One run short, they’re a good team, we battled, we made some mistakes during the middle and it would have been a good time for any team to lay down and we didn’t, we fought, my seniors carried the team and I’ve very proud of them,” Bears coach Brian Bundrick said. “It was one of those games where you hate losing because you fought so hard but someone’s got to lose and it was us today.”

The Marauders move on to the state championship tournament.

“I was telling all these guys ‘a win’s a win,’” said first-year Mingus coach Erick Quesada. “It wasn’t pretty by any means but at the end of the day we’ll be playing on Saturday, so I’m very thankful for that but really proud of my guys for battling and staying within the game.”

Trailing 9-4 in heading into the sixth, senior Timmy Young got an RBI single and senior Shane Pryor drew a bases loaded walk for the Bears. Then Bradshaw Mountain starting pitcher Paxton Prentice knocked in a couple more runs. Prentice had four RBIs on the day.

“We started with a sophomore on the mound, a sophomore behind the plate and a sophomore shortstop, surrounded by seniors calling the shots and I think the shots went well, we just made a few mistakes and then didn’t capitalize a couple times but other than that it was great,” Bundrick said. “I’m just super proud. We were seven games out seven games ago and here we are today.”

The Bears won six in a row and seven their last eight. Meanwhile the Marauders entered the postseason having lost three in a row.

“During the regular season they weren’t as were as they were today, they came out to play today,” said Mingus senior Angel Betancourt.

Mingus swept the regular season series 11-1 at home and 9-7 in Prescott Valley.

“As soon as I found out that we were playing Bradshaw Mountain, I was really nervous because the fact of that’s a team that knows everything about us, we’ve played them twice and we don’t have the advantage of going in pretty much blind against someone else, so it was a trap game, it was a trap game,” said Quesada, who graduated from Mingus in 2011. “Hats off to Bradshaw, they’re a great program, a great team and they really gave us a battle today.”

UP NEXT

Mingus moves on to the 4A state tournament, starting Saturday at 4 p.m. Their opponent and the game’s location will be announced Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on nfhsnetwork.com.

James Kelley is a sports writer for the Verde Independent. Follow him on Twitter at @JamesKelley520, or email him at jkelley@verdenews.com.

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