Foothills and Nogales inch closer to baseball title tilt

Foothills and Nogales inch closer to baseball title tilt
(Cover photo courtesy: Pubelo High Athletics)
(Cover photo courtesy: Pubelo High Athletics)
Markie Lopez struck out ten to put the Apaches one win away from a return to the state title game.
Markie Lopez struck out ten to put the Apaches one win away from a return to the state title game.

TEMPE, AZ (Tucson News Now) - No. 2 seed Catalina Foothills is in the Conference 4A baseball state title game after a 2-1 win Wednesday over Phoenix St. Mary's at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

The Falcons (24-7) are the only team to run the table (4-0) to the final.

Cole Altherr and Dante DeNiro were brilliant on the mound for Catalina Foothills. Altherr struck out six in five and two-third innings while DeNiro shut the door on the Knights (21-12) getting the final four outs.

The Falcons will make a fifth appearance (0-4) in the baseball state championship game. Their last title tilt was in 2010.

CFHS will await the winner of Saturday's rematch between top-seed Nogales and Peoria Sunrise Mountain.

The Apaches (29-5) had no problem with the Mustangs in the nightcap in Tempe, winning 6-0 behind six-plus strong inning from Markie Lopez, who struck out ten.

Mario Duarte and Kenneth Jimenez had two-out RBI singles in the 2nd to stake Nogales to an early 2-0 lead.

Marcel Bachelier hit a solo home run and Jesus Lopez had a two-run single.

Getting to Tempe on Wednesday was not as smooth as the win for the Apaches. The team's initial bus to the Valley broke down shortly after departing the school's campus. The Nogales travel party had to board a separate bus which took them to Tucson where they boarded yet another bus for the remainder of the trip up I-10.

Nogales and Sunrise Mountain (27-4) will play Saturday night's game (6:30 p.m.) at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, which will also be the site of Monday night's championship game.

The loss for the Mustangs snapped a 17-game winning streak. Sunrise Mountain had not been beaten since March 17.

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