For the second time in three years, the Parker Broncs baseball team is region champions. They clinched the 2019 2A West title April 23 with an emphatic 22-2 win over the Heritage Academy Heroes of Laveen. While the regular season is over, Broncs’ Coach Harley Hazel said the season is far from over. The Broncs will host a state tournament play-in game next Tuesday, April 30.
Against Heritage Academy, the Broncs jumped out to an early lead, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the first inning. They didn’t look back after that. The only real scoring threat the Heroes made was in the top of the fifth inning, when they scored their two runs. After the top of the fifth, the game was called as the “mercy rule” was invoked.
Emanuel Alaniz pitched a complete game win for Parker.
Following the game, Hazel praised his players for a great season. He said they worked well together as a team, they were willing to work hard, and they obviously loved to play baseball. He added he enjoyed coaching them.
“It’s been a pleasure to be your coach!” he said.
The Broncs finish the regular season with a record of 7-1 against their 2A West opponents, which left them all alone in first place as the second place Trivium Prep Crimson Knights lost to the Arizona Lutheran Coyotes, 5-3. Trivium Prep finished the regular season with a 6-2 record against their region rivals.
Despite the win over Heritage Academy, the Broncs saw their ranking in Arizona Interscholastic Association power points drop from No. 8 to No. 12. This means they will need to play a “play-in” game to reach the state tournament. According to the AIA brackets posted on the AzPreps365 website, the No. 12 team is slated to play the No. 21 team. As of April 24, that team was the Sedona Red Rock Scorpions.
Sedona Red Rock was 6-6 in the 2A Central, which landed them in fourth place. They’re 7-7 against other 2A teams, and 9-10 overall. They’ve been hot lately, winning five of their last six games, including 16-6 win over the North Pointe Falcons in their final regular season game April 22.
In their last six games, the Scorpions have outscored their opponents, 77-24. Their only loss was an 11-1 loss to the Camp Verde Cowboys April 20. Camp Verde was the 2A Central region champions and are ranked No. 5 in the state.
The play-in game will be at 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, at the Parker High baseball field.