Bengals rally for baseball win

Limping with ice wrapped around his left shin, Heriberto Orozco couldn’t stop smiling Wednesday.

Not even what the Bonanza senior third basemen described as the worst physical pain he’s ever felt could lessen his joy.

Orozco’s two-run double in the fourth inning and leadoff double in the seventh sparked the host Bengals to a 3-2 victory over Spring Valley (12-6-1, 7-3 Southwest League).

Bonanza (12-10, 6-4) scored the winning run when Kevin DeSoto singled home pinch runner Jake Zebe with one out in the seventh.

“There are no words to explain this feeling,” Orozco said. “I’ve been here playing since my sophomore year, and we’ve always lost to (Spring Valley). It’s always come down to them for the playoffs. This was a big game.”

Orozco fouled a ball off his left shin in the fourth inning. But after gingerly walking off some of the pain, he smacked a double down the left-field line to tie the game at 2.

“When he hit the ball off his leg, I said, ‘Do you need to come out?’ ” Bonanza coach Derek Stafford said. “He said, ‘Coach, I’m not coming out. I’m going to get a hit and do what it takes.’ That was gutsy.”

Orozco doubled again to left to lead off the seventh, hobbling his way to second base. He described the swelling on his left shin as the size of a “big, huge baseball.”

“I’ve never been in so much pain in my life,” Orozco said. “Walking hurts so bad, but I had to suck it up. It’s an important game to me. This is my last year, and I wanted to beat them.”

Orozco’s heroics overshadowed a gem thrown by Spring Valley senior right-hander Aaron Blair. The Marshall signee tossed a three-hitter with seven strikeouts and three walks, two of which were intentional.

Bonanza senior right-hander Mario Franzese, a College of Southern Nevada signee, scattered six hits, struck out six and walked three.

“Aaron Blair is absolutely a phenomenal pitcher,” Stafford said. “Him and Mario battled it out, and we got one hit at the end, and that was the difference. It was a great high school baseball game.”

Tyler Kartler went 2-for-3 with a triple for Spring Valley.

Contact reporter Tristan Aird at or 702-387-5203.

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