Matt Holman stepped to the plate in the seventh inning Friday with a chance to lead Sierra Vista's baseball team to an almost unthinkable accomplishment.
After several innings of chipping away at the lead of Bishop Gorman, the four-time defending state champion, the fourth-seeded Lions could scarcely dream up a better opportunity.
Holman came through, lining a three-run double into the left-field corner to help Sierra Vista upset the heavily favored Titans 7-6 in the semifinals of the American Legion state tournament at Wilson Stadium.
Sierra Vista will play No. 7 Las Vegas for the championship at 7:30 p.m. today, with the winner advancing to next week's regional tournament. That tournament begins Thursday at Wilson Stadium.
The Titans, who entered as the top seed, were eliminated but will play in the regional by virtue of their regular-season championship.
Lions coach Levi Gill said his players refused to surrender.
"The key was our intensity level," he said. "It was good throughout the game."
Gill remained stoic after the victory, however, insisting he will not be happy until his team wins the title.
"Our goal isn't to beat Gorman," he said. "Our goal is to win a state championship. We've still got one more to win."
Gorman looked strong early, with starting pitcher T.J. White carrying a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning.
Scott Tomassetti's solo homer in the top of the fifth broke up White's no-hitter, cut the deficit to 2-1 and turned the momentum in favor of the Lions.
Gorman answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Sierra Vista broke it open with five in the seventh to go ahead 7-4. Holman's bases-clearing double capped the big inning.
Gorman didn't give up, scoring single runs in the seventh and ninth before reliever Blair Goldsack got A.J. Van Meetren to ground out to end the game with the potential tying run on third base.
■ Las Vegas 14, Green Valley 4 -- A day after a listless 17-6 loss to the Gators, Las Vegas rebounded behind Erick Fedde's dominant pitching to reach the final.
Fedde (9-2) shut out Green Valley until allowing four runs in the ninth. The Wildcats had taken a 14-0 lead by scoring eight runs on six hits in the top of the inning, triggered by Robert Melendrez's leadoff home run.
"We came out flat yesterday. I guess we knew we didn't have to win," Fedde said. "But we were ready to play today."
Melendrez finished 3-for-6 with three RBIs, and Eric Herring went 4-for-5 with a home run, double and four RBIs.
Chad Whiteaker was 3-for-4 with a home run for Green Valley, which entered as the No. 3 seed.