The Marana Tigers have struggled through the first half of this baseball season, posting a record of 2-13.

Last year, his first at Marana, coach John Sugameli took the Tigers to a 4-20 mark.

The ray of hope was that the Tigers have seasoning, with eight seniors, among them catcher Josh Boak, first baseman/pitcher Javier Avalos, outfielder Jared Keen, catcher/pitcher Justin Robles, outfielder/third baseman Cory Lee, second baseman/pitcher Alex Nathan, outfielder/pitcher Zach Schultz, and right fielder Jeremiah Callahan.

Avalos and Boak seemed poised for big seasons after being named as honorable mention choices on the 2009 Arizona Daily Star All-Star team last year as juniors. Avalos batted .278 with a .409 on-base percentage two years ago.

Where have the struggles shown up?

"Coming out and playing a full seven innings would be nice," Sugameli said after a 12-3 loss to state champion CDO. "Right now, we're picking the innings we score in.

"That's how you grow, by playing the good teams."

The Tigers are hopeful that they can step it up, as regional play begins this week when Marana hosts Cienega.

In addition to his seniors, Sugameli also pins his hopes on his pitching staff.

"Our pitchers can hold their own, until they lose focus," Sugameli said. "We have a three-man staff with Jave Avalos, Zach Schultz, and Justin Robles." Casey Hilde, a junior, has emerged as the closer for the Tigers.

During regional play, the Tigers will play Cienega (7-5-1) twice, Sahuaro (11-3) twice, and Desert View (3-12).

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