Mountain Ridge High School has solidified itself as an AIA high school baseball power. Among region championships and remarkable seasons, the only accolade missing from the Mountain Lion’s resume is raising the golden ball.
MRHS has come close to earning a championship on multiple occasions over the past few seasons. In 2016, Mountain Ridge lost to Hamilton in the championship after a 26-win season and fell in 2018 to region rival, Sandra Day O’Connor, for the title. After being a favorite to win it all prior to the canceled 2020 season, Ridge lost by just 1 run to SDO in the quarterfinals in 2021.
In 2022, Mountain Ridge now sees a new name as the coach but he is far from a new face with the program. Former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Eddie Bonine, took over for Artie Cox this season and is a 1999 graduate from MRHS. Bonine was drafted to the MLB and played ten years across the pros and the minors. After a half-decade as an assistant with the Mountain Lions, Bonine was selected to take up the head coaching job and looks to lead his Mountain Lions to their first state title in baseball.
The Mountain Lions are ranked fourth in the state of Arizona by MaxPreps and have earned back-to-back 6A Desert Valley Region Championships. This year’s roster includes five athletes who plan to play at the Division I level at an Arizona school in the future. Jackson and Joseph Forbes will join UArizona in 2024 and 2025. Seniors, Zach Yorke and Jace Smith, will become Grand Canyon University ‘Lopes this year while Jace Smith will wear Antelope purple after next year.
Mountain Ridge holds the third seed in the 6A Conference Baseball Tournament and won their first-round game against Mountain View, Mesa, via an AJ Singer walk-off. 2022 returns a double-elimination style tournament to the AIA postseason. The second round brings #6 Chandler to Glendale to battle the Mountain Lions in pursuit of that first baseball championship.