RENO — Palo Verde pitching coach Dave Meng almost had to wrestle the ball out of Bryce Robison’s hand in the seventh inning Friday. That’s how badly the junior right-hander wanted to finish the game.
But Robison had done his job, and Jaret Godman got the final out as the Panthers defeated Reno 5-2 at Reno High School to move into the championship game of the Class 4A state baseball tournament.
“I definitely didn’t want to (come out),” Robison said. “I wanted to finish out the game. But I have a great pitcher, Jaret Godman, who came out and got the job done.”
Robison allowed two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings to get the victory. He struck out eight and walked two.
“That Reno team wasn’t 30-5 for nothing, and Bryce came in and kept them off balance for the most part and did a great job locating,” Palo Verde coach Joe Hallead said.
The Panthers (30-9) will play two-time defending state champion Basic (32-6) at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bishop Manogue for the title. If Basic wins, a second game would be played to determine the champion.
Palo Verde’s streak of 25 consecutive scoreless innings came to an end in the sixth when Reno finally broke through against Robison.
The Huskies had four hits in the inning, three of which didn’t leave the infield. Robison was lifted in the seventh after allowing his second walk.
“We came in and got our guy to come in and get the last out, and we’re playing for the championship,” Hallead said. “I can’t believe I just said that.”
Robison also ignited the offense when he tripled in the second and courtesy runner Scott Cosby scored on Josiah Cromwick’s single for a 1-0 lead. Robison was 2-for-3 with a double and triple.
“It’s just great knowing the fact that no Palo baseball team in history has ever done this,” Robison said. “Just being able to go out there and do my job both at the plate and on the mound just feels great.”
Basic 3, Reno 2 — Zach Hose hit an RBI triple off the top of the center-field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 2-2 as the Wolves defeated the Huskies to advance to the championship round.
Jesse Fonteboa pitched the distance for Basic, allowing one earned run on four hits. He also had a two-run homer in the fourth inning to tie the score.
Basic 3, Bishop Manogue 1 — Nick Thompson allowed a homer on the first pitch of the game, but then shut down the Miners as the Wolves staved off elimination in the day’s first game.
Thompson pitched a six-hitter and struck out five with no walks.
Christian Rivero lined an RBI double down the left-field line with two outs in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie, then scored on a wild pitch.
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.