Players at all levels of baseball seem to embrace the bunt less and less these days.
Faith Lutheran’s Liam Bredin isn’t one of those players.
Bredin’s squeeze bunt with one out in the top of the sixth inning Monday scored Paul Shawn Pasqualotto to break a 2-2 tie and lift the Crusaders to a 3-2 victory over the Las Vegas Bengals in the Connie Mack state tournament at the College of Southern Nevada.
“We call Liam our bunt guru,” Faith Lutheran coach David Anderson said. “He came up and he knew exactly what was happening. He didn’t even have to look at me, he just knew.”
Josh Brown made the lead stand up. He went the distance, allowing two unearned runs on five hits, to get the win. He struck out 10 with three walks.
“Browny’s outstanding,” Anderson said. “It’s really nice to watch him grow. He’s going to be a junior, and he’s looking good.”
The Bengals had two runners on with one out in the bottom of the seventh. But Brown got Jay DeSoto to pop out, and he struck out cleanup hitter Danny Ruiz to end the game.
“He was really pounding the fastball,” Anderson said. “I wish they had the radar gun on tonight, because he threw some pretty good. He did an outstanding job. He went after it and attacked and fought through it and made some things happen for us.”
Faith Lutheran struggled offensively, striking out 13 times.
“We have 14 guys that were not part of our varsity roster on our summer team,” Anderson said. “We’re real young. I think we came out a little skittish. The guy threw well, had a breaking ball working early. We struck out 10 times in the first four innings. That’s pretty bad.”
The Bengals led 2-1 going into the sixth, but Lucas Dockery led off with an infield single. Pasqualotto followed with a single, and Jake Edgington walked with one out to load the bases.
Dalton Herrera, the team’s No. 9 hitter, then hit a soft liner to right field to tie the game at 2-2.
“He is so scrappy,” Anderson said of Herrera. “I told him he had one strike to deal with beforehand, so make it count, otherwise you’re getting that bunt down and we’re going to tie the game. And he sat on that fastball and took care of business.”
Torren Brozovich had two hits to lead the Bengals, who play the Las Vegas Grizzlies at 8 p.m. Tuesday in an elimination game. The Crusaders will face the Summerlin Panthers at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Summerlin Panthers 4, Las Vegas Grizzlies 3 — Chandler Kochan’s RBI double with one out in the top of the seventh broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Panthers the win over the Grizzlies.
Kochan also got the final four outs for the Panthers to get the win.
Kristian Garcia went 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Panthers.
Jaxson Otis and Humberto Maldonado each had two hits for the Grizzlies.
Southern Nevada Falcