AJHS Righthander Last Pitched in 2016 D-IV Title Game
By Daniel Dullum
Nick Mohn hadn’t pitched in so long for Apache Junction, the AIA had changed the baseball program’s classification during his absence.
Mohn was the starting pitcher for the Prospectors in the Division IV championship game against Joy Christian in 2016, a game won by AJHS for its first state title since 1983. Elbow problems, necessitating Tommy John surgery, shelved the right-hander for the entire 2017 season.
The results thus far for Mohn are a mixed bag. In seven games, he’s hitting .476. In two starts on the mound, Mohn is 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA, and not too concerned. He knows it’s part of the recovery process.
“It’s been all right so far, just getting back into it,” Mohn said. “I’m still a little wild, but by mid-season, I’ll be 100 percent.”
After a rough start against Marana (giving up six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings), Mohn fared better in a 9-3 loss to Gilbert Higley on Feb. 27. He struck out eight, walked two and surrendered four earned runs, and remains optimistic about the progress he’s making, despite pitching on a cold, windy afternoon.
“It’s pretty cold for my arm out there, but I’m still getting back from the surgery,” Mohn said, adding that he’s nearly back to his normal throwing velocity. “My arm feels a lot better since I successfully recovered from the surgery. Just got to ease back into it.”
Prospectors Coach Alex Murphy said, “Nick looks really good. This is the second time we’ve thrown him, his velocity has gotten better already. The first time, he was having trouble with walks and things like that, but he threw much better today and we have to do a better job of fielding behind him.”
Tyler Magee and Jose Millan homered for Higley in the Knights’ 9-3 non-region win over the Prospectors. Anthony Trippi, Charles Hawley and Jake Ryan each had two hits, as Higley outhit AJ 11-8.
Nick Mohn was 2 for 4 with two RBIs for the Prospectors. Gabe Carranza drove in the other Prospector run while collecting two hits.
Mohn worked the first five innings. Austin Sample threw the sixth and seventh innings for AJ.
“(Higley) can hit the ball and we threw our two best kids at them,” Murphy said. “Their pitcher threw a good game, threw strikes. I don’t think they’re anything crazy special, but they play good baseball and that’s what you have to do.”
Taking a 1-4 overall record into the Joe Padilla Memorial Tournament in Florence, Murphy feels his squad is “making progress.”
“I think that physically, we have the tools,” Murphy said. “It’s the mental side of the game we really have to work on the most, understanding situations, and not getting down on ourselves. That and being able to move on from mistakes.”
Photo above: Apache Junction pitcher Nick Mohn is on the comeback trail after missing all of last season due to Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. (Photo by Daniel Dullum)