Mingus baseball takes command of region with Flagstaff sweep

Mingus junior Chris Mathe reaches to tag out a Flagstaff runner during the Marauders’ 14-4 win at home on Tuesday. On Thursday Mingus Union beat the Eagles 8-4 on the road.  (VVN/James Kelley)

Mingus junior Chris Mathe reaches to tag out a Flagstaff runner during the Marauders’ 14-4 win at home on Tuesday. On Thursday Mingus Union beat the Eagles 8-4 on the road. (VVN/James Kelley)

Mingus Union baseball completed the season sweep of Flagstaff and took control of the Grand Canyon Region.

On Thursday, the No. 9 Marauders beat No. 10 Flagstaff 8-4 on the road.

“The game went really well,” said Mingus head coach Erick Quesada. “It was a tough game because we were battling the elements, it was really windy, it was very cold, but it was overall a good game, very tight and then it came down to wire actually and then Flagstaff had a lot of mistakes that cost them but we capitalized on them and we ended up winning the game.”

The Eagles, who were ranked fourth before they lost two games in a row to Mingus Union last week, committed 11 errors compared to the Marauders’ three. Each team had seven hits.

Flagstaff jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third and then led 3-1 after four but Mingus Union scored five runs in the fifth. The Eagles scored one in the home half of the fifth but in the sixth inning, Mingus Union added two more runs.

The win improved the Marauders’ region record to 7-1 and put them two games ahead of second place Lee Williams.

“It’s huge, it gives us sole possession of first place in the region now and it also helps that Bradshaw beat Prescott, so now we ultimately control our destiny because we have to split with Lee Williams and split with Prescott and so therefore we’d be region champs,” Quesada said.

Senior Jordan Huey got the win, pitching six innings. He also had two RBIs.

Junior Justin Tanner drove in three runs and senior Angel Betancourt drove in one.

By moving up in the rankings, the Marauders are nearing a spot in the top eight, which would avoid having to start the postseason in the play-in game round.

“It’s huge, now we sit ninth in the state, so that gives us a lot of cushion for the end of the year, so we really just have to focus on just staying true to who we are and not trying to do too much and not really get a big head, just trying to stay humble, trying to stay grounded and not get too high or too low, just keep doing what we need to do,” Quesada said.

Quesada took over as head coach on March 9th, the third skipper the Marauders have had in less than a year.

He said they’ve improved a lot.

“It’s completely night and day I knew what we had, I just didn’t know when it would all come together,” Quesada said. “I feel like now it’s finally come together, we’re piecing everything together, everyone has that chemistry of what they expect from one another and what they need to do to succeed and the guys are piggybacking on each other and that’s all I can ask for.”

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