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Shamrocks eliminated, bats stay cold in state semi’s

Yuma Catholic is outscored 16-4 in AIA state Class 3A semifinals against ALAGN

GOODYEAR, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - Heading into Saturday night's winner take all showdown with ALA-Gilbert North in the state class 3A semifinal, Yuma Catholic head baseball coach Judd Thrower knew his Shamrocks needed to score runs.

"Our bats need to wake up," Thrower said. "I just hope tonight is the night, we need them."

Heading into Saturday's contest, Yuma Catholic was outscored by the Eagles 9-3. In game one in the best of three series the Shamrocks fell 9-2. In game two, behind strong pitching performances from seniors Isaac Araiza and Austin Priest, the Shamrocks won a thrilling 1-0 contest.

Yuma Catholic needed the bats in game three as freshman pitching phenom Mickey Fox and senior Isaac Araiza, a DI baseball signee to San Diego State University, would not be available due to pitch counts. Keeping the game close would come down to starter Austin Priest and a handful of relievers.

Yuma Catholic's bats stayed limp to start the game while ALAGN jumped ahead early with three runs scored in the bottom of the first before any out was even recorded.

ALAGN sophomore starter Hayden Clegg was masterful and kept the Shamrocks under control. Clegg also delivered what would prove to be the knockout blow at the plate in the first inning, delivering and bloop single to center that scored two runs. Yuma Catholic never recovered as Clegg pitched 6 1/3 before leaving due to pitch count. The damage was already done, Yuma Catholic fell 7-1 and once again, the bats didn't show up.

I'm proud of my seniors and proud of my team," Shamrocks head coach Judd Thrower said. "They went out there and battled the best they could. Left it all on the field today. We got beat by the better team today. You gotta tip your cap to them a little because they went out there and they executed."

We had no give up, no quit, we performed like Shamrocks should

Judd Thrower - Yuma Catholic Head Baseball Coach

The strong season ends for eight Yuma Catholic seniors. Disappointment, tears and frustration all bubbled to the surface after the loss.

"I told them this was the funnest I've ever had coaching baseball," Thrower said. "I was honored and it was a pleasure to be able to coach these guys as a team. they are a special group of kids, I'll forever be indebted to them, they did a lot of great things."

The Shamrocks were outscored in the three game series 16-4. ALAGN now heads to the AIA Class 3A state championship game versus Northwest Christian on Monday.

Article Topic Follows: High School Sports

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Scott Gross

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