Sandites come from behind for 8-3 victory over Coconino at Best of the West Tournament

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School baseball team (6-2) finished their run at the Best of the West tournament in Phoenix with an 8-3 come from behind victory over Coconino (2-11). The Flagstaff, Arizona team lead 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, but the Sandites' bats exploded in the fifth and sixth for three runs in each.

Hunter Greathouse (1-0) got his first win on the mound this season, pitching nine strikeouts and only giving up three hits. 

Coconino took an early lead with a run from Turner Gasperone, who was walked by Greathouse and batted in on a sacrifice by Rylee Snopek in the first inning. Greathouse struck out Marcus Romo and Cristo Tabares, stranding Trevor Bong, who singled.

The Sandites retaliated quickly as Treyce Tolbert and Rhett Rutledge singled and were joined on base by Jake Ward who was struck by the pitch. Joey Montgomery scored Tolbert, but was outed with Ward in a double play groundball scoop from Gasperone at short to Damien Kern at second to Snopek at first. Greathouse grounded out to second and the Panthers came in to bat tied up at 1-1.

Coconino grounded out two and Greathouse struck out Luke Nelson to bring the Sandites back in with no hits, no runs, and no errors, but they were unable to capitalize on a Josh Taber single as he was caught stealing second. Trevor Tolbert struck out looking and Jake Terry grounded out to third to bring the inning to a close.

Gasperone singled again for the Panthers, but was left stranded on second as Greathouse struck out the final two batters. The Sandites then stranded Rhett Rutledge (single) and Ward (hit by pitch).

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Greathouse hit Snopek and gave up a single to Tabares to start the fourth and the runners advanced on a sacrifice by Braydon Wong. Todd Furr reached first on a fielder's choice as Trevor Tolbert put out Snopek at home. Cristian Casados replaced Todd Furr, Ty Furr replaced Tabares, and the bases were loaded as Nelson was walked. Greathouse walked Wes Garner and Gasperone to score Ty Furr and Casados and the Panthers were up 3-1. Romo reached on a dropped third strike, but Nelson was put out at home to end the Panther offense.

Greathouse singled in the bottom of the fourth and was replaced on base by Tyler McCallie. McCallie made it to third on a Josh Taber single, then came home on a Trevor Tolbert sacrifice. Terry singled with a groundball to short, but was caught stealing second. Taber was stranded as Ty Fain lined out to short. 

Coconino's next three batters grounded out and the Sandites finally found the momentum they needed in the bottom of the fifth. Treyce Tolbert flied out to start, but Rutledge hit a hard groundball to left field for a single. Ward was hit by pitch for the third time (OUCH!) and Montgomery was struck out. Greathouse singled to load the bases with two outs. Mack Thompson replaced Ward, McCallie replaced Greathouse, and Rutledge walked in as Taber was hit by pitch. The Panthers replaced Nelson on the mound with Romo, to little avail, as Trevor Tolbert singled to score Thompson and McCallie. Taber was stranded as Terry grounded out to short, but the Sandites had a 5-3 lead.

Greathouse struck out the side in the top of the sixth. Fain was walked, Treyce Tolbert reached on an error, Rutledge singled to score Fain, then Ward singled to score Tolbert. Mongomery was hit by pitch to load the bases and was replaced by Cody Motes. The Panthers changed pitchers again, this time to Snopek. Greathouse sacrificed to score Rutledge for a final score of 8-3. The game ended with the bases loaded as Trevor Tolbert was walked, but Terry grounded out.

The Sandites went 3-2 in the spring break tournament with losses of 7-0 and 2-1 to Sunrise Mountain and Chaparral High, respectively, and wins of 3-1 and 14-2 over Greenway High and Notre Dame Prep.