Spring training wraps up in Tucson, filling up the entire Kino Stadium - The Explorer: Sports

Spring training wraps up in Tucson, filling up the entire Kino Stadium

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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 4:00 am | Updated: 11:04 am, Mon Apr 7, 2014.

It was a capacity crowd on March 21 as the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the Chicago Cubs in the final of two spring training games to come to Tucson’s Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium this year.

Both games benefited the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation, named after the nine-year-old girl killed in a 2011 mass shooting at a congressional event hosted by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. 

“Thanks for everyone coming out today to support the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation and Major League Baseball,” said Christina’s father, John Green, to the 11,000-plus fans packing the sports complex. 

Of the proceeds raised, $100,000 will go toward building a youth sports center near La Cholla and River roads. The Southern Arizona Community Sports Center will be the largest indoor sports center for youth sports in Arizona.

The project is only fitting for the Green family, as John is a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Christina was an avid baseball fan. 

“It’s a great thing to watch,” said Cubs fan David Crescent about the fundraising. “I have kids of my own, and to see the positive progress they’re making in their child’s memory – it’s just nice to see.” 

Christina’s brother, Dallas, would get things started by throwing the game’s first pitch. 

The Dodgers would go on to beat the Cubs 5-4, highlighted by a homerun from Alex Castellanos, his fourth of the spring season. Slugger and all-star Matt Kemp, who is recovering well from shoulder surgery, tripled to right in the fifth inning.

The Cubs’ Starlin Castro also homered off Dodgers starting pitcher Stephen Fife.

For Tucson families, the experience of spring training is always a rare one.

“We bought tickets to both games this year,” said local Tucsonan Andrea Barcellona, who attended with her husband Mark and two children, Danny and Vicki. 

“We’re glad to see spring training stay local,” said Mark. “It seems to be getting tougher and tougher to come by. Last year, there were three games, this year there are two. We just hope it keeps coming, because the kids love it and it gets us all out of the house together.”

Fans who attended the first spring training game, held on St. Patrick’s Day, got to see the Arizona Diamondbacks take down the San Diego Padres, 8-6.

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin earned four strikeouts and gave up one earned run en route to the victory.

“It was a good to see our home team get the win,” said ticket buyer Christopher Allen. “We’ve been a little shaky early on this year but I think we can put it together before the season gets going.”

Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium is located at 2500 E. Ajo Way. For upcoming events, visit www.kinosportscomplex.com or call 434-1011.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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