2022 AIA Playoffs: Championship Previews

Paul Panaccione
Arizona Scouting Director

The stage is set, we're down to the final two teams in the 6A-3A Divisions. And congratulations to Scottsdale Christian for bringing home the 2A Title, and Mogollon bringing home the 1A Title. It has been a very eventful couple weeks to say the least, packed with drama, upsets, and good baseball. Let's take a look at what we have in store for the remaining title games.


4A Championship

#4 Canyon Del Oro vs #3 Salpointe Catholic

5/16 7:30PM @ Hi Corbett Field, Tucson, Arizona

Can't get much better than two rivals going at it for the trophy. Two of the top ranked teams at the 4A level for the entire season. Canyon Del Oro finished the season as Arizona's top ranked 4A team, and got as high as #15 in our state rankings. On the other end, Salpointe Catholic spent half the season in the P25 Rankings, reaching #23, but slipping out of the rankings in the final week after taking some end of the season losses to high level opponents. The regular season series between the rivals was split 1-1, both teams taking wins on the road. This is anybodies game.. what we do know is this is going to be a very emotional baseball game. These players are very familiar with each other, and have been competing in each others back yards for years. Emotions will be high, adrenaline will be pumping, and we will be left with only one winner. 

Available Arms

(Since everyone is now intrigued by this topic)

All arms are available to throw in this one. Both teams last competition was on Wednesday 5/11, giving pitchers who went over the maximum pitch total 5 days rest. Blake Lehmbeck and Robert Lopez both went over 80 pitches on Wednesday, but will be available to throw in tonights matchup.

Name School Class IP ERA K BB
Marcus Delgado Canyon Del Oro 2022 36.2 .76 54 17
Blake Lehmbeck Canyon Del Oro 2022 57.1 1.83 82 17
Dom Felix Canyon Del Oro 2022 31 .68 39 4
Robert Lopez Salpointe Catholic 2022 68.1 2.36 103 26
Max Smith Salpointe Catholic 2022 44.1 2.21 40 14
Diego Garcia Salpointe Catholic 2023 42.1 2.65 47 19


Big Bats

Name School Class AVG 2B 3B HR RBI
Austin Madsen Canyon Del Oro 2022 .395 4 1 5 33
Dom Felix Canyon Del Oro 2022 .346 9 1 7 26
Lucas Casey Canyon Del Oro 2023 .354 7 3 6 29
Chris Humphreys Canyon Del Oro 2024 .361 7 0 1 20
Mason White Salpointe Catholic 2022 .446 13 2 8 34
Jose Simon-Aguirre Salpointe Catholic 2024 .333 6 0 2 22
Omar Monreal Salpointe Catholic 2022 .333 5 1 0 12
Joshua Burke Salpointe Catholic 2023 .329 4 0 1 15


5a Championship

#3 Verrado vs #1 Nogales

5/17 4PM @ Diablo Stadium, Tempe, Arizona

Verrado has put together an outstanding season, in a somewhat "under the radar" fashion. And they've proven that the "under the radar" label does not belong on them. They came out on top of what some would say is the most talented region at the 5A level, with Millennium and Canyon View, and find themselves one of two teams still standing in the state. They will go toe-to-toe with the top team at the 5A level, the Nogales Apaches. These two teams will be getting their first look at each other on Tuesday night, in a highly anticipated game with good arms on the mound, and competitive offenses. Nogales has pummeled their opponents this year, outscoring them by 200 runs, with a team ERA of 2.2. Verrado has gone undefeated to this point through the playoffs, as Nogales was beaten one time in the semis by Desert Mountain. Expect a clean baseball game to be played by both sides, with emotion from the players and their crowds. Both teams will travel very well to Diablo Stadium with a chance to go home with the crown.  


Available Arms

All pitchers should be cleared to throw for both sides in this one. Verrado has not taken the field since last Wednesday, giving their two horses plenty of rest and should be ready to compete. Nogales gave the ball to Sal Valenzuela on Thursday night, who went deep into the game, but will be cleared to throw if needed on Tuesday. Ace of the staff for Nogales Roman Bracamonte was removed from the game during his last outing with an apparent arm injury, we hope all is well with him, but seems as if he will nto be able to compete on Tuesday. 

