Desmond Sandoval

Flanked by coaches and family, Morenci’s Desmond Sandoval signs to play baseball for Arizona Christian.

MORENCI — The Wildcats are sending one of their star players on to the next level of play.

Last week, Morenci High School’s Desmond Sandoval, with the support of his family and coaches, signed to play baseball for Arizona Christian University in Peoria.

Sandoval said he was humbled as he spoke of the opportunity to play for the school.

“I’m really nervous about going to college. I didn’t think I was going to college for baseball, but I made it, and I don’t know, I don’t really know how I feel about this,” he said.

Sandoval gave praise to the people who helped him get this far.

“Especially the coaches, my teaching staff, my athletic director, and my friends and family,” he said.

His mother, Yvonne Sandoval, said she was proud of Desmond’s accomplishment.

“He’s a really good kid. He’s always had a dream of going farther with baseball, and we’re so proud of him for making it this far,” she said. “He put a lot of hard work into it, and I don’t think he thought it was going to happen. When it did, you know, we were all surprised and so thankful. Especially to all the coaches who helped him.”

In three years on varsity, Sandoval finished with a 16-6 record, with three complete games — one shutout — and six saves. Opponents hit just .211 against him — striking out 221 times — and he finished with an ERA of 2.38. He didn’t give up a home run in three years as a starter.

Sandoval’s coach, Joseph Morse, had nothing but praise for his player.

“For the last two years, he’s been the ace of our staff. He’s a first team all-state kid. Just one of the dominant pitchers in the 2A rank, and it’s been nice to have him. I’m glad he’s getting this opportunity to keep playing,” Morse said.

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