ELFRIDA — The Valley Union Blue Devils, ranked 20th in the latest 1A state baseball rankings, played a solid game Friday, knocking off 10th-ranked Desert Christian 6-4 to snap a four game skid.
When these teams met several weeks ago in Tucson, Desert Christian spanked the Blue Devils 21-1.
“Boys played a heck of a game,” Valley Union coach Dusty Vasquez said. “Great pitching and great defense. No errors for today. We still came out a little flat with our bats. Luckily they woke in the sixth inning. Desert Christian is a solid team, but we proved we are pretty good ourselves when we play good baseball. We need to come out strong against Patagonia on Monday. It should be a great game.”
Desert Christian scored once in the top of the first and maintained its 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third when Jace Mitchell stole home as Levi Lawson was batting, tying the game at 1-1.
Desert Christian reclaimed the lead at 2-1 in the top of the sixth.
In the bottom half of the inning, Valley Union sent all nine batters to the plate and rallied to score five runs on five hits and a hit-by-pitch batter, taking a 6-2 lead. Mitchell led off the inning getting hit by a pitch and Levi Lawson followed with a double, advancing Mitchell to third. Mitchell scored, tying the game at 2-2, on a Jacob Sonke single. Elijah Riesgo and Luis Enriquez each had RBI doubles later in the inning giving the Blue Devils a 6-2 edge.
The Eagles scored twice in the top of the seventh, both runs coming with two outs, the final out coming on a play at the plate as the home team Blue Devils hung on for the win.
Mitchell threw 6 1/3 innings, picking up the win. JJ Valenzuela threw the final two-thirds of the inning in relief. The two combined to allow Desert Christian four runs and six hits. They struck out 12 and walked four.
Valley Union had seven hits. Lawson hit 2-for-3; Mitchell, Sonke and Enriguez each were 1-for-2; and Riesgo and Valenzuela both were 1-for-3.
The Blue Devils, 3-10 overall, 3-6 in conference, 2-2 in region, have two games left in their regular season. Valley Union will be at Patagonia on Monday before hosting the Lobos on Wednesday on what will be Senior Day.