The Desert Vista baseball team has found plenty of trouble in the early innings this season.
Early deficits became a norm as did erasing it for countless comeback wins to define the year.
Some trouble, however, is just too much.
Desert Vista had its season come to an end Saturday when No. 23 Valley Vista scored seven times in the first inning to pace the Monsoon’s big offensive day in a 12-7 loss at home for the 10th seeded Thunder.
As expected the Thunder responded by scoring four runs in the first inning, but never had the crooked numbered inning needed in the late frames to close the gap on Valley Vista.
“We came from behind all year long and had a great effort again today,” Thunder coach Stan Luketich said. “We responded very well. (Valley Vista) swung the bats all day long and we had to work hard to get three outs every inning.”
The Monsoon (24-10) kept adding runs, scoring in five of the seven innings with most of the damage coming against Isaiah Deutsch, to never let Desert Vista to bring the tying run to plate after the first inning.
“We went through a two-week lull where we were really struggling,” Monsoon coach Mark Flatten said. “The last week or so we started to putting up good at-bats and now we are locked in again.”
Valley Vista had 12 hits, including a home run, double and single from junior center fielder Terrance Robertson, as the Monsoon cranked out five extra-base hits against four Thunder pitchers.
“He’s kind of a one-man wrecking crew,” Flatten said of Robertson.
The Thunder (18-10) did some damage as well against left-hander Taylor Bickel, who gave 11 hits, walked five and struck out one in improving to 7-5.
“His leash kept getting longer as we scored more runs,” Flatten said. “He’s a senior and at some point it was clear he wasn’t going to be able to pitch again until next Saturday so we just needed him to go as deep as possible.”
AJ Valencia and Zach Hardy had two hits each for the Thunder and Michael Popeck had a two-run double.
The loss means another senior class sees their careers come to an end prematurely.
“There is no other group of kids I wanted to spend my senior year with,” senior catcher Kyle Gibbs said. “We grew up together and it will be weird going separate ways. (Valley Vista) came out and did their job and that’s what you expect in the playoffs. We did our job, too, but we just couldn’t make it all the way back.”
Luketich was proud of the way the nine seniors handled themselves.
“They carried on the tradition and fought until the end,” he said.
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