AP NEWS

Dust Devils’ defense plays hot potato: River Valley commits nine errors, ’Dogs victorious 14-2 by mercy rule

April 8, 2019

MOHAVE VALLEY — Anthony Gorrell pitched better than what a double-digit loss would indicate.

The Dust Devils did not support their senior right-handed hurler, who pitched four-plus innings while his defense committed eight errors behind him, during River Valley High School’s home 14-2, five-inning, mercy-rule shortened baseball loss to the Kingman High School Bulldogs during Senior Night on Friday.

Gorrell gave up 12 runs — all unearned — on seven hits, while striking out two, and walking five in four-plus innings before being relieved by freshman right-hander Gage Solano with no outs in the top of the fifth.

Solano gave up two unearned runs on four hits, while striking out one and walking one in one inning as River Valley’s defense committed another error during his short stint on the mound.

“When you give up a minimum of five outs per inning — possibly — it takes you out of the game,” said Dust Devils head coach Bill Fregozo about his team’s horrific defensive display. “That’s what we were giving away.

“We gave away a lot of outs.”

When Gorrell’s name was mentioned, Fregozo’s tone became much more upbeat.

“Gorrell did a good job,” he added. “He got us a lot of groundballs we needed, he got us the pop flys, but defensively we didn’t make the plays — and our hitting — we’re just not attacking the ball anymore.”

Bulldogs senior right-handed hurler Luke Ness gave up two runs — one earned — while striking out 10, walking two and hitting one Dust Devil to earn the five-inning, complete-game victory.

Kingman led 2-0 after one inning and River Valley scored one run in its second to make it look like this might be a tight Arizona Interscholastic Association 3A West Region game.

Senior Aiden Rodriguez doubled and junior Sam Evans doubled him home to cut River Valley’s deficit to 2-1.

“Rodriguez hit the ball really well,” Fregozo said. “He crushed one and put the ball in play every turn up to bat.”

Fregozo said Rodriguez was seeing the curveball well, “staying back, we’ve been working on that with him and he did really good,” he added.

T.J. Harviston and Ness each singled to start the third inning, which preceded three consecutive River Valley errors.

Not only did Harviston and Ness score, but Dante Bravo and Rilee Araya scampered home after both reached on an error, which made it 6-1.

The Dust Devils were not ready to concede, as senior Evan Oehler, who went on to go 3-for 3, singled, stole second and scored when Gorrell reached on an error, making it 6-2.

Gorrell stole second and advanced to third on an error with no outs. Freshman Aiden Gunn walked to make it first and third with two outs, but Ness recorded a strikeout to end the inning.

The left-handed hitting Araya tripled, walked twice, knocked in three runs and scored three runs in two at-bats; and senior Harviston singled twice, scored twice and knocked home one run in four at-bats to lead the No. 6-ranked 7-2 overall, 6-2 in conference and 5-2 in region Bulldogs, according to the aia

online.org power-point rankings system. The No. 36 ranked — out of 39 AIA 3A conference high schools — Dust Devils are 1-9 overall, 1-5 in conference and 1-5 in region.