Raiders sweep Phoenix-Carl Hayden in 5A Southwest Region doubleheader
Cibola's Oscar Lemus is trying to get into midseason pitching form.
The Raider junior made only his second start of the season during Cibola's doubleheader sweep of Phoenix-Carl Hayden in 5A Southwest Region baseball Thursday. Cibola won the first game 13-0 and the second game 10-0. Both games were shortened to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Lemus didn't pitch much during the first half of the season because of a sore throwing shoulder. Lemus limited the Falcons to one hit and only allowed two base runners.
"At the beginning of the season my arm was bothering me," Lemus said through teammate James Mayorga, who translated. "I'm feeling better now and I'm trying to get ready for state."
Cibola's hitters backed up Lemus by sending 13 hitters to the plate during an eight-run fourth inning during the first game. Conrad Rangel drove in three runs during the fourth inning on a double to the right-center gap.
"It felt good the way my teammates were helping me out at the plate," Lemus said. "That made me a lot more confident on the mound."
Lemus struck out five and didn't allow a base runner past first base.
"That was good to see because he's a little behind," Cibola coach Duane Evans said. "He has some good pop on his fastball and his two breaking pitches are working pretty well for him."
The Raiders (23-2, 12-0) took advantage of three Carl Hayden (5-13, 2-10) errors to send 13 batters to the plate during an eight-run third inning of the second game. Jose Flores drove in two runs with a line single during the third inning.
"We're good at capitalizing on other people's mistakes," Evans said. "They gave us opportunities and we responded to them."
Most of Cibola's region games have ended with the mercy rule.
"The good thing is we're getting a lot of wins in our region," Evans said. "The bad thing is we're losing some innings as far as getting some of the other pitchers on the mound."
Cibola's Larsen Jones, who doesn't normally start, put on a hitting display during both games. In the first game, Jones went 2-for-3 at the plate, with two runs and an RBI, and 2-for-2 with a run scored as the leadoff hitter in the second game.
Bill Kopatich can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6882.