Prep Baseball Report

AIA 5A Championship Recap: Casteel vs. Sunrise Mt.

Shea Sbranti
Arizona Scouting Director

Casteel Colts 8 vs. Sunrise Mt. Mustangs 1

In a highly anticipated 5A State title game, the Casteel Colts showcased their dominance with an 8-1 victory over the Sunrise Mountain Mustangs, marking their second consecutive state championship. The win was anchored by a stellar performance from ace left-handed pitcher and University of Arizona commit Mason Russell, who threw a complete game, allowing just one earned run while striking out five.

From the outset, the Colts showed their offensive dominance, with all nine starters recording hits. The early offensive surge was led by Bobby Pierce, who went 2-4 and delivered a crucial RBI in the 2nd inning, giving Casteel a 4-1 lead that set the tone for the game. Freshman standout Baylor Denny contributed significantly with two hits and an RBI, showcasing his potential and poise in a high-stakes environment especially in his first high school season. Additionally, Arizona State commit Connor Russell had a notable day at the plate, going 2-3 with two RBIs, further cementing the Colts' offensive dominance at the plate.

The Mustangs struggled to find their footing against Mason Russell's precision and control on the mound. Despite their efforts, they could only muster a single run, underscoring the effectiveness of Russell's pitching and the solid defense behind him.

Casteel entered the season as the top-ranked team in the state by Prep Baseball Report, and their performance throughout the season and in the championship game justified that ranking. Under the leadership of Coach Matt Denny, one of Arizona's premier coaches, the Colts have continued to build a legacy of success. Coach Denny's expertise and strategic acumen were evident throughout the season, culminating in this championship victory.


Coach Denny's success with the Colts has not gone unnoticed, as he will lead Team Arizona in the prestigious Geico High School National Championships this summer. His ability to develop talent and achieve consistent success will undoubtedly make him a valuable asset in the national spotlight.

As the Colts celebrate their back-to-back state titles, the future looks bright for this powerhouse program. With a blend of experienced leaders and emerging talents, Casteel has established itself as a formidable force in Arizona high school baseball. This championship victory not only adds to their storied legacy but also sets the stage for continued success in the seasons to come.


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