The St. Johns baseball team mounted a dramatic regular-season run which culminated in the 2A North championship and region honors for several Redskins.

But the team was not able to capitalize on the late-season success in the state playoffs this month.

Flagstaff Northland Prep sophomore Chase Hamilton drove in four runs to lead his team to a 13-2 win against St. Johns in the first round of the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Division 2A Baseball Championships in Goodyear on May 3.

Hamilton was 1-for-3 at the plate, got hit by a pitch and reached base twice on Redskin errors. Caden Cribbs, also an NPA sophomore, was 2-for-4 with a double and he drove in three runs. Dawson Messick (1-for-3), a junior, drove in two runs, as the Spartans got 10 hits.

Senior hurler Zach Tweed scattered one Redskin hit over the five innings and gave up two unearned runs while striking out nine batters for the win.

St. Johns finished the season with 15 wins and 11 losses.

Head coach Ray Davis was selected 2A North Coach of the Year by region coaches at season’s end. Catcher Tate Skousen was selected as region Player of the Year and J.J. Womack was tabbed as the 2A North Defensive Player of the Year.

Justus Burt, a sophomore, led the Redskins in batting average (.520) and in hits (39). Skousen (.507 average), belted 38 hits, including 17 for extra bases and he drove in a team-high 34 runs.

Senior Kyren Ulibarri (.429 average), was third on the team with 33 hits and second with 25 RBI. Womack (.320) drove in 19 runs.

Junior pitcher Mark Ballejos had a team-high 13 appearances on the mound and he finished with a 2.04 earned run average (best of the 12 pitchers who saw action this year) and led the team with 43 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings pitched.

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Andy Staten is the sports editor of the White Mountain Independent.

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