By Sam Conner
The Empire Ravens eliminated the Winslow Bulldogs from the Arizona State Division III Baseball Championship Tournament in Peoria last Tuesday. Winslow finished the season with a 12-15 record. Empire advanced with a 22-6 record.
Empire took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a hit batsman, a double by Donny Sands, and singles by Jared Kromminga and Andres Hackman.
The Bulldogs cut the margin to 2-1 in the top of the second on singles by Jeff Gonzales and Ray Chavez-Velez.
The Ravens increased the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second on an error, a double by Brenden Traggard and a single by Sands. Empire continued to build the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third on a hit batsman, an error and singles by Hackman and Jaymon Cervantes. That gave the Ravens a 7-1 advantage. Singles by Connor Geurts, Kromminga and Colton Stokes increased the lead to 8-1 in the bottom of the fourth. The final Empire run scored in the bottom of the sixth inning on a double by Donny Sands, and singles by Geurts and Kromminga.
Winslow completed the scoring with a run in the top of the seventh on an error and singles by Adrian Montoya and Colton Corum, but the game ended with Empire winning 9-2.
Corum led the Bulldogs at the plate with a two for four day, including a double. Chavez-Velez and Sam Setalla were each one for two. Gonzales was one for three and Adrian Montoya was one for four.
Jon Bollin took the loss, working four innings and giving up eight runs on 10 hits with only two of the runs earned. He did not have s strikeout or a walk.
Sands and Kromminga were each three for four for the winning Ravens. Geurts and Hackman were each two for four.
By Sam Conner