Bishop Gorman’s baseball team used a couple of long balls to take an early lead in the Division I state baseball tournament Thursday.
Despite some big blows by Coronado, the Gaels held on for a 9-7 win at College of Southern Nevada.
“We’re going to have to score a lot of runs,” Gorman coach Nick Day said. “We’re capable of doing that, but so are some of the other teams in this tournament.”
Gorman (32-7-1) will play Bonanza (20-14) at 4:30 p.m. today in the winners’ final. The Bengals advanced with a 9-3 win over Reno.
The Gaels hit two home runs in the second inning to extend their lead to 6-0. Nick Gates led off with a blast to left, and Michael Blasko added a three-run shot later against Coronado starter Chandler Blanchard.
“I was really impressed the way we came out focused and really locked in on a good pitcher,” Day said. “He made a couple mistakes in that inning and our guys hit it hard. Hats off to (Coronado). They did the same thing at the end of the game and made it interesting.”
The Cougars (32-4) hit four homers of their own, but never recovered from the early deficit.
“They came out early and jumped on us with a six-spot in the first two innings and we were playing catch-up the whole game,” Coronado coach David Padilla said. “We were living off the long ball, and that’s just not what our team does.”
Cain Brady got Coronado on the board with a two-run shot in the third, and Blanchard hit a majestic blast to left-center in the fourth to make it 8-3.
James Anderson had a solo homer in the sixth, and Julian Burrola’s two-out, three-run homer in the seventh cut the lead to 9-7, but Gorman’s Jerrel Latham retired Miles Bice on a groundout to first to end the game.
“We showed up and saw the wind, and usually that works in our favor,” Day said. “But Coronado used it really nicely as well.”
Matt Hudgins went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, Willie Jumper was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Blasko and Cole Krzmarzick each went 2-for-4 for Gorman.
Coronado plays Reno (26-9) at 2 p.m. today in an elimination game. The winner of that game will face the loser of the Gorman-Bonanza game at 7 p.m.
“We’re going to do everything possible,” Padilla said. “We’ll throw (Dylan) Myers tomorrow and get him ready to go. Hopefully we’ll get Game 1 and get us into Game 2 and see what we can do there.
“We’ve just got to swing better and when we get people in scoring position, we’ve got to find a way to score them.”
■ Bonanza 9, Reno 3 — Dave Estrada pitched out of trouble all game, and the Bengals used two big innings to keep their playoff run alive.
Estrada went the distance, allowing two earned runs on nine hits. He struck out 13, and was at his best when Reno threatened. The Huskies stranded nine runners, seven in scoring position.
The Bengals scored four runs in the fourth, with Daniel Romero’s two-run triple keying the inning. Joaquin Orozco added a solo home run in the inning.
After Estrada got a popup and a strikeout to strand two runners in scoring position in the sixth, Bonanza exploded for five runs in the seventh, capped by Sean DeSoto’s three-run homer.
Bonanza has won five consecutive playoff games. It’s the first five-game win streak the team has had all season.
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at email@example.com or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.