The Desert Oasis pitching staff couldn’t pull off a third consecutive shutout Saturday at the American Legion Western Regional in Denver.
The Aces didn’t need one.
Aaron Roberts hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning, and Desert Oasis defeated Tucson (Arizona) 7-3 to move into the regional championship.
The Aces play League City (Texas) at 11 a.m. Sunday. League City must win twice to claim the title and a berth in the American Legion World Series.
Desert Oasis beat League City 12-0 on Friday.
With the game tied at 3, walks to Parker Schmidt and Chaison Miklich brought Roberts to the plate with one out. He blasted a homer to put the Aces ahead for good. Desert Oasis added a run later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Demarce for the final margin.
The Aces jumped on Tucson for three runs in the first. Miklich had a two-run double and Roberts an RBI double for a 3-0 lead.
But Tucson scored a run in the second and two in the third, tying the game on an RBI double by Michael Corral.
Roberts finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs to lead the Aces’ eight-hit attack. Schmidt and Miklich each went 1-for-2 and scored twice.
Colby Smith pitched the distance for the Aces, allowing three earned runs on five hits. He struck out two and walked two and threw 102 pitches.