Sunnyside forces the deciding match for the District 12 Majors Championship

Sunnyside LL Majors All-Star Jaylee Abraham scored in each of those three board appearances in her team’s 5-0 win over Copper Hills on Thursday night (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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The Sunnyside Little League Majors All-Stars played dominantly after losing their first-round match to Rincon in the District 12 Tournament last week.

His five-game playoff winning streak has included going 36-5 against opponents while allowing just one point in the last four games.

“The children are ready to go; they’re hungry”, director of Sunnyside David Gandarela said. “That first defeat? It really did something to them. Five games now, playing for our lives. … They are players. This loss really set them on fire.

The streak of effective plays continued with Thursday’s 5-0 win over previously undefeated Copper Hills in the championship round at Field of Dreams Park.

Sunnyside and Copper Hills will play a deciding match Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Field of Dreams for the District 12 title and the right to qualify for the state tournament at Litchfield Park starting July 16.

“We have to go all out (in Friday’s game),” Sunnyside wide receiver said Christian Moran, which went 3 for 3 with a two-run double. “I have to make sure we don’t have any errors, get hits and keep our heads up at all times.”

Moran and drum mate Eli Uriasthe starter, who had nine strikeouts and allowed only two hits in 4 2/3 innings, agreed that Sunnyside should play the same way he played the last five games.

Urias continued his stoppage Wednesday night in a 1-0 win over Rincon (retiring the last three batters) by never allowing Copper Hills to have an extended rally Thursday.

When Jesus Castillo hit a two-out double in the first inning for Copper Hills, Urias retired the next batter. After walking the first two batters in the fourth, he retired the next three batters, two by strikeout to preserve Sunnyside’s 3-0 lead at the time.

“I’m proud of what he’s done. He shut down a good batting team,” Gandarela said. “He threw a hell of a game.”

Urias, who is from Caborca, Sonora, said he was “nervous” but “confident” on the mound.

Sunnyside’s lineup, powered by Jaylee Abraham and Moran at the No. 3 and 4 spots in the lineup, respectively, gave Urias an immediate lead to gain that confidence.

Sunnyside starter Eli Urias struck out nine batters in 4 2/3 innings (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Abraham, who went 2 for 2 with three runs, put Sunnyside ahead 1-0 in the first inning after hitting a two-out single, moving to third on Moran’s single, then scoring on a double steal.

Abraham again fueled a rally with a two-out single in the third inning and scoring all the way from the first on Moran’s infield single and subsequent errant pitch trying to get Moran out at first base.

The lead grew to 3-0 in the fourth set on another double steal attempt with Jake Ogawho reached on an error to start the inning, ran home from third after Julien Miranda tried to steal the second and got caught in a pickle.

Moran gave Sunnyside their 5-0 lead with a two-run brace in the fifth inning, scoring Urias and Abraham (both of whom walked).

“I felt confident,” Moran said of his 3-on-3 performance. “Gotta get the job done. We have to do what we have to do.

Urias was relieved by Alex Ramirez with two out in the fifth inning after Alex Guzman doubled and Cole Senne market. Bases loaded when Jesus Castillo market. Ramirez was down 3-0 in the count against the next batter, but rallied to get three straight hits to preserve the shutout.

Ramirez knocked out the first two batters in the sixth and Nomar Guadaramma closed the door for the last batter out to a diving Ogas at first base.

“I’m excited,” Gandarela said of Friday’s deciding game against Copper Hills. “That’s what we came for. I’m glad we’re here — five straight wins. I’m sure the kids are beaten, but I think they’ll dig deep.

“They’re going to pull through and put everything on the pitch tomorrow. It will be a great baseball game.

DISTRICT CHAMPIONS

D-5 SOFTBALL 8-10: THORNYDALE
D-8 SOFTBALL 8-10: WILLCOX
D-12 SOFTBALL 8-10: SUNNYSIDE
D-12 SOFTBALL 9-11: RINCON
D-5 SOFTBALL 10-12: THORNYDALE
D-8 SOFTBALL 10-12: SIERRA VISTA PONYTAIL
D-12 SOFTBALL 10-12: SUNNYSIDE
JUNIOR SOFTBALL D-5: MARANA
JUNIOR SOFTBALL D-8: BENSON SAN PEDRO
JUNIOR SOFTBALL D-12: SUNNYSIDE

D-5 BASEBALL 8-10: VIEW OF THE CANYON
D-8 BASEBALL 8-10: NOGALES
D-12 BASEBALL 8-10: RINCON
D-5 BASEBALL 9-11: VIEW OF THE CANYON
D-8 BASEBALL 9-11: NOGALES
D-12 BASEBALL 9-11: RINCON
D-5 BASEBALL 10-12: MARANA
D-5 BASEBALL 50/70: WESTERN
D-8 BASEBALL 50/70: NOGALES
D-12 BASEBALL 50/70: SUNNYSIDE
D-5 JUNIOR BASEBALL: WESTERN
JUNIOR BASEBALL D-8: NOGALES
JUNIOR BASEBALL D-12: SUNNYSIDE
D-8 SENIOR BASEBALL: NOGALES

THURSDAY JULY 7

D-8 BASEBALL 10-12: NOGALES
Douglas 16, Nogales 9
Sierra Vista 11, Benson-San Pedro 1 (Elimination)

D-12 BASEBALL 10-12: FIELD OF DREAMS
Sunnyside 5, Copper Hills 0 (Sunnyside forces decisive championship match)

FRIDAY JULY 8

D-8 BASEBALL 10-12: NOGALES
Nogales vs. Sierra Vista, 6 p.m. (elimination)

D-12 BASEBALL 10-12: FIELD OF DREAMS
Copper Hills vs. Sunnyside, 6:30 p.m. (Championship)

STATE 9-11 SOFTBALL: FOUNTAIN HILLS
Rincon vs. D-3, 6:30 p.m.

STATE MAJOR SOFTBALL: GREEN CAMP
Thornydale vs. D-10, 5:30 p.m.
Sierra Vista vs. D-1, 5:30 p.m.

STATE JUNIOR SOFTBALL: AVONDALE
Thornydale vs. Benson-San Pedro, 5:30 p.m.

SATURDAY JULY 9

D-8 BASEBALL 10-12: NOGALES
Douglas vs. TBD, Noon (Championship)

STATE JUNIOR BASEBALL: CURTIS/MEHL
Sunnyside vs. Flagstaff D-1, 8 a.m. (Curtis)
Nogales vs Westwood D-7, 10 a.m. (Mehl)
Western vs. TBD, 7:30 p.m. (Curtis)

STATE MAJOR SOFTBALL: GREEN CAMP
Sunnyside vs. TBD, 8 p.m.

STATE JUNIOR SOFTBALL: AVONDALE
Sunnyside vs. TBD, 7:30 p.m.

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