Coronado had trouble getting the ball past Silverado center fielder Jordan Keegan in the eighth inning Saturday. Keegan made a diving catch, then ran down another ball in the gap before Brandon Evans finally hit one that Keegan couldn’t catch.
Evans ripped a shot into the gap in right-center for an RBI triple to lift the Cougars to a 7-6 win over the Skyhawks in the American Legion state baseball tournament at UNLV.
“In his earlier at-bats he wasn’t using his legs at all,” Coronado coach Ed Detwiler said. “We had a little break, and (I said), ‘Hey, use your legs.’ And he did. He used his legs and got some bat head to it and won the game.”
The Cougars entered the eighth trailing 6-5. But Tyler Wagner’s one-out single to center tied the game at 6. One out later, Evans delivered his triple to bring home Wagner with the winning run.
“I kept imploring them that they stay with it, stay with it, stay with it, and they did,” Detwiler said. “They battled and had good approaches at the plate and got two (runs) home to win.”
Silverado threatened in the top of the ninth.
Jordan Keegan led off with a single to left. Then pitcher Javy Perez made a wild throw to second after fielding Adam Koglin’s bunt, putting two on with none out.
But Perez got No. 3 hitter Pierce Belastegui to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, and cleanup hitter Derek Keathley grounded to short to end the game.
Detwiler said that was typical of Perez’s ability to get a ground ball when he needs one.
“He changes speeds real well, locates very, very well and he’s a pitcher,” Detwiler said. “So many guys are enamored with the radar gun. I’ve known this kid since he was 10 years old, and all he does is win.”
Coronado led 5-2 early before Silverado scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead. Drew Robinson’s two-out, two-run single gave Silverado the lead.
Robinson was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Dillon Smith was 3-for-4 with two runs for the Skyhawks (17-15), who will play Sierra Vista at 5 p.m. Monday.
Coronado’s Andrew Gans was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. The Cougars (18-9) will play Green Valley at 8 p.m. Monday.
• Green Valley 8, Sierra Vista 6 — The Gators (18-17) rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth to upend the top-seeded Lions (44-5).
Eric Stewart scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to break a 5-5 tie. Another run scored on an error, and Jordan Van Hoosier added an RBI single.
Only two of Green Valley’s eight runs were earned, as the Lions committed three errors and a passed ball.
Sierra Vista threatened in the ninth, scoring a run on Brandon Molisee’s bases-loaded walk with two out, but Andrew Garcia grounded out to end the game.