BISBEE — The El Paso Tigers, a high school in El Paso, Texas, with a reported student enrollment of 1,590, won the Bisbee Baseball Tournament at the Warren Ballpark March 9-11.
El Paso went 4-0, topping its opponents by a combined score of 33-6.
El Paso beat St. David 6-2, knocked off Willcox 8-3, shut out Valley Union 14-0 and defeated Bisbee 5-1.
The Pumas placed second with a 3-1 record which included wins over Valley Union, 19-0; St. David, 12-3; and San Miguel, 9-2.
St. David and Willcox each were 2-2 with the Tigers beating Willcox and San Miguel while Willcox beat Valley Union and San Miguel.
The Blue Devils and new head coach Jesse Mitchell went 1-3 at the tournament. Mitchell picked up the first win of his coaching career beating San Miguel 14-5 on Friday, March 10. His team is 1-4. having dropped its season opener on Wednesday, March 8. to Tucson Desert Christian.
Pumas coach Todd Hammett said his team had played two consecutive days prior to the tournament and by the end of the day Saturday they had played six games in five days.
“We went 4-2 in those six games, I can’t be upset,” Hammett said. “We began the week getting punched in the mouth by Benson. By Saturday we were a tired team. But we did figure out a lot about ourselves too.”
Despite the win/loss records not counting the pitch count did remain in effect, forcing teams to strategically use their pitchers.
Hammett said he put a lot of different players on the mound and some of them surprised him, giving him a better performance than he expected.
“I had some kids I was planning on using for just an inning but ended keeping them out there a little longer,” he said. “It was good to see what they could do in a game.”
Hammett said the most impressive game his team played was the win over St. David.
“That’s a team you know is going to do well at state,” he said. “To play as well as we did against them tells me and should show these kids that if we play the way we did against St. David, we can make a deep run in the playoffs.
“We still need to find some consistency. We started a bunch of young kids. If we can find that consistency by the end of the year going into the playoffs, then we can make a deep run. But it’s all about finding that consistency.”
Hammett said El Paso athletic officials reached out to Bisbee’s athletic officials and expressed an interest in participating in the tournament.
“I don’t know where they saw it or what their interest was,” he said. “I knew they were a much larger school. They had 13 seniors on the team. You could take our student enrollment and add Willcox, Valley Union and St. David and still not reach theirs. I didn’t mind, it was good competition, and it didn’t count (in the overall record).”
Bisbee, 7-5 overall, 1-1 in region play, hosted Pima on Tuesday, March 14, at the Warren Ballpark. Results from that game will be in the Friday edition of the Herald/Review.
Hammett said Pima is Bisbee’s lone game this week. He plans on giving his players a few days off before returning to practice and gearing up for the remainder of the season which resumes Monday, March 20, with a 6 p.m. home game with the Morenci Wildcats.
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