Just call them the boys of spring. The Vista Grande baseball team played at a high level all season, and they were led by Pinal County’s best players.
Adam Belloc is the PinalCentral Baseball Player of the Year, and his teammate, Marco Ozuna, is the runner-up for the award.
The Spartans (20-10) were the No. 6 seed in the 4A state playoffs, and they advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Tucson Salpointe Catholic.
Belloc was a force on the mound and at the plate, as he led the team in batting (.427), on-base percentage (.490) and OPS (1.007). He also finished 4-3 with a 2.64 ERA and struck out 56 batters in 50 1/3 innings.
Vista Grande coach Harley Grigg said Belloc was the team’s most consistent hitter, and he added Belloc did many of the “little things” well, including the ability to lay down sacrifice bunts in critical moments.
Ozuna was also a star player for the Spartans. He dominated batters, going 6-1 with a 1.12 ERA and punched out 52 in 37 2/3 innings. His OPS (1.004) was nearly identical to Belloc, and he had 36 hits, 10 of which went for extra bases (nine doubles and a triple).
The PinalCentral first team includes infielders Valentine Rodriguez of Coolidge, Junior Lopez of Poston Butte, Trevyn Badger of San Tan Foothills and Belloc. The first team catcher is Martin Rodriquez of Vista Grande.
Rodriguez was one of the most productive players in Class 3A; he was seventh in OBP (.569), and as a pitcher, he finished fifth in strikeouts (80 in 40 1/3 innings). He hit .451 and tied for second in 3A with five home runs.
Lopez, a sophomore, put together a big season for the Broncos, as the slick fielding shortstop posted a slash line of .373/.462/.552 with 25 hits, 15 RBIs, 20 runs and 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts.
Badger followed up a terrific sophomore season in 2A by showing he can play at a higher level as well. In his first season in 3A, he batted .394 and tied for the 3A lead in doubles with 14 and was seventh with 39 hits. He continued his strong pitching, with a 1.83 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 46 innings.
Rodriquez, who goes by the nickname “Tank,” was the steady presence behind the plate for Vista Grande, and he was also one of the team’s best hitters, with a .983 OPS. He tied for second on the team in RBIs (20) and doubles (10).
The first team outfield includes Wyatt Larson of Combs, Damien Lyon of San Tan Foothills and Colten Vercoe of Poston Butte.
Larson, a junior, tied for 17th in 4A with 17 walks, and he posted an OBP of .538. He had 20 hits and 23 runs scored.
Lyon is part of the junior class that forms the core of the Sabercats. He had a .998 OPS with 13 extra-base hits, including four triples, and he had 36 hits and 21 RBIs.
Vercoe, a sophomore, joins a young nucleus that has the Broncos looking at big things in the next two years. He was second on the team with 22 hits and had a team-leading 18 RBIs while posting a .968 OPS.
Pitchers on the first team include Ozuna, Frankie Gulko of San Tan Foothills and Austin Sample of Apache Junction.
Gulko posted a 7-2 record with a 0.93 ERA and struck out 82 in 60 1/3 innings. He ranked fourth in 3A in strikeouts and his ERA was third (minimum 40 IP). But he also brings a thunderous bat with a 1.035 OPS, and he led the team with three home runs and 32 RBIs.
Sample was a similar dual-threat for the Prospectors in his senior season. He was ninth in 4A with 63 strikeouts in 41 innings and had a 2.05 ERA. He batted .456, and his .765 slugging percentage ranked 11th in 4A. His four home runs tied for 10th, and he drove in 23 runs.
See below for the full all-county team, including second team and honorable mention selections.
Player of the Year: Adam Belloc (SR, Vista Grande)
Runner-up: Marco Ozuna (SR, Vista Grande)
C – Martin Rodriquez (SR, Vista Grande)
1B – Valentine Rodriguez (JR, Coolidge)
2B – Adam Belloc (SR, Vista Grande)
SS – Junior Lopez (SO, Poston Butte)
3B – Trevyn Badger (JR, San Tan Foothills)
OF – Wyatt Larson (JR, Combs)
OF – Damien Lyon (JR, San Tan Foothills)
OF – Colten Vercoe (SO, Poston Butte)
P – Marco Ozuna (SR, Vista Grande)
P – Frankie Gulko (JR, San Tan Foothills)
P – Austin Sample (SR, Apache Junction)
C – Joshua Bradley Jr. (JR, Apache Junction)
1B – Jacob Keel (SO, Maricopa)
2B – Bodie Croninger-Click (SO, ALA-Ironwood)
SS – Kenyata Diamond (SR, Vista Grande)
3B – Trentin Smith (JR, Apache Junction)
OF – Sebastian Wells (JR, Apache Junction)
OF – Octavio Flores (SO, Poston Butte)
OF – Jake Maloy (JR, ALA-Ironwood)
P – Anthony Garcia (JR, Vista Grande)
P – Tanner White (SO, San Tan Foothills)
P – Tanner Johnson (JR, Combs)
P – Jake Washburn (JR, Apache Junction)
P – Justin Ybarra (SR, Casa Grande Union)
UT – Jason Rael (FR, Casa Grande Union)
C – Logan Biesemeyer (JR, San Tan Foothills)
2B – Raymond Mendoza (SR, Combs)
SS – Justin Aikens (JR, Combs)
P – Ayden Acres (FR, Combs)
1B – Allen Mix (SR, Coolidge)
P – Anthony Loth (SO, Florence)
OF – Victor Aguirre (FR, Florence)
1B – Sias Lopez (SO, Santa Cruz Valley)
OF – Anthony Bolanos (SO, Vista Grande)
C – Jose Leyva (SR, Maricopa)
OF – Jackson Lindseth (JR, Maricopa)
OF – Jesse Gourdin (SR, Poston Butte)
P – Kyle Johnson (SO, ALA-Ironwood)