Name School Class IP ERA K BB
Roman Bracamonte Nogales 2022 66.1 1.16 102 13
Saul Soto Nogales 2022 45.2 1.53 85 25
Sal Valenzuela Nogales 2024 45.2 .59 63 19
Santiago DiBene Nogales 2022 26 5.38 27 6
Joseph Perez Verrado 2022 59.2 2.82 79 24
Garrett Hicks Verrado 2022 50 1.54 73 24


Big Bats

Name School Class AVG 2B 3B HR RBI
Larry Haskins JR Verrado 2022 .515 19 8 4 29
Brenden Killeen Verrado 2022 .484 14 7 1 32
Ty Acton Verrado 2023 .391 9 2 2 29
Garrett Hicks Verrado 2022 .382 8 1 2 25
Demetrio Crisantes Nogales 2022 .485 15 4 7 26
Luis Romero Nogales 2023 .456 3 0 0 20
Sergio Valverde Nogales 2023 .427 7 2 0 39
Derek Montijo Nogales 2023 .418 5 2 1 18


6A Championship

#6 Chandler vs #1 Hamilton

5/17 7PM @ Diablo Stadium, Tempe, Arizona

The 6A title is on the line under the lights on Tuesday night in Tempe. There will be no shortage of talent/prospects on the field in this one. Two of the most exciting offenses in the state will be squaring off with the season on the line. Hamilton was been the beneficiary of a DQ of Queen Creek for using an ineligible pitcher (if you haven't heard...), but the Huskies have done all they can do and seized an opportunity that was put in front of them. Although Hamilton came back and beat Chaparral two times to advance to the state finals, their luck was not running so high on Saturday night. The 6A Premier Region Player of the Year Josh Tiedemann started the game on the mound vs Chaparral on Saturday, and like he does, he was off to a great start on the mound. In a 4th inning at bat, Tiedemann was ejected from the ball game, making him ineligible to play in this state finals matchup (pending his appeal). For Tiedemann and the Huskies sake, we hope for the best for him in his appeal, as we never want to see a player miss an opportunity to be with his teammates in a moment like this. On the other end, Chandler has gone through some of the toughest teams in the 6A division during their road to the championship game. The Wolves have gone through Perry, Brophy, and Mountain Ridge, and have won some of these games very handily. The Chandler Wolves offense is high powered and relentless. They take team at bats, and are a veteran led group. They had their backs against the wall on Saturday against Perry, and showed they can play with that pressure, as the game ended in nearly run-rule fashion 11-2. Very exciting matchup in our future with this one.


Available Arms

All arms for the Huskies should be available, outside of Tiedemann. This leaves Kole Klecker and Logan Saloman available to pitch, which has to make the Huskies like their chances. Sr RHP Aiden Shumaker just about went the distance for the Wolves on Saturday, making him ineligible to pitch in the championship game. Sr Daniel Hutchison took the mound on Friday for Chandler vs Perry, no stats are posted on the Chandler end of this one, but if Hutchison went over 81 pitches in this outing, he will not be eligible to pitch.

Name School Class IP ERA K BB
Logan Saloman Hamilton 2022 61.2 1.7 52 5
Kole Klecker Hamilton 2022 53.2 3.13 47 15
Jackson Smith Hamilton 2022 19.2 3.92 17 4
Jeremy Jones Hamilton 2022 22 .64 22 5
Will Shelor Hamilton 2023 13.2 4.61 17 8
Kyle Sleconich Chandler 2022 30.1 1.85 37 18
Zane Burns Chandler 2025 - - - -


Big Bats

Name School Class AVG 2B 3B HR RBI
Daniel Hutchison Chandler 2022 .495 9 1 1 32
Tate Scott Chandler 2022 .475 13 1 10 39
Brodie Sexton Chandler 2022 .427 5 2 3 17
Kyle Sleconich Chandler 2022 .392 8 0 1 19
Roch Cholowsky Hamilton 2023 .370 7 1 2 15
Ryan Kucherak Hamilton 2023 .345 6 2 7 28
Prince DeBoksie Hamilton 2022 .330 5 2 3 30
Gavin Turley Hamilton 2022 .312 7 0 14 29


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