John Burger’s swing certainly wasn’t the prettiest of the fifth inning for Green Valley’s baseball team, but it might have been the most important.
Burger hit a slow roller to third to lead off the bottom of the fifth with the Gators trailing visiting Foothill 6-0. And when Falcons third baseman Kaelli Maruyama couldn’t come up with it cleanly, it started an eight-run rally, and Green Valley held on for an 11-9 win to move into the Sunrise Region title game.
The Gators (26-8) play Liberty (27-4) at 1 p.m. today at Green Valley. Because Liberty is undefeated in the tournament, the Gators would have to win twice to take the title.
The Gators had seven hits in the inning, but the biggest came from senior shortstop Keaton Smith, who blasted the first pitch he saw over the fence in left-center field for a three-run homer that tied the game 6-6.
Smith’s hit came after an RBI double from Cody Milner and RBI singles by Troy Cropper and Jarrett Perns cut the lead to 6-3.
Anthony Hatch followed Smith’s homer with a triple off the top of the fence in left, and Ryan Jackson doubled to the gap in right-center field to give the Gators the lead.
Burger then singled up the middle to make it 8-6.
Green Valley added three runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run single by Hatch, to make it 11-7.
But Foothill didn’t fold, scoring three runs in the seventh and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. But Jarrett Perns, who pitched just four innings during the regular season, struck out Rickey Kinney with two on to end the game.
Nick Cardinale was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, two runs and two RBIs to lead the Falcons. Collin Dobrolecki finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and Austin Wilson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs to help support a 14-hit attack.
Hatch was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, and Perns went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI for Green Valley.
■ Foothill 9, Basic 3 — Ryan Moyes went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, a homer and four RBIs as the Falcons beat the Wolves.
Cardinale was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Dobrolecki went 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI for Foothill, which took control with a four-run first inning.
Mikey York and Ryne Nelson each went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI for Basic (25-12).
When Bishop Gorman fell behind 2-0 in the second inning to Desert Oasis, Gaels coach Nick Day gave his players a simple message.
Gorman finished with 16 hits, including six extra-base hits, to eliminate the Diamondbacks 10-2 at Centennial. The Gaels (27-5) face Southwest League rival Centennial (24-11) at 1 p.m. today. Gorman would have to beat Centennial twice to claim the title and earn a berth into next week’s state tournament in Reno.
The Gaels got a run in the second, then three in the third to take a 4-2 lead.
Cole Krzmarzick, a UNR signee, saved his best at-bats for later. He connected on a solo homer to left-center field in the fifth and a two-run shot to center in the sixth, an inning in which the Gaels scored five runs on six hits, to push the lead to 10-2.
Brandon Wulff finished 3-for-4 with a double and two runs, and Krzmarzick was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. Beau Capanna went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, and designated hitter Austin Cram had a solo homer in the sixth for the Gaels.
Bronson Bowe pitched a four-hitter for Gorman. He didn’t give up a hit after the fourth inning and walked two.
■ Desert Oasis 3, Palo Verde 2 — Zach Rickard’s RBI single scored Dominic Paratore for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth, and the Diamondbacks (16-21) held on in the seventh to eliminate the Panthers in a battle of No. 4 seeds.
Paratore led off the sixth with a single and advanced to second on a errant pickoff attempt by Palo Verde’s Brad Steiner. Rickard’s single scored Paratore just under the tag of Yodai Nakamura.
The game ended when Palo Verde’s Zach Ortale was gunned down at the plate on a relay from Rickard in right to shortstop Chase Adams to catcher Bryston Stott.
Colin Janison and Michael Spada each went 2-for-3 for the Panthers (14-18).
DIVISION I-A SOUTHERN REGION
Robert Ramirez triggered a seventh-inning rally with the first of three consecutive singles, and he scored the winning run as Chaparral edged Boulder City 3-2 to move into today’s Division I-A Southern Region title game.
Matt Ellison and Tyler Crone followed with singles, putting Ramirez 90 feet from delivering the winning run. With a 2-1 count on Vicente Hernandez, Boulder City sophomore pitcher Peyton Koopman fired a wild pitch past catcher Colton Bosnos, allowing Ramirez to score.
Ramirez finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run, and Ellison was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Tommy Crone got the win after relieving his brother, Tyler, giving up two hits and one earned run in 4 1/3 innings and striking out six. Tyler Crone pitched the first 2 2/3 innings and allowed two hits and an earned run.
The Cowboys took the lead after Jose Ortiz opened the game with a base hit and scored when Ramirez hit into a fielder’s choice. Ellison followed with an RBI single to give Chaparral a 2-0 lead.
■ Boulder City 7, Mojave 0 — The Eagles won by forfeit when Mojave’s starting pitcher, Ryan Lawrence, recorded his 34th out of the tournament.
Lawrence, who threw a complete game in the Rattlers’ 3-2 win over Moapa Valley on Wednesday, started Friday’s game. He threw 4 1/3 innings.
Nevada Administrative Code 386.713 subsection 1 reads: “A pupil who is a pitcher on a team that participates in baseball as a sanctioned sport during a baseball season shall not, during four consecutive days of that season, pitch more than 11 innings or more than 33 outs, including, without limitation, any inning that is conducted to break a tie score between two or more teams.”
Mojave (18-16) led 8-7 at the time of the forfeit.
DIVISION III SOUTHERN LEAGUE
Mason Paget had three hits and three RBIs as Needles defeated visiting The Meadows 13-1 in five innings. The win moved Needles into the title game against Lincoln County.
■ The Meadows 15, Mountain View 5 — Ian Onufrieff had three hits and three RBIs to help the Mustangs eliminate the Saints in five innings.