Arcadia, Mountain View get wins behind solid pitching

Mountain View lines up on the first baseline as the teams are announced prior to Tuesday night's game. (By Justin Maskulinski)

Mountain View lines up on the first baseline as the teams are announced prior to Tuesday night’s game. (By Justin Maskulinski)

Only two games were played on Tuesday night in the Arizona District 6 Little League Tournament, and both games saw solid starting pitching from the winning team.

Arcadia and Mountain View emerged victorious while McCormick Ranch and East Scottsdale fell short on the third day of the two-week tournament.

North Scottsdale (2-0), McDowell Mountain (1-1) and Fountain Hills (1-1) were idle on Tuesday.

Arcadia’s win gave the team a 2-0 record and catapulted them into first place. Mountain View’s win puts them in third place with a 2-1 record, for the time being.

Wednesday’s matchups will affect the standings, as Mountain View is the only team that is idle.

Game 1: Arcadia 5, McCormick Ranch 0

Arcadia rode the outstanding pitching of Scotty Wheeler to victory.  Scotty pitched a complete game one-hitter on 74 pitches. He struck out five and did not walk any batters.

“I felt good, I was hitting my spots,” Scotty said. “The defense made some good plays, too.”

Scotty thinks his mental approach helped him as he led his team to its second win of pool play.

“I just had a good mindset,” Scotty said. “I was happy and I just felt good as soon as I got onto the mound.”

Scotty helped himself out, as he went 1-2 with a double. Barrett Wasson was a pinch runner for Scotty and eventually scored.

The first inning of the game lasted just eight minutes, as McCormick Ranch pitcher Tyler Hooser needed just three pitches in the top half to start with a 1-2-3 inning. Scotty settled in quickly too, as just one batter reached base before a double play ended the inning.

Arcadia added two runs in the second and one run in the third inning. The game was still 3-0 in favor of Arcadia heading into the top of the sixth inning when Arcadia right fielder Kellen Slade sent a sharp grounder up the middle to score Crew Edwards and Wyatt Carwitz.

“It felt great,” Kellen said of his two-RBI double. “I think it gave the team more energy.”

Arcadia went into the bottom of the sixth and Scotty sat down the last three McCormick Ranch hitters in order. Scotty faced the three-batter minimum in five of the six innings he pitched.

Arcadia manager Jeff Wasson was happy with Scotty’s performance.

“He was throwing good and efficient, but really what he did well was he mixed up his pitches,” he said. “He kept them off-balance.”

Mr. Wasson now has the task of trying to keep his players focused as they sit in first place with two games remaining.

“If we pitch and play defense that takes care of it for sure,” Mr. Wasson said.

Game 2: Mountain View 12, East Scottsdale 1

Tournament-host Mountain View jumped on East Scottsdale early to claim a mercy-rule victory in four innings.

The winning pitcher for Mountain View was Brendan Flaherty, who pitched three innings while only allowing one hit and striking out five East Scottsdale batters.

“I was throwing strikes,” Brendan said. “I was in control and only threw six balls.”

Mountain View led 7-0 after two innings of play as shortstop Max Weinmeister, first baseman Brett Vodegel and catcher Kaleb Bouey all batted in runs with doubles.

Max finished the game 2-4 with two doubles and four RBI’s.

“I was just making contact with the ball and putting it in play,” Max said.

In the third inning, East Scottsdale center fielder Sam Dunlop robbed Mountain View’s Brett Vodegel of extra bases and RBI’s when he made a leaping, run-saving catch.

Sam says as soon as the bat hit the ball, he knew he had to turn and start running.

“I was running straight back and then I turned around, put my arm up and caught the ball,” he said.

In the middle of the fourth inning, Ryan Madsen of the Mountain View Minors Rattlers received applause as it was announced that he would be heading to Cincinnati as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Pitch, Hit & Run program.

Ryan started at a local competition and advanced all the way to a state-wide competition at Chase Field before being chosen as one of just three to compete in the seven-and-eight-year-old boys division. According to a MLB press release, the competition began with over 625,000 youth and was dwindled down to just 24.

“It’s pretty cool,” Ryan said, as he watched the Mountain View-East Scottsdale matchup.

Ryan will be on the field during the Home Run Derby fielding baseballs and he hopes to meet his favorite player, Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Paul Goldschmidt, at the game. Goldschmidt is likely to be voted onto the National League All-Star team.

After Ryan was recognized in the middle of the fourth inning, East Scottsdale came up for its final at-bats and catcher Caleb Simpson scored East Scottsdale’s first and only run of the game after a Mountain View throw got away from the third baseman.

The two batters after Simpson were retired and Mountain View earned its second win. The win puts Mountain View in the top-half of the standings with one game remaining.

“It was great because we have to face a hard team on Thursday,” Brendan said.

The team Mountain View will face on Thursday after its off-day is Arcadia, and the matchup will be the tournament pool play finale, 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

There are three games being played on Wednesday that will shape the standings heading into the final day of the pool play. They are:

  • McCormick Ranch vs. Fountain Hills, 5:30 p.m.
  • East Scottsdale vs. Arcadia 7 p.m.
  • North Scottsdale vs. McDowell Mountain 7:30 p.m.

Scottsdale Independent Sports Correspondent Justin Maskulinski can be contacted at jmaskulinski@newszap.com. Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Maskulinski.

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