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Badgers stop California team for third win in a row

Tucson High's Juan Frias gets Santa Barbara (Calif.) San Marcos' Shane Moore out at third base Thursday afternoon at Cherry Field.

Tucson High's Juan Frias gets Santa Barbara (Calif.) San Marcos' Shane Moore out at third base Thursday afternoon at Cherry Field.

Tucson High baseball coach Oscar Romero doesn’t feel his team has reached its peak.

But if the Badgers continue to play like they have recently, their opponents should be on notice.

Tucson, hosting the inaugural Cherry Field Memorial Classic, picked up its third straight win by defeating San Marcos (Calif.) 6-2 in pool play Thursday.

“We can still get so much better,” Romero said. ” . . . Our energy level has to get better all around.

“It has to be where we just don’t wait for big innings; every inning should be a big inning. I think it’s just our mental approach of how we’re coming to the game. The good thing about it is I feel we haven’t arrived yet, but we’re getting there.”

Jake Luna, provided a spark for Tucson, finishing 1 for 3 with a walk and scoring twice.

“In a tournament like this, we’re coming more together as a team,” Luna said. “To be honest, that’s what baseball is about, your brothers next to you.

“We all depend on each other on the field and off.”

After the walk, Juan Frias’ single scored Luna.

In the third, Tucson scored three more runs to go up 5-0.

Luna drove in the first run of the inning with a single to center.

Alan Garcia picked up the win.

“It was a tough game,” said Garcia, who finished with six strikeouts and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning.

“I was just trying to throw strikes and get ahead in the count. I had a little trouble in the third inning but things went well overall.”

After San Marcos had scored two runs in the third, Shane Wieland walked to load the bases. Garcia got Brandon Atelian to ground out to end the threat.

“This is really good for us,” Romero said of the tournament’s timing. “Some people were scared that it’s too late in the season. I think this can also propel you and solidifies what you need to do right now in the heart of your season.”

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