Clutch time: Top performers in the Arizona high school state baseball playoffs

·5 min read
May 17, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Hamilton's Logan Saloman (12) tracks down a ball hot by Chandler's Tate Scott (4) during the 6A baseball final at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
May 17, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Hamilton's Logan Saloman (12) tracks down a ball hot by Chandler's Tate Scott (4) during the 6A baseball final at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

A look at who stood out the most when the games counted the biggest in the Arizona high school state playoffs (players were nominated by their coaches):

Logan Saloman, Chandler Hamilton, RHP, Sr.

He won three games in the 6A state tournament, including the game after the Huskies were given new life due to Queen Creek having to forfeit its 2-1 win in the double-elimination tournament.

Andrew Carroll, Scottsdale Chaparral, RHP, Sr.

He pitched a 5-0 shutout win over Hamilton to send the Huskies into the loser's bracket early in the 6A tournament.

Blake Lehmbeck, Canyon del Oro, RHP, Sr.

He won four state tournament games leading the Dorados to the 4A title. He worked a total of 20 2/3 innings, striking out 21, walking three, giving up four earned runs.

Marco Pacheco, Phoenix Alhambra, RHP, Jr.

He went 2-0 in the 6A tournament, including a complete-game, 2-0 win over Desert Vista. He also beat Brophy Prep, pitching 6 1/3 innings. He threw 13.1 innings, giving up one earned run and striking out 15.

Roman Bracamonte, Nogales, RHP, Sr.

In three state tournament appearances, he was 2-0 with wins over Sunnyside and Sunrise Mountain. In 18 innings, he struck out 25, walked four, and had a 1.16 ERA.

Derek Montijo, Nogales, Jr.

He was 11 for 19 with three doubles, a triple and seven RBIs.

Joe Perez, Buckeye Verrado, RHP, Sr.

He won three state tournament games, including the 5A championship over top-seed Nogales.

Sebastian Tomerlin, Queen Creek, CF/LHP, Sr.

His defense, pitching and offense all stood out throughout.

Sal Valenzuela, Nogales, P, So.

He was 2-0 and had a 1.80 ERA.

Luke Moeller, Scottsdale Desert Mountain, C/RHP, Sr.

He came on to close the win over Sunrise Mountain. With his team leading 4-2 in the sixth and the bases loaded and nobody out, Moeller came on to get three outs without giving up a run in a 7-2 win.

Mason Schmidt, Scottsdale Christian, P, Sr.

The team's ace, he had a complete-game 2A semifinal win over Tombstone. In 12 innings pitched in the tournament, he struck out 22, gave up six hits and one earned run.

Corwin Hemmingsen, Scottsdale Christian, C, Sr.

He was 6 for 12 with five RBIs.

Kaden Quitno, Scottsdale Christian, SS, Jr.

He was 5 for 13 with seven RBIs.

Jack Montgomery, Scottsdale Christian, P, Sr.

He closed out the 7-6 state championship win over Benson, pitching three innings and giving up only one hit, after not having pitched for more than two weeks.

Kyle Justice, Horizon, RHP, Sr.

He pitched in four of the Huskies' five 5A playoff games, throwing a total of 12 innings, going 1-0, giving up two hits, one run, striking out 11 and walking only two.

Brandon Ornelas, Sunrise Mountain, SS, So.

He hit .500 with a .545 OBP in four playoff games. He did not make an error and helped turn three double plays.

Brandon Napier, Thatcher, P/SS, Jr.

He hit three home runs and pitched well in the tournament.

Antonio Rigney, Benson, OF, Sr.

He stole five bases and made several outstanding plays in the outfield to save runs.

Cesar Canez, Tombstone, Jr.

He threw a one-hitter in the first round of the 2A tournament, striking out 11 and walking none. He threw four innings in the semifinal loss, walking one and striking out five, giving up four hits.

Ty Adams, Tombstone, Jr.

In three games, went 6 for 10 with four RBIs.

Malaki Porter, Heber Mogollon, P, Sr.

He struck out 10 and gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings in a 2-1 win over Winkelman Hayden. In the 1A title game, he went 3 for 3 with a triple and drove in three runs against Bagdad.

Cael Porter, Mogollon, P, Sr.

He scored both runs in the 2-1 win over Hayden and threw seven pitches to get the win in the seventh inning. He struck out 10 and went 3 for 3 with two stolen bases in the championship win.

Adrian Suarez, Mogollon, C, So.

He drove in both runs including the walk-off to beat Hayden. He threw out three base runners in the semifinal game and went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in the final.

Shane Hooper, Bagdad, So.

He was 2-0 in the 1A tournament, giving up one earned run in 13 2/3 innings. Struck out 20 and walked one. He hit .461 and had three RBIs.

Dale Fry, Northwest Christian, RHP, Sr.

He won three games in the state tournament, completing it with a complete-game, two-hit, 2-1 win over American Leadership Gilbert North for the 3A championship.

Josh Butler, Sandra Day O'Connor, P, Jr.

He pitched in three games, beating Desert Vista and Alhambra, giving up two runs in 10 innings.

Stryder Salas, Perry, P/1B, Sr.

In 17 plate appearances, he hit .353 with two home runs and six RBIs, and went 1-0 with a no-hitter going into the sixth inning.

Stephen Hernandez, Perry, P/DH, Sr.

He hit .391 with a home run and three RBIs and won three playoff games on the mound, giving up a total of four earned runs, and striking out 15.

C.J. Snowden, Perry, OF, Jr.

He hit .435 with 10 hits, two doubles, four RBIs and five runs scored, and two stolen bases. Had a clutch diving catch to cement a win over Chandler.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Top performers in the Arizona high school state baseball playoffs