A day after Green Valley’s baseball team got a four-hitter from Keola Paragas, Ryan Jackson showed why the Gators might have the best one-two pitching combination in the area.
Jackson fired a five-hitter, and Green Valley topped visiting Basic 6-2 in the Division I Sunrise Region tournament on Wednesday.
“Phenomenal,” Green Valley coach Corey Gehlken said of Jackson. “You want seniors to step up in big-time game times, and he did today. He pitched his butt off.”
Jackson struck out five and walked two, and the Gators (25-7) have allowed just three runs in two wins, moving into the winner’s bracket final against Liberty (26-4) at 4 p.m. Thursday at Green Valley.
“We expect that out of those top two guys,” Gehlken said. “They’re two of the top guys in town, for sure. Senior leadership for both of them. They came out and set a great tone for the rest of the team.”
The Gators jumped on top with three runs in the bottom of the second, but a pair of foul balls almost led to a different outcome. Paragas hit a foul pop that dropped between catcher Brandon Smith and first baseman Anthony Deolarte. Neither player took charge on the play, and Paragas ended up hitting a cue shot to short for an infield single.
Keaton Smith then lined an 0-2 pitch back through the box for a single, and Anthony Hatch also got a second life when his foul pop fell just out of reach of Deolarte and into the Basic dugout. Hatch ended up hitting a soft liner to right for an RBI single to score the game’s first run.
“In the playoffs that’s what you need is some things to kind of fall your way,” Gehlken said. “We definitely got some nice things going our way.”
Tommy Brown added an RBI single, and Jarod Penniman squeezed home another run for a 3-0 lead.
After Basic scored a run in the third on an RBI single by Deolarte, the Gators answered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Troy Cropper led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jarrett Perns. Ty Burger added an RBI single later in the inning for a 5-1 advantage.
“That’s a great team over there; they’re never going to quit,” Gehlken said of Basic. “You know that going in, so you never stop trying to score runs against them. Every time they score, you’ve got to answer, or you’re going to have some trouble at the end of the game.”
Hatch was 2-for-3 with two runs, and Paragas was 2-for-4 with two runs. Penniman added two RBIs for Green Valley.
Gehlken said Cropper would get the start on Thursday against Liberty.
“Cropper’s been great for us all year, he’s just kind of overshadowed by those other two guys,” Gehlken said. “He’s just another strong, tall, big, athletic lefty that can get after it.”
Basic (24-10) will face Coronado (20-11) in an elmination game at 10 a.m. Thursday at Green Valley.
Liberty 6, Rancho 5 — At Liberty, Jesse Keiser singled with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh to plate Justin Lutes with the winning run as the Patriots beat the Rams.
Keiser was 3-for-3 for Liberty, which rallied from a 5-0 deficit.
Joshua McCollum went 3-for-4 for the Patriots, and Jay Martz hit a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 5-5.
Lutes threw a scoreless seventh to pick up the win in relief.
Foothill 3, Silverado 2 — At Silverado, Bligh Madris singled home pinch runner Dillon Peet with one out in the top of the seventh to allow the Falcons to eliminate the Skyhawks.
Tyler Van Stone was 3-for-4 with a double for Foothill, and his two-run homer in the third tied the game at 2-2. Collin Dobrolecki went 2-for-4 for the Falcons (17-14), who face Rancho (23-9) in an elmination game at 1 p.m. Thursday at Green Valley.
Silverado (14-17) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an error and an RBI single by Aidan Adams.
Adams was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Dillon Johnson was 2-for-3 with a run. Vincent Taormina went 2-for-4 with a double for the Skyhawks.
Coronado 9, Las Vegas 3 — At Coronado, Jacob Kline’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning sparked an eight-run rally that led the Cougars past the Wildcats in an elimination game.
Kline’s hit tied the game at 3-3, and Nate Ruiz followed with a pop-up that was dropped in short right field, allowing two more runs to score.
Austin Garcia was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and an RBI, and Jackson Cofer went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Coronado.
Jose Sanchez was 2-for-3 with a triple for Las Vegas (12-19), which scored all of its runs in the fourth inning on six Coronado errors.