Pusch Ridge won’t be guilty of backing its way into the postseason.
The Lions rolled to their eighth straight win Tuesday, defeating Winkelman Hayden 8-4 Tuesday in a 2A South Region game.
Pusch Ridge improves to 16-1 overall and 11-1 in the league. Hayden, which came in trailing Pusch Ridge by a game, drops to 16-5 overall and 10-3 in 2A South play.
“Winning this game really gives us some momentum playing some real tough teams getting ready for the playoffs,” said Pusch Ridge first baseman Andy Knox. “We’re going to be playing more of those real tough teams.”
The win also marked the first time Pusch Ridge has swept a season series with Hayden (Pusch Ridge won 13-4 on March 21 in Winkelman).
“That’s really big,” Pusch Ridge catcher Daniel Vavrusa said. “We knew we could beat Hayden if we played our best.”
Getting to Hayden early was key in Tuesday’s win. Pusch Ridge put up a run in the first inning and was up 4-0 before Hayden scored its first run in the top of the fifth inning.
“Getting a run on the board early got our confidence rolling,” Knox said.
Vavrusa accounted for the first run with an RBI double. In the third, Pusch Ridge scored two runs, including an RBI single from Dawson Jones.
Knox belted a two-run home run, and Owen Bertelsen added a two-run double in a four-run fifth for the Lions.
Right-hander Aaron Vaughn went the distance and picked up the win for Pusch Ridge.
“Early on I was getting ahead in the count and throwing first pitch strikes,” Vaughn said. “I was using my change-up and curveball early. I didn’t want to show those two pitches early. Those were my main goals at the beginning of the game.
“This win definitely fires us up, but we have another big game against San Manuel Friday. We’ll be pumped for that game.”
Cienega 27, Desert View 7: The Bobcats’ offense was unstoppable at Desert View and KC Mejia was one big reason.
Mejia hit for the cycle, going 6 for 6 scoring six runs along with seven RBIs.
Catalina 4, Santa Rita 3: Gerry Soto’s RBI single to right field proved to be the game winner, scoring Julian Daniel.
Daniel hit a ground-rule double to lead off the inning.
Sahuarita 11, Rio Rico 5: Travis Salisbury led the Mustangs’ offense, going 3 for 3 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Sahuaro scored the winning run in the ninth inning on a passed ball in its game against Flowing Wells.
Courtney McCoy gave the Cougars the 3-2 win after she scored.
Canyon del Oro 10, Pueblo 0: Katie Asher hit two home runs in the Dorados’ victory.
She went 3 for 4 at the plate, scored three runs and had six RBIs.
Sabino 9, Nogales 5: Brittany Murray went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
Staff writer Raymond Suarez contributed to this article.