By Sam Conner
The Bulldogs defeated the Round Valley Elks 12-1 last Tuesday in Winslow and the Lobos 3-2 the following afternoon in Snowflake. The wins left the Bulldogs with a record of 19-8 and clinched the sectional regular season championship.
Colton Corum got the win over Round Valley, working three innings and not allowing a hit, run or walk while fanning five. Jon Bollin worked two innings in relief and gave up one run, which was unearned, on one hit and two walks while fanning three.
Winslow scored two runs in the first inning, five in the second and five more in the fourth. The game was called under the 10-run mercy rule after the Elks, who scored their only run in the top of the fourth inning, failed to score in the fifth frame.
Henry Montiel was 1 for 1 with a double to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Corum, Adrian Montoya and Rey Chavez-Velez were all 2 for 3, with Velez having a double. Matthew Ramos was 1 for 2 with a double. Vincenzio Sells was 1 for 3.
In the win over the Lobos, Kuster Kinlecheenie worked the full seven innings and gave up two runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits and three walks while fanning two.
Snowflake took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on doubles by Tanner Crosby and Hunter Bauer. Winslow tied the score in the top of the fifth inning on a walk, a single by C.J. Chacon and a sacrifice fly by Sells. The Lobos regained the lead at 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth on an error, a wild pitch and a single by Nate Kelley.
Winslow tied the game 2-2 in the top of the sixth inning on a single and a stolen base by Corum, and a single by Matt Cirre. The Bulldogs plated the winning run in the top of the seventh inning on a single by Chacon, a wild pitch and a balk.
Chacon led the Bulldogs at the plate with a 2 for 3 day. Cirre, Bollin and Sells were all 1 for 2. Corum was 1 for 3.
The Bulldogs were seeded seventh in the Arizona State Division III State Championship Baseball Tournament. They will play No. 10 Yuma Catholic, a 3-2 winner over No. 23 Benson in the first round, at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 9, at Surprise.
In other first round play, No. 16 Scottsdale Christian defeated No. 17 River Valley, 8-0, and will next face No. 1 Bisbee. No. 9 Chino Valley edged No. 24 Blue Ridge, 1-0, and will meet No. 8 Fountain Hills. No. 12 Snowflake defeated No. 21 Rio Rico, and will now play No. 5 Palo Verde Magnet. No. 13 Kingman Academy edged No. 20 Willcox 1-0, and will next meet No. 4 Page. No. 19 Estrella Foothills knocked off No. 14 Monument Valley, 5-0, and will play No. 3 Northwest Christian. No. 11 Sahuarita downed No. 22 Combs, 7-3, and will next meet No. 6 Payson. No. 15 Valley Christian defeated No. 18 Walnut Grove, 5-2, to earn the right to play No. 2 Show Low.
By Sam Conner