Hamilton High baseball, softball teams win state titles SanTan Sun News

Hamilton High baseball, softball teams win state titles

June 8th, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
Hamilton High baseball, softball teams win state titles
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By Jeff Edgington

 

Hamilton High students can celebrate this summer after winning two state trophies in the final days of the 2016-2017 high school sports season.

In the Class 6A state baseball championship, the Huskies reigned supreme again, repeating as champions with a 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Pinnacle High on May 16. The previous night, the Hamilton girls softball team captured a state championship as well, defeating top-seeded Pinnacle 7-2 to capture its second consecutive title.

The 2017 Hamilton Huskies baseball team defied the odds. Starting the campaign in the top 10 nationally, the team stumbled into a mid-season slump – by Hamilton’s lofty standards – before it started to click as the calendar turned to late April. 

Conference victories in a brutal Premier Region set them up for a grinding playoff push. The Huskies finished runner-up to Basha High in the Premier Region before making their push to another state championship.

A senior-laden veteran presence will be missed next season as many Huskies continue to the next level. Drew Swift will don the gold and maroon at Arizona State.

Also playing Division I ball will be Brayden Merritt (New Mexico), Cole Bellinger (Grand Canyon), Nick Brueser (Stanford) and Colton Smelling (Fordham). Chaz DeLuca has signed with Gateway Community College.

Swift and Brueser also won as freshman and juniors. Winning three rings is a rarity and a legacy for two players who will now compete in the Pac-12 Conference. 

Merritt soaked it all in.

“Playing together with this core group since seventh grade has been a ride,” Merritt said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We’ve had some great success together. We’ve worked for everything and I’ll miss my brothers.”

The cupboard isn’t bare for Coach Mike Woods as his team strives for a three-peat in 2018. He returns a few critical pieces in Jacob Theil and Hayden Baker (Class of 2018) and J.D. McLaughlin, who has committed to Oregon State, as well as Shane Murphy for (2019) and Michael Brueser (2020).

In the girls softball finale, Hamilton pitcher Maddie Seigworth, who has committed to Butler, struck out 13 Pioneers on the way to her second state championship win on the hill.

The Huskies all but ended it in the fifth inning, scoring four runs off the previously untouchable Marissa Schultz. Schultz came into the night with 22 wins for Pinnacle and had only allowed 15 earned runs all season, according to maxpreps.com.

Alongside Simmons, fellow sophomore Lorena Vasquez-Inzunza also delivered for the Huskies, hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning to conclude the scoring.

Pinnacle (34-2) entered at No. 2 in the country.
But Hamilton (30-6) countered with a star-studded lineup, and Coach Rocky Parra felt his lineup could match.  

(Photo by Jeff Edgington)
Victory tastes sweet for the members of the Huskies baseball team, who repeated as state champions last month.

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