Notre Dame Prep baseball scores early, often to defeat Flowing Wells

NDP junior Jarrett Pille tosses a pitch in Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium during the Saints’ 16-8 win over Flowing Wells in the 5A state playoffs. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story misspelled Griffen Chewning’s name. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Continuing a recent trend, the No. 6 Notre Dame Preparatory baseball team stockpiled runs early so when it came time to weather No. 3 Flowing Wells High School’s comeback attempts, NDP was in good position.

The Saints built a 14–3 lead after three innings en route to its 16–8 win over the Caballeros Monday, April 30 in the second round of the double-elimination 5A state playoffs at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa.

In their last nine games, the Saints have averaged 10.5 runs per game compared to 6.4 runs per game average over the rest of the season.

NDP Head Coach Brian Fischer said he tells his players to focus on defense and pitching, and the runs will come.

“When we’re hot, guys stay hot and somebody else picks them up,” he said after the game. “Right now, we’re seeing the ball well and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

After scoring two in the top of the first, NDP scored five more in the top of the second. That rally included a 2 RBI single by catcher Joseph Terlizzi. Terlizzi had three hits off four at-bats with three RBIs.

Flowing Wells got three runs back in the bottom of the second including a pair of RBI singles to cut NDP’s lead to 8–3.

Saints pitcher Jarrett Pille smacked a 3 RBI triple to left field to kick off a seven-run push in the top of the third. This built NDP’s lead to 14–3.

“(We were) just seeing the ball well, swinging gap to gap and trying not to do too much,” Sophomore Griffen Chewning said after the game. “(We were) trying to keep the energy up in the dugout and keep it rolling.”

NDP senior Ben Nemivant heads to first base after the fourth ball during the Saints’ 16-8 win over Flowing Wells in the 5A playoffs. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Flowing Wells went through two pitchers before settling on sophomore Shelby Sanders in the top of the third. Sanders surrendered four runs in the third but also pitched three scoreless innings. This gave the Caballeros a chance at a comeback.

“He threw strikes, kept them off balance and he was successful,” Flowing Wells Head Coach Erick Estrella said after the game. “A lot of times, these guys will get themselves out and they were doing that by popping them up.”

In the bottom of the fourth, the Caballeros rallied as senior Brock Barkhurst knocked in Juan Pablo Ruedaflores, inciting a four-run push. Barkhurst and Ruedaflores connected again in the fifth as a Barkhurst grounder allowed Ruedaflores to cut NDP’s lead to 14–8.

Ruedaflores shined for Flowing Wells going 5-for-5 from the plate with four singles, one of which was an RBI, and a ground rule double.

The Caballeros never got any closer and in the top of the seventh, NDP centerfielder Tyler Cranston hit an in-park home run and followed by first baseman James Rosenhagen hitting an RBI single to pad the lead.

Coach Fischer said Flowing Wells is a good baseball team, one NDP couldn’t overlook at any point during the game.

“We had to stick to our game plan and do the little things to win ball games and we certainly did that for the most part,” he said.

With the win, the Saints advance to play No. 2 Verrado High School Thursday, May 3 at Hohokam Stadium. Flowing Wells drops to the loss bracket and will play No. 7 Buena High School.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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