CASA GRANDE — The first round of the baseball state tournament begins May 8 and while Vista Grande remains in the Top 10, things are not looking good for the Spartans.
The No. 5 Spartans (10-4) are stuck in a four-game skid, granted the losses are against the three top teams in the 4A Conference, this is not how they saw themselves heading into the playoffs.
“We’re a bad team right now and we got one game (left) and four or five practices to figure it out,” Vista Grande assistant coach Victor Olivares said. “This team is very resilient, so I think that we just have to keep working hard and keep having good practices.”
Top-ranked Oro Valley Canyon del Oro (16-1) was in town Thursday afternoon and cruised to an 11-1 win in six innings.
The Dorados scored five runs to start the game, and the Spartans could not dig themselves out of the early hole.
Dante Schindler hit a solo home run with one out and Jayden Bracy followed with a grounder to Emilio Barreras at short for the second out.
CDO went on a hitting streak, as five players reached base and the Dorados batted around the order.
“We’ve just been playing bad baseball, and we kind of had a gauntlet of a schedule here these last four games,” Olivares said. “But at the end of the day, our team just needs to play better.”
The Spartans’ only run of the game came in the first inning. Erubiel Ozuna drew a walk and advanced to third on a single by Anthony Bolanos.
Cesar Portillo loaded the bases after a walk, and Nathan Acevedo grounded out to third, scoring Ozuna.
CDO’s Trey Weidner ended the inning by striking out Sebastian Hidrogo.
Wiedner pitched all six innings and scattered four hits, struck out five and walked three.
On the mound for Vista Grande were Bolanos, Hidrogo and Jayson Rael.
Bolanos and Hidrogo allowed 15 hits and seven earned runs, and both Spartans stuck out one batter.
Bolanos pitched three innings and walked two. Hidrogo threw 2 1/3 innings and walked one. Rael tossed 2/3 innings and struck out one.
Vista Grande had two runners on in the second with one out, but the Dorados ended the inning with a double play.
“We just couldn’t get anything together offensively,” Olivares said. “We had some bad errors, we did not do anything well today. We did not deserve to win, we deserved to get [run-ruled]. We just have to move forward.”
Hidrogo led off the fourth with a single to left field, but Chuy Santos grounded into a double play and Johnny Brown struck out to end the inning.
“We just need to keep working hard at practice, I feel that (on Wednesday) we had a really good practice,” Olivares said. “(On Friday) we have to come out and just move forward.”
CDO scored one run in the fourth and four more in the sixth.
Blake Lehmbeck went 3 for 4 with three RBIs for the Dorados, and Weidner also went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Marcus Delgado drove in three and was 1 for 4.
The Spartans have one regular season game remaining against Rio Rico on May 4 to try and get things back on track.
“Hopefully Tuesday we can break it open and [get a good taste in our mouths] going into (the playoffs),” Olivares said. “ Hopefully Rio Rico gets the wrath of this losing (streak).”