Tempe Corona del Sol baseball coach Dave Webb said he was impressed by the way his team played in the Corona del Sol-Westwood Tournament.
“We did it with pitching, we did what we needed to do on the base paths, and we put it together defensively.”
And yet, Webb insisted that the Aztecs are only going to improve as the season progresses.
“We’ve been playing hard recently, which has been great, but we haven’t even got going yet,” he said, after Corona del Sol beat Mesa Westwood 7-0 Saturday in the tournament championship game at Corona del Sol.
Offensively, the Aztecs (4-1) got it going early with three consecutive singles by Ryan Moore, Kirby Pellant and Mike Felton to start the bottom of the first inning. Moore scored on a wild pitch by Westwood starter Daniel Zapata, and Pellant scored on the hit by Felton to make it 2-0.
Corona del Sol added three runs in the third inning, and two in the sixth. Altogether, the Aztecs had 10 hits, including two extra-base hits — a double by junior Chris Lopez in the second and a triple by Pellant in the third.
Pellant finished with two singles, a triple, two runs and two stolen bases.
Felton, who had the only other multihit game, went 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs and stole two bases.
Corona starter Kevin Collinge, who picked up the victory, combined with Alex Murrieta and Austin Doll for five strikeouts and allowed only four hits, as Westwood (4-1) batters struggled for much of the game.
The Warriors’ only threat to score came with one out in the top of the seventh inning when consecutive singles by Zapata, Ed Judie and Carlos Arzaga loaded the bases. But Doug Donaldson flied out to shallow center and Sean Whiteman grounded out to the shortstop to end the game.
“Their pitchers had command of the plate and threw strikes when they needed to,” said Westwood coach Brian Stephenson.
“Corona del Sol is a quality team that is well-coached. You have to play extremely well to beat them.”
Zapata struck out six and allowed five runs, three earned, in three innings.