Bishop Gorman coach Nick Day knows his team can swing the bat.
So when the Gaels fell behind 2-0 in the second inning to Desert Oasis on Friday afternoon, he gave his players a simple message.
“Just stay relaxed and don’t panic,” he said. “I know that if we take our swings, we’ll get some runs on the board. And they did that and did a good job responding.”
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. Saturday. Gorman would have to beat Centennial twice to claim the title and earn a berth in next week’s state tournament in Reno.
Brandon Wulff started the rally in the bottom of the second with a double, and then scored on Andrew Newson’s single that went through the legs of left fielder Dominic Paratore to make it 2-1.
In the third, Michael Blasko sparked a three-run inning with a leadoff double. After Cadyn Grenier moved Blasko over with an infield single, Beau Capanna singled him in. Grenier also came around on a two-out, RBI single by Wulff, who stole second and moved to third on a balk before scoring on a Newson single to make it 4-2.
Cole Krzmarzick, a UNR signee, saved his best at-bats for later. He connected on a solo homer to left-center in the fifth and added a two-run shot to center in the sixth, an inning in which the Gaels put up five runs on six hits, to push the lead to 10-2.
Wulff finished 3-for-4 with a double and two runs, and Krzmarzick was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. 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 and and finished with three strikeouts. He didn’t give up a hit after the fourth inning and walked just two batters.
“He pitched great,” Day said. “He’s actually had a really good year on the mound. He throws strikes and once he settled down today, he was tough. He gets a lot of movement on all of his pitches and he throws three different quality pitchers. He did a good job of mixing it up and keeping them off balance.”
Chase Adams and Alex Tafesh each went 1-for-3 with an RBI, and teammate Ryan Henderson was 1-for-3 with a run for the Diamondbacks (16-21).
Gorman will be playing in its ninth consecutive region championship game. The Gaels, who lost to Bonanza in last season’s Sunset title game, are 1-2 on the season against Centennial.
“We get the chance and that’s what we wanted,” Day said. “They beat us twice in two weeks, but we feel like we can beat them twice. We’ve got to come play. It should be a lot of fun.”
Desert Oasis 3, Palo Verde 2 — Zach Rickard’s RBI single scored Paratore for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth, and the Diamondbacks 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 brought Paratore in just under the tag of Yodai Nakamura.
In the top of the seventh, Palo Verde designated hitter Zach Ortale hit a one-out single. After Bradley Lewis struck out, Tyler Day hit a two-out double into the right-center field gap, prompting Ortale to try and score from first. He was thrown out on a relay from Rickard in right to shortstop Chase Adams to catcher Bryson Stott to end the game.
Paratore and Henderson both finished 2-for-3 with a run for the Diamondbacks.
Palo Verde’s Colin Janison and Michael Spada each went 2-for-3. Spada scored the tying run in the top of the sixth for the Panthers (14-18).