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Refreshed Cougars defeat Nighthawks for fifth win

Citizen Staff Writer



Don’t expect Sahuaro High School baseball coach Mark Chandler to complain about having an early week off in the schedule.

It might have helped his team regroup.

Sahuaro (5-2) has won two straight since returning from a weeklong layoff last week. The Cougars’ latest win came Thursday at the expense of Ironwood Ridge in a 12-9 victory.

“We’ve had a week off to practice,” Chandler said. “We came back refocused. We came out and beat a good (Phoenix) Paradise Valley team at their place on Tuesday and come over here and beat a good Ironwood Ridge team.

“We finish off the week with Apache Junction (on Friday) and we’ll be 3-0 (this week) if we can (win) there.”

Against the Nighthawks, Sahuaro wasted no time getting to left-hander Derek Boris in the top of the first inning.

Boris exited after yielding runs in the second and third.

“It was evident (Boris) didn’t have his good stuff and we took advantage of it early,” Chandler said. “We were very selective at the plate and hit some good pitches. We put some runs up early and set the tone.

“We lacked some focus in the middle innings and let them get back in the ballgame, but give credit to them, coach (Jason) Hisey is always going to have his teams prepared.”

Sahuaro collected 11 hits while Ironwood Ridge totaled 12 hits.

“We relied on our big boy (pitcher Jake Cole),” Chandler said. “. . . He showed some guts. He’s a horse. He’s our captain and leader.”

Cole (1-0) struck out eight in his second start this season.

“I had a couple of rough spots where they started to hit my fastball,” Cole said. “The team played well today.”

Ironwood Ridge’s Alex Worden went 4 for 4 with a triple and five RBIs.

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