Prep Baseball: Vols capture another 4A Grand Canyon Region title
KINGMAN – It is no secret that winning a region championship takes lots of hard work and dedication. But the level of devotion increases if a squad wants to be win consecutive titles.
The Lee Williams High School baseball team showed that commitment throughout the 2019 campaign and capped the regular season Thursday with a 5-2 victory over Mingus to capture back-to-back 4A Grand Canyon Region titles.
“We set goals every year and obviously one of our goals is to win our region,” said Vols head coach Patrick O’Boyle. “Whatever way we can get that done is the best way to do it. And this year we were fortunate enough to only lose one game in our region against a Prescott squad that’s very, very well coached and has a lot of very good athletes. We feel very fortunate to be in the situation we’re in and we take it one game at a time like we always do.”
The Vols proved that motto in their season finale as they didn’t overlook the No. 32 ranked Marauders (4-14, 3-9 4A Grand Canyon Region).
And the Bathauer brothers had a lot to do with that as the twins once again helped propel Lee Williams to victory. Mike Bathauer not only struck out seven in six innings of work on the mound, but the senior also helped his own cause at the plate with two hits and an RBI.
Meanwhile, Matt Bathauer drove in two runs and Dylan Petersen finished with an RBI to round out the top performers.
The Vols jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the second inning before Mingus scored twice in the third. Lee Williams tacked an insurance run in the fourth to win its seventh straight game.
Mike Bathauer picked up the win after allowing two earned runs on seven hits with four walks.
The third-ranked Vols finished in a tie with the Badgers at 11-1 in the region, but were named champs due the 4A Conference tiebreaker. Lee Williams finished with a 14-1 mark in 4A contests, while No. 7 ranked Prescott is 14-3 with one contest remaining.
And with a top-eight ranking, the Vols are guaranteed a home contest in the first round of the 4A State Championship at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27.
“It’s a pretty special feeling,” O’Boyle said of hosting a home playoff game. “Obviously there’s some buzz and excitement going around the school and around our program right now. But we can’t make the game bigger than what it needs to be. We just have to come in and stay focused on what we have to do and don’t worry about the external factors. We have to stay focused on ourselves.”
Lee Williams will have plenty of time to do that and more with a week off until its next game. The Vols will find out their opponent Thursday when the 4A Championship bracket is announced.
But the Vols are making sure they don’t sweat the small stuff.
“Our motto this year is we play to our standard and we control the things we can control,” O’Boyle said. “The pieces fall where they may and everything takes care of itself. There’s not a whole lot of looking ahead at who we possibly could play because then you can get yourself in trouble doing that. We’re going to focus on ourselves these next few days, see where the rankings come out and adjust from there.”