Gorrell, Gunn lead Devils to first win of season: Fregozo wins 1st game as AIA head coach by beating pesky Patriots 5-4
MOHAVE VALLEY — The host Dust Devils defeated the Mohave Accelerated Learning Center Patriots 5-4 during the second day of the Route 66 Baseball Tournament at River Valley High School on Friday night.
Senior right-handed pitcher Anthony Gorrell pitched two innings of one-hit, one-run ball to earn the victory, and he helped his cause with the bat by tripling, knocking in two runs and scoring once in three at-bats to lead the Dust Devils past the pesky Patriots.
Gorrell also struck out five, walked two and hit a batter.
“It was a really good game, good pitching,” said Dust Devils first-year head coach Bill Fregozo, who also chalked up his first victory as an Arizona Interscholastic Association skipper.
Dust Devils freshman shortstop Aiden Gunn singled twice, stole two bases and scored one run in three at-bats, as River Valley won its first game of the season, improving its record to 1-6 overall.
“He figures out a way, he puts his bat on the ball, gets on base,” said Fregozo about Gunn. “He’s a good ballplayer.
“He’s really smart; he’s got some baseball IQ.”
The Dust Devils took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning off of MALC right-handed pitcher Trevor Price.
Gunn singled, stole second, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on Solano’s RBI ground out to shortstop.
The Patriots took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second off of River Valley right-handed pitcher Gabe Graham.
Price singled and advanced to second when the baseball skipped past the Dust Dust outfielder. Chase Vaughn and Joey Evans each reached on a walk to load the bases before David Huddleston’s single brought home Price and Vaughn.
The Dust Devils tied it during their half of the second when Ashton Draper reached first and second when a routine grounder was thrown into the MALC dugout. Sam Evans’ one-out sacrifice bunt attempt was not played properly by MALC’s infield and Draper advanced to third and Evans ended up on second.
The Patriots completed the trifecta by committing their third infield error in as many at-bats, which plated Draper while tying it at 2-2.
MALC took a 3-2 advantage in the top of the third.
Frankie Vestal singled and tried to score from first base on Zach Neal’s double, but was thrown out at home by at least 15 feet, while Neal advanced to third on the throw to the plate.
Price’s sacrifice fly to left field plated Neal.
MALC head coach Ray Dimick said his Patriots made “baserunning mistakes early and late.”
The Dust Devils tallied three runs in their half of the third.
Logan Knox walked and Price was relieved by Neal. Gorrell scorched a one-hop triple to the right-center field fence, which plated Knox, which tied it at 3-3 — from the time Gorrell’s line drive left his bat until it hit the ground it traveled no more than 15 feet off the ground like a rope had traversed the entire field.
“Anthony is just crushing baseballs right now,” Fregozo said. “He’s got a good eye on it right now and driving everything hard — hitting everything hard.”
Evan Oehler reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second as Gorrell scored on a throwing error, which put River Valley ahead 4-3.
Seth Solano then singled home Oehler to make it 5-3.
“They hit the ball when they need to to get the run,” Dimick said.
The Patriots closed their deficit to 5-4 in their fifth.
Vestal walked and was awarded home plate on Neal’s double to left when the umpire said his path was obstructed while trying to round third base.
Neal never advanced beyond third base, as Evans threw him out by 15 feet while trying to advance to third base with one out in the inning.
Neal gave up two runs on three hits, whild striking out three and walking two in two innings to take the loss.
“Both Trevor and Zach did a good job on the mound,” Fregozo said. “Zach really impressed me with his control, really throwing the ball pretty hard, too.
“And their hitting, both of them put the ball in play really well.”
Dimick said his Patriots pitched well.
“Trevor threw his best game of the year,” Dimick said. “He had good command of his fastball and he got his curveball over.
“And Zach is throwing the ball like Zach does — throwing the ball hard.”
HISTORICAL GAME FOR MALC: After a little more than a decade of competing in the Arizona Charter Athletics Association and another three or four seasons in the Arizona Interscholastic Association 1A and 2A classifications, the Patriots played against the AIA 3A River Valley Dust Devils in baseball for the first time in their history — and they put up a great fight against a school that earned the AIA 3A state baseball title seven seasons ago.
SCORES: The Dust Devils lost 2-1 to El Centro and 6-0 to Blythe during their first two Route 66 games Thursday
No stats were posted by the Dust Devils on Saturday’s game as of late Saturday night.