The battle of last year’s 5A state baseball champions Wednesday wasn’t a battle. It was a massacre.
Scottsdale Horizon, the 2007 5A Division I state champs, visited Tempe Marcos de Niza, the reigning 5A-II champs, and showed a little more hunger, vim and vigor in their first meeting ever as 5A-II Pima Region foes.
Horizon smacked 18 hits and rolled out 12 runs in the sixth inning to bury the host Padres, 19-5.
“I thought they (Marcos de Niza) came out a little flat,” Horizon coach Eric Kibler said.
“After the first couple innings, we really started swinging it. We are hitting very well the last few games.”
Horizon, which is in the midst of a five-game winning streak, has piled up 70 runs in those five contests with 12 runs the low total of the lot. Horizon scored 13 runs on Tuesday in a 13-5 win over Yuma Kofa. Marcos (11-5, 0-1) traveled to Yuma Tuesday and knocked off Yuma High, 8-2, so perhaps the Padres were a little road weary from the three-plus hour drive south.
Wednesday’s leading hitter for Horizon (12-6, 1-0) was senior Kyle Weber, who has been subbing for a suspended teammate of late. Weber was 4-for-4 with all of his hits solid singles. Weber scored four times, twice in the 12-run sixth that saw Horizon send 15 batters to the plate.
Other batters with multiple hits for Horizon were Thomas Valenza (two hits and three RBIs), Eric Bond (three hits and two RBIs), Payden Yarmer (three hits and three RBIs) and Dillon Everett (three hits and four RBIs). All but Valenza were hitting in the bottom half of the Huskies’ lineup.
Junior Joey Danner, who has moved up from the junior varsity to assume a starting role, earned the win with four innings of work. He allowed three runs and five hits, walked one and did not have a strikeout.
Horizon scored runs in each of the first four innings, getting three in the first two with the help of three Marcos de Niza errors.
Marcos starter Jacob Morales was roughed up in the third for three runs on four hits. He gave up seven runs in four innings, four of which were earned.