Knights score 2 in 7th to top Devils: River Valley’s Oehler pitches well; Lake Havasu’s walk-off squeeze bunt plates game-winning runs
MOHAVE VALLEY — The squeeze play defeated the River Valley High School Dust Devils during Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss to the Knights at Lake Havasu High School.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kaden Twyman walked, and then Isiah Rivas and and Jacob Hunnicutt singled to load the bases loaded with no outs.
The Knights bunted the baseball and the Dust Devil defender threw the ball into right field, scoring Twyman and Rivas to end the game.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association 4A Grand Canyon Region Dust Devils’ record is 0-4 overall, 0-1 in conference and 0-1 in region, according to aiaonline.org. The AIA 4A West Valley Region Knights’ record is 2-2 overall, 0-1 in conference and 0-0 in region.
“Even with this loss, I was extremely proud of these boys,” River Valley head coach Bill Fregozo said. “After our last game against Mohave, we came back the very next night and put up a good showing.
“This was a wonderful team effort.
“Across the board, it was great to see these guys finally come together as a team and work together.”
Mohave beat River Valley 13-3.
In the top of the second inning, Brandon McKinley led off with a single, Aiden Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, Cole Shott sacrificed the runners to second and third and Sam Evans singled in McKinley and Rodriguez to make it 2-0.
“Sam finally opened up and started to stay back in a better load to transfer some weight,” Fregozo said.
Havasu singled three times in a row to load the bases, and then Dust Devils right-handed senior pitcher Evan Oehler walked Twyman, making it 2-1.
River Valley freshman shortstop Aiden Gunn led off the third with a double to left-center, senior Logan Knox advanced Gunn to third with a sacrifice bunt, and Gunn scored on a ground out.
Hunnicutt tripled to right field and he scored on a sacrifice fly, tying it at 2-2 in the third.
“Oehler pitche(d) a great game (and) kept the ball down pretty good for us,” Fregozo said.
Oehler pitched four innings. He gave up two runs on eight hits, while striking out one and walking two.
Gunn relieved Oehler in the top of the fifth. He gave two runs — none earned — on seven hits, while walking one.
“Both pitchers did their jobs, got us ground balls and fly balls,” Fregozo said. “Havasu did hit the ball hard, but we made some plays.
“The infield was up communicating with each other (and) kept each other in the game.”
Evans hit three singles in three at-bats and Gunn went 2 for 3.
“We bunted when we needed to,” Fregozo said. “I was very pleased with the performance of these guys.
“Now, we just need to continue with this attitude and stay focused for the remainder of the season.
“We have only had one region game and this Friday we start going full throttle with region games and we really need to get working a little harder to figure out a few more mental aspects to this game and we will start to compete.”
FIRST-YEAR SENIOR: “Cole Shott, who has not played a single high school baseball game (and) has been doing very well (since) coming out his senior season,” Fregozo said. “This kid is fast and strong — very athletic.
“He has been catching a lot of baseballs in center field.”
PLAY AT THE PLATE: With runners on first and third with no outs, Cole Fuller hits a fly ball to Seth Solano in left, Solano caught the it and three the runner from third out trying to score at home on the tag up.
Evans caught the baseball, made the tag and hung onto it despite the collision at the plate.
“Seth has thrown out a few runners at home this season and Sam this season is no stranger to the play at the plate,” Fregozo said. “That play was really fun to watch.”
The next hitter popped out to Oehler at short to end the fifth.
Statistics, play-by-play courtesy of Fregozo by text message, email.