Team Corona 12, Valley Reds 11
By Jason Johnson, special to MSBL
October 27, 2019, Hohokam Stadium, Mesa, Az. – In a wild back and forth contest Team Corona pulled off a late come from behind win when son Sam Rodriguez crossed home plate in the bottom of the 10th inning on a wild pitch to defeat the Valley Reds 12-11 in the Father/Son Cactus Division Championship at Hohokam Stadium.
A five run seventh inning led by two RBI hits from Chris Jutze and Michael Mottesheard launched Team Corona back into the ballgame. Victor Rivas ultimately knotted the game up when he hit an RBI single to drive in Gio Garcia.
“We are just drained and it’s been a long four days with lots of ups and downs,” said Corona manager Michael Mottesheard. “When we were down 11-6 the dugout was getting a little quiet and my son rallied everybody and we were able to battle back.”
The Valley Reds got things started early scoring two in the top of the first but Corona answered right back with three of their own in the bottom half. Corona leadoff hitter and game MVP Freddy Turcios sparked the early rally with a hustle play when he struck out but reached first base when the third strike got past the catcher. He would go on to score the first run of the game for Corona on another wild pitch later in the innings.
In the third and fourth innings the Valley Reds scored six runs to take an 8-5 lead with son Emilio Benevidez Jr. leading the way driving in four. The Reds continued to pile it on in the seventh inning scoring three more runs to take a commanding 11-6 lead.
“Since the beginning we were telling our guys that Corona is a great hitting team and no lead is safe and it showed,” said Reds manager Pedro Curiel.
Team Corona brought three generations of Mottesheards to Arizona for the World Series and they always enjoy the bond of playing baseball that brings them together.
“I’ve got sons, grandsons and nephews out here and it’s the best,” said Mottesheard. “The atmosphere is a lot less anger in these tournaments compared to others. Even when teams are down everyone is still smiling and it’s a fun time.”
During pool play the Valley Reds played to an undefeated record. The Big Red Machine was churning throughout the tournament at the top of the order with sons Trayvon Jackson and Emilio Benevidez Jr. sparking the offense.
Team Corona cruised to a 4-0 record during pool play behind stellar play from 15-year old Kaleb Jutze. Jutze came up big on the mound and at the plate delivering key hits throughout the tournament. Korey Hal also delivered during pool play by hitting a homerun.
The Valley Reds defeated the Rhode Island Reds in the semis 7-6 when father Art Burke grounded to the middle infielder with the bases loaded and the ball was thrown away allowing the winning run to score. It was a back and forth affair with the Reds jumping out to a 5-2 lead but allowing the Red Sox to take a 6-5 lead late in the game.
In the semis Team Corona blew past the Skeeters 14-4 to advance to the championship. The Skeeters were able to keep the game close early on the Corona opened up in the later innings to run away.
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Valley Reds 2 0 4 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 11 17 2
Team Corona 3 2 0 0 1 0 5 0 0 1 12 19 2
WP: Sam Rodriguez LP: Corey Haywood
2B: Art Burke (VR), Emilio Benevidez Jr. (VR), Michael Mottesheard (TC), Korey Hal (TC)
Leading Hitters: Reds – Emilio Benevidez Jr. 3×4, 3 R, 4 RBI; Trayvon Jackson 3×5, 3 R; Emilio Benevidez Sr. 3×5, RBI; Corona – Marcus Mottesheard 3×3, 2 BB, 3 R; Michael Motteshard 2×5, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Chris Jutze 2×4, 2 R, 2 RBI
HBP: Emilio Benevidez Jr. (VR), Daniel Dominguez 2 (VR), Jesse Hinojosa (VR), Chris Jutze (TC)
SB: Marcus Mottesheard (TC), Sam Rodriguez (TC)
CS: Korey Hal (TC)
SF: Fredy Turcios (TC)
Team LOB: Reds 9, Corona 11
Time of Game: 3:22