Chaparral hasn't punched its ticket to the Sunrise Region baseball playoffs just yet.
But the Cowboys couldn't ask for more momentum in trying to return to the postseason after narrowly missing out each of the past two years.
Chaparral scored 10 runs over the first two innings on the way to a 14-4 win at Eldorado in five innings Wednesday.
The two teams are deadlocked at 7-7 in Northeast League play and will meet at a neutral site for a play-in game for the league's fourth and final playoff spot. The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association will determine the time and date of the play-in game today.
"This means a great, big deal," senior first baseman Ricky Perez said of extending Chaparral's season. "We have a ton of seniors, and for most of us, we're not going on to college baseball. We want to go to the playoffs."
Chaparral (13-11) scored six runs in the second inning. Raul Jimenez chased Eldorado ace Eric Larsen with a one-out RBI double, followed by a two-run single from Jordan January, a two-run homer from Perez and a solo shot by Elliot Aleman.
"I coach baseball with a football mentality: play to kill," Cowboys coach Todd Faranda said. "I try to have these guys be disciplined, be respectful, but don't let up."
Chaparral's Robert Evans fired a three-hitter. The senior right-hander issued three walks, hit one batter and struck out one.
Evans threw 53 pitches, 33 for strikes. The Cowboys could turn to him for the play-in game after hosting Clark on Friday.
"That was crucial to us to get through five innings and get him back," Faranda said. "I have my 1-2 (starters) coming back who could possibly go four innings each if it works in our favor."
January went 3-for-4 with four RBIs for Chaparral, and Jimenez was 3-for-4. Aleman (three RBIs), Perez and Mark Faranda added two hits apiece.
Larsen blasted a two-run homer to right field in the first inning for the Sundevils (11-17).
Eldorado coach Jesse Medellin was grateful his team will get another shot at clinching a playoff berth, but he wants to see a heightened sense of urgency in the play-in game.
"There's a lot of other teams just finishing out the string," he said. "For us to have another chance to redeem ourselves, that's all you can ask for."
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at email@example.com or 702-387-5203.