Josh Harmonay has powered the Faith Lutheran baseball team’s offense all season.
Thursday, he helped secure the Crusaders a berth in the Division I-A state tournament.
Harmonay hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs, three runs and a stolen base, as the Crusaders routed Boulder City 11-2 in the winners’ bracket final of the Southern Region tournament at Sierra Vista.
Faith Lutheran (27-6) advances to the championship round at noon Saturday at Sierra Vista. Sierra Vista (15-17) plays Spring Valley (18-13) in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Friday, with the winner playing Boulder City (23-10) at 4 p.m.
That winner moves on to face Faith Lutheran and would have to beat the Crusaders twice to claim the crown.
Harmonay led off the game with a home run, singled in the second inning, tripled in the sixth and doubled in the seventh after Chad Jones worked a two-out walk.
“He’s been huge for us all season,” said Faith Lutheran coach Blair Neagle, whose team advances to the championship round at noon on Saturday at Sierra Vista. “He could hit in the three hole, but he’s been on base all year, and we’ve got some guys behind him who can move him over. His on-base percentage is somewhere in the .600 range.”
While Harmonay powered the offense, starting pitcher Cruz Daddario kept the Eagles off balance most the game with the movement on his fastball and off-speed pitches. He allowed two runs on six hits and fanned five over six innings.
Daddario did get into some trouble in the sixth inning, but he managed to pitch his way around an error, a single and a walk. Kyle Poser finished the game.
“He’s a real good competitor,” Neagle said. “His pitch count got up there, but he’s got a huge heart. He was losing a little bit of velocity in the sixth inning, but he was competing. He got us out of some tough jams. Our defense didn’t really do well today. Usually, we live on defense, but he was able to bail us out a little bit.”
The Crusaders took control of the game in the top of the first inning as Zach Trageton and Daddario each singled and scored to give Faith Lutheran a 3-0 lead.
Boulder City cut the lead to 3-1 on an RBI single by Preston Van Diest in the bottom of the first. But the Crusaders responded when Harmonay singled, stole a base and scored on a RBI single by Trageton, who finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
“I’m really proud of these guys,” Neagle said. “We lost 10 seniors last year, and these guys were challenged with the task of getting back to this point. They fought very hard to get here, and I’m really proud of them.”
Alex Giuliani also doubled and drove in a run for the Crusaders.
Nolan Desantis went 2-for-4 and scored a run to lead the Eagles.
Sierra Vista 7, Chaparral 1 — Chandler Smith’s two-run double capped a six-run fourth inning as the Mountain Lions eliminated the Cowboys.
Braxton Anderson tossed a four-hitter and struck out seven for Sierra Vista.
Dillon Larson went 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Justin Rasavage was 2-for-4 with a triple for Sierra Vista. Sean Cutolo went 2-for-3 with a double for the Mountain Lions.
Chaparral (20-10) scored its run in the bottom of the seventh.
Spring Valley 10, Tech 8 — Carter Lambeth and Junior Maldonado each had three RBIs to lead the Grizzlies past the Roadrunners.
Maldonado got the Grizzlies started early with a three-run homer in the first inning, and Lambeth had a two-run single in a five-run fourth inning.
Jayce Otis went 2-for-4 with four RBIs for Tech (19-11-1), which trailed 9-2 before scoring three runs in the fifth and three in the sixth.