Morenci – Clifton Little League All-Stars begin District 11 tourney June 24

By Raymundo Frasquillo

Morenci-Clifton Little League completed its regular season with the conclusion of the Braves-Rangers game June 9. The visiting Braves prevailed 22-4 over the Rangers in five innings at Wildkitten Field.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Braves runner Daylen Johnson takes a lead off third base prior to scoring for a second time in two innings, the first on a throwing error and the second on a wild pitch.

The District 11 All-Star six-team double-elimination tournament begins Saturday, June 24, at a site to be determined this week. Pinal Mountain opens the meet against Kearny at 5:30 p.m., and Mount Graham verses Morenci-Clifton follows at 7:30 p.m.

Hayden-Winkelman takes on the Pinal Mountain vs. Kearny winner at 5:30 p.m., and Duncan faces the Mount Graham vs. Morenci-Clifton winner at 7:30 p.m., Monday, June 26.

The championship game is slated for Friday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m. or, if needed, Saturday, July 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Players representing Morenci-Clifton are Daylen Johnson, Mateo Palomarez, Derek Saenz and Jayce Ulibarri from the Braves; Evaristo Berume, Michael Casillas, Mateo Ciriello, Shawn Hudman and Joseph Seballos from the Rangers and Patrick Chavez, Gabriel Hernandez, Emilio Roybal and Tony Roybal from the Red Sox.

The coaching staff consists of Jason McEuen, Tony Roybal and Pepe Saenz.

In the season finale, the Braves sent nine batters to the plate, using three hits and a beaned batter to reach first, and scored four runs on errors. Saenz struck out three of the first four Rangers, giving the Braves a 4-0 advantage after the first full inning of play. Five runs were added in the second, two in the third, four in the fourth and seven in the fifth by the Braves.

Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo: Michael Casillas, the Rangers’ third pitcher of the game, struck out three of five batters faced during the second inning. Prior to Casillas taking the mound, the Braves scored nine runs with 13 batters. The Rangers scored two runs in the bottom of the frame to trail by seven.

The Rangers put two runs on their side of the scoreboard in the bottom of the second and two more in the fifth.

Members of the Braves were Peyton Basteen, P.J. Espinoza, Emillio Garcia, Johnson, Christopher Lopez, Aaron Mason, Austin Nelson, Palomarez, Saenz and Ulibarri.