Miami baseball advances to semifinals

David Sowders/Arizona Silver Belt Miami High School senior Gabe Escobedo has notched five runs in the postseason.

With a one-run victory over the Scottsdale Preparatory Academy Spartans on Saturday in the Goodyear Baseball Complex, the Miami High School Vandals have made it back to the AIA Conference 2A semifinals. Trailing 8-5 after three innings, the second-seeded Vandals held the Spartans scoreless over the next three, adding two runs to close within 8-7 going into the seventh inning. Scottsdale Prep then built an 11-7 lead, but the Vandals rallied with five runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 12-11 win.

Vandals senior Gabe Escobedo, who leads the team with 64 runs, scored three times and had two RBIs; senior Weezy Koyaesva and junior Angel Perkins added two runs each. Escobedo also struck  out seven Spartan batters. With two scores in Miami’s 6-4 first-round win over Phoenix Christian, Escobedo has recorded five runs in the tournament.

Next up for the 26-4 Vandals, this Friday, is a semifinals meeting with the third-seeded Benson Bobcats (19-9), on the ballfields at Tempe Diablo Stadium. In the other semifinal game, the top-seeded Scottsdale Christian Academy Eagles (21-4) will face the #4 Tombstone Yellow Jackets (17-10).

The Hayden Lobos will be joining Miami at Diablo Stadium on Friday, in a Conference 1A semifinal game against the #1 Mogollon Mustangs. After an 8-7 first-round win over Lincoln Prep, the fifth-seeded Lobos dominated the #4 Williams Vikings, 9-1, in their quarterfinal matchup. Hayden sophomore Jaren Cruz led with three runs and three RBIs. Junior Moraes Cruz, the Lobos’ leading scorer with 28 runs, scored twice against Williams.

The 21-4 Mustangs enter the semifinals with a pair of decisive victories, 11-1 over the Valley Union Blue Devils and 15-5 against the Ray Bearcats. Seniors Cael Porter and Malaki Porter have paced Mogollon in the postseason with seven and four runs; sophomore Adrian Suarez, their leading scorer with 38 runs, has recorded three.

In the second 1A semifinal, the #2 Bagdad Sultans will face the #3 St. David Tigers.