It wasn’t as easy the second time. On Tuesday, Tempe Corona del Sol dominated Tempe Marcos de Niza in a 5A Central Region baseball matchup.
Thursday was considerably more competitive, but the league-leading Aztecs still came out on top with a 6-5 road victory.
Corona (18-6, 7-1) had to survive a Padres rally in the last inning to get the victory and pick up its 11th win in its last 12 games.
The Aztecs got an outstanding relief performance from junior Alex Murrieta, who recorded the final five outs to get a save.
Marcos (9-14, 1-6) loaded the bases in the final inning. Rudy Jaramillo walked and Alex Moreno got an infield hit. Both advanced on Casey Maloney’s sacrifice bunt, giving Marcos two chances to tie or win the game. Murrieta struck out Michael Kenneth for the second out and then got Billy Place to hit a ground ball to third base, where Corona’s Tyler Giannonatti stepped on the base for a force out to end the game.
Murrieta wasn’t expecting the type of game they got out of the Padres.
“They had a solid pitching performance that took us out of it for awhile,’’ he said. “Most of the time we usually pound on people.’’
Corona didn’t take its first lead until the sixth inning when it scored twice. Kirby Pellant scored on a double by Giannonatti and then Dustin Campos came across on a wild pitch.
Left-hander Joey Schumer picked up the victory for Corona as he struck out eight and walked two.
Marcos starter Kyle Brule worked a solid five innings, allowing four runs while striking out nine Aztecs.
The Padres took an early 3-0 lead, getting one run in the first inning and two more in the second when Jacob Morales and Doug Snover had run-scoring hits.