Santiago Romero is starting to come out of his older brother’s shadow.
Both played this past season for Sunnyside High School, with older brother Stefen Romero earning Tucson Citizen all-southern Arizona honorable mention during his senior year.
On Friday, Santiago, who was a sophomore at Sunnyside this past school year, pitched a two-hit shutout for the Sunnyside Senior all-stars in an 11-0, five-inning win over American in District 12 Little League tournament play at Rodeo Park.
“He pitched a hell of a game,” coach Alfred Pesqueira said. “He struck out six, allowed two hits and hit a two-run homer.”
First baseman Jovany Valenzuela was 3 for 4 with two home runs and six RBIs to help Sunnyside produce plenty of run support, which it hasn’t had much trouble with. On Tuesday, it scored 16 runs in a win over Southwestern.
Of the 13 players on the Sunnyside roster, all but two have played together since they were all-stars in the 9-10 division, where they lost in the state semifinals.
Last year, in the Juniors division state tournament, the team lost in the finals.
“We knew we could be where we’re at. We’ve done it before,” Pesqueira said. “This year, at state, the only team that’s going to beat us is our own.”
Sunnyside awaits the winner of Saturday’s Southwestern-American game at 5:30 p.m. at Palo Verde Park for a best-of-three championship series that begins Wednesday.
The winner of that series advances to state.
District 12 baseball
9-10: Carlos Moreno struck out eight batters in three innings as Sunnyside beat Southwestern 17-9. He was 4 for 4 at the plate.
Shortstop Johnny Rodriguez was 4 for 5, and first baseman Daniel Burrola was 3 for 3.
Majors: Tied at 0 heading into the sixth and final inning, Sunnyside’s Celina Martinez hit a triple and scored on a throwing error in a 1-0 win over San Xavier at the Field of Dreams.
Adrianna Rosthenhausler pitched a shutout for the win.
District 5 softball
9-10: Second baseman Denae Fisher was 4 for 5 with a double, and third baseman Alana Gonzales was 3 for 6 with a triple and a double as Tanque Verde beat Amphi 26-13.