Friday afternoon at Diablo Stadium in Tempe, the Miami High School and Benson High School baseball teams met again in the AIA Conference 2A tournament semifinals. In a rematch of last season’s semifinal game, which Benson won via forfeit, the Vandals’ championship drive ended in an 11-3 Bobcats win. Benson built a 9-0 lead after two innings; a lead Miami was unable to overcome, though they outscored the Bobcats 3-2 in the last five innings. Juniors Angel Perkins, Angel Pena and Izak Villalobos provided the scoring for the Vandals, with a run apiece. Miami’s leading scorer with 64 runs on the season, senior Gabe Escobedo, was held without a run but batted in two.
In the 1A semifinals, also held Friday at Diablo Stadium, the Hayden High School Lobos took the top-seeded Mogollon High School Mustangs, of Heber, the distance before falling 2-1. After four scoreless innings, Hayden junior Alejando Lorona and Mogollon senior Cael Porter each scored in the fifth for a 1-1 game. Porter then gave the Mustangs the win with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Mustangs senior pitcher Malaki Porter struck out 10 Hayden batters. Mogollon went on to take the 1A championship Saturday, defeating the Bagdad Sultans 8-2. Cael and Malaki Porter both had three runs, with sophomore Adrian Suarez adding the other two.