Prescott Valley All-Stars outlast Prescott, forcing 2nd title game Tuesday
PRESCOTT — Not only has Prescott Valley worked its way out from the loser’s bracket, but the team managed to topple Prescott 13-12 in the District 10 11U All-Stars Tournament finals Monday night to force game two Tuesday.
“It feels great,” Prescott Valley coach Jeremy Martin said. “We battled hard on Saturday night and lost and the boys came out with a lot of energy today. We hit the ball really well and had a couple of defensive letdowns but we battled hard and hit really well tonight.”
Prescott had the honor of sending Prescott Valley down to the loser’s bracket after taking their match-up in the second round of the winner’s bracket on Saturday.
However, Prescott Valley came back to haunt them after trouncing Verde Valley in the loser’s bracket to set up the rematch at Ziegler Field.
And Monday’s rematch was just as intense as expected between these two rival teams as Prescott Valley pounced out to an early lead in the first inning.
After Matix Dunn and Trevor Field were able to get on base, TJ Drape smacked a long 2RBI triple to get things going and give Prescott valley a 4-0 lead.
In particular, Dunn’s first at-bat was just a testament for what was to come next as he finished the game going 5 for 5 at the plate with five RBIs. His hits always came when Prescott Valley needed it most, whether it was to regain the lead or to add some insurance runs.
Connor Wallace started on the mound for Prescott Valley and put in a swift first inning. Prescott would come roaring back in the bottom of the second when a bases-clearing 3RBI triple from Evan Dietrick capped off a six-run rally to take a 6-4 lead.
“The heart of our lineup is hitting the ball very, very well,” Prescott manager Jason Gisi said on why his team was able to respond to the early deficit. “But we need the second half of the lineup to put the ball into play, and if we can do that, we’ll be alright.”
Despite tacking on their seventh run in the third frame, Prescott took their foot of the gas pedal a bit, allowing Prescott Valley to get back into the swing of things.
Field, Donavan Bayard, Colter Smith each hit a single to set up RBI hits from Dunn and Drape to recapture a 9-7 lead for Prescott Valley.
“I told them to come out and play like we’ve been here before and to play like they know how to play and putting the mistakes behind them and just have positive energy moving forward,” Martin said on what he told his team after surrendering the lead.
Prescott Valley continued to balloon their lead for the remainder of the game. Wallace, who finished the game giving up six earned runs while throwing five strikeout in five innings, did well to limit Prescott’s offense and was eventually relieved by Smith in the sixth inning.
Prescott would not go down without a fight as Wyatt Gisi, Colton Champion, William Horn and Dietrick helped cut the lead to 13-12 behind a series of singles and doubles. In the midst of Prescott’s comeback bid, Smith seemed shaky on the mound, but he was able to bag the final out by fanning the final batter to give Prescott Valley a well-earned victory.
Even in defeat, Jason Gisi still had some high praise for his team that battled tough and still has chance to win it all on Tuesday.
“I’m very proud of the way my guys came back there at the end,” Jason Gisi said. “Obviously, we had some challenges in the middle of the game that we had to work through and that happens. We get to play them in the championship game tomorrow, that’s the good news. Bad news is we lost tonight.
Prescott Valley and Prescott will return to Ziegler Field on Tuesday for the second leg of the championship to decide the winner of the tournament.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Aaron Valdez is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.