Desert Oasis ace Josh Sharman put it bluntly.
He and his teammates are tired of coming up short every year in the Class 4A state baseball tournament.
The Diamondbacks made a statement on opening day of the event.
Sharman struck out at least one batter in each of the first five innings Wednesday, and Desert Oasis used a 10-hit attack to beat Arbor View, 10-5 at Centennial.
“These past couple of years have stuck with me for sure, and it’s stuck with the team,” Sharman said. “Every day during the fall, every day during spring, we’ve talked about us choking and how we’re not gonna do that this year and how we’re gonna do it differently and switch things up so that we have different outcome.”
Desert Oasis (32-7) will face Reno (30-5) at 4 p.m. Thursday at Las Vegas Ballpark, which will host the remainder of the state tournament, something Sharman believes is his team’s to lose.
“We’ve always put up fights and try to win every inning,” he said. “Our mentality is that we can we win every game. We got dudes on dudes. Anybody can have a hit at any time, anybody can have a great outing. We plan on winning every game that we come out. We plan on winning it.”
And they played like it Wednesday night.
The Diamondbacks opened a 6-0 third-inning lead on Arbor View and stretched the margin to 10-2 in the fourth.
“We came out tonight and scored a bunch of runs, and that kind of gave us some breathing room a little bit,” Desert Oasis coach Paul Buboltz said. “Playing the schedule we played this year has really prepared these guys for this type of tournament. They’re definitely determined, and they want to win.”
Colton Zobrist smacked a pair of doubles, and Zac Czerniawski had three RBIs for the Diamondbacks.
Sharman, who finished with eight strikeouts, was masterful in getting ahead with his fastball early in counts, which allowed him to utilize the rest of his arsenal, including a cutter that worked well to keep Arbor View’s hitters off-balance.
“Josh has been as dominant as anybody the last two years,” Buboltz said. “When we get Sharman on there, we know what we’re gonna get. We’re gonna get someone that’s gonna keep us in every game and give us a chance to win.”
Jacob Scioli was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Dominic Clayton was 1-for-3 with a double and three RBIs for the Aggies (25-12), who face defending state champion Basic (29-7-1) in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Arbor View 15, Bishop Manogue 9 — At Centennial, Nick Cornman singled and scored twice in an 11-run fifth inning that lifted the Aggies by the Miners in the first round.
Cornman was 3-for-5 with an RBI, and winning pitcher Garrett Cutting was 3-for-5 with a solo home run for Arbor View. Jesse Pierce was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, and Payton Brooks was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs for the Aggies.
T.J. Czyz was 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for Manogue (23-13).