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Shamrocks force Game 3, need bats to wake up

Where's the offense? Senior led Shamrocks still looking for run support in state semifinals

YUMA, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - In the state AIA Class 3A baseball semifinals, the Yuma Catholic Shamrocks have been outscored 9-3 after two games, yet still find themselves tied with ALA-Gilbert North at a game each heading into Saturday's do or die Game 3 match up.

The Shamrocks, facing elimination on Thursday, got a strong performance on the mound from senior starter Isaac Araiza.

"He went out and pitched a shutout for us, he pitched 5 2/3, didn't give up a run, had eight strikeouts," Head coach Judd Thrower said. "He really stepped up, pitched well and gave us a chance to win."

However, in the sixth inning, Araiza met his pitch count and had to be taken out of the game. He exited with two out and left the bases loaded. Coach Thrower turned to another senior, Austin Priest, to keep the Shamrocks season alive.

"It was a very emotional game and we had to pull Isaac," Thrower said. "Austin induced a fly ball to left field with the bases loaded and got us out of the inning. Austin then finished the game in the seventh."

The Shamrocks survived and hung on to a 1-0 win to even the series. However, heading into the decisive Game 3, the Shamrocks will be without freshman hurler Mickey Fox and senior Isaac Araiza. Senior Austin Priest will also be limited due to pitch count.

"We're going with everybody on call for our pitching, throw everybody we can to try to win a game," Thrower said. "We have Austin Priest, DJ Sakay, Juan Lugo, Nomar Topete, they've all thrown innings for us this year. They can come in and piece together a game the best we can to get a win."

In order to do that, the Shamrocks bats need to come alive.

"We're hoping the bats get to show up," Thrower said. "We hope our bats wake up and we get our offense going and that will have to carry us i think."

The winner between Yuma Catholic and ALA-Gilbert North will play in the state championship game on Monday. Saturday's first pitch from Goodyear is set for 6:00 p.m.

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Scott Gross

Scott Gross joins the KYMA team as the CBS 13 sports director and weather forecaster. Scott comes to the Desert Southwest all the way from Alaska where he covered the military and education beats for KTVA-TV & KTUU-TV.

Contact him at scott.gross@kecytv.com.

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