Lions change it up on diamond - The Explorer: Sports

Lions change it up on diamond

Cupboard's not empty after state-title run

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Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:18 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Pusch Ridge had a record-setting year last year, going 23-3 en route to its first-ever 2A baseball championship under head coach and former major league pitcher Doug Jones.

Doug's son, Dawson, went 9-0 in his senior season with a 1.69 ERA, and he also batted .373. Andy Knox batted .464 in his senior season.

The Lions have entered this season without Knox and the Joneses. Doug Jones, a former five-time big league all-star, accepted a position as pitching coach with San Diego Christian College.

Succession would seem to be a tall order for first-year coach Mark Frithsen, who's also the defensive coordinator on the football team. But the cupboard wasn't exactly left dry, as Friday's 23-4 win over Tombstone illustrated.

Owen Bertelsen, a senior who batted .359 last year, opened the year with a 5-5 performance.

"I felt good today," Bertelsen said. "I was confident every time. We lost a lot of people, but we still have a lot of great players."

Bertelsen plays shortstop and second base, and will also pitch occasionally.

Senior Alec Erreg had three hits and scored five runs. Last year, he batted .427 with three home runs.

Aaron Vaughn belted the game's only homer, batted in five runs, and also scored four runs. Vaughn also pitched four innings against Tombstone and struck out eight batters with no walks. A year ago, he posted a 2.28 ERA on the mound with a win-loss record of 6-1.

"Aaron's our number one pitcher," Frithsen said. "We have four good pitchers including Owen Bertelsen."

The Lions return seven seniors, including Matt Horrigan, who batted .350 last year.

The Lions may not have the manpower to bludgeon the opposition, but they have a different approach.

"We're a little less powerful than last year," Frithsen said. "We'll be running a lot this year. Our speedsters are Horrigan, Alec and Aaron."

The three speedsters all, coincidentally, batted in the top three slots in the lineup and scored 12 runs among them on Friday.

"All three have power and speed," Frithsen pointed out.

The Lions don't figure to win 23 games this year, but Frithsen anticipates the team making another deep run in the playoffs.

"We have a good nucleus," Frithsen said. "Aaron, Owen, Alec, Horrigan and Collin (Chafin) are all top-notch players. This may be my first year as head coach, but my coaching staff (Cort Hall, Dallas Hale, Jeff King) is very knowledgeable."

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

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

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

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

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

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

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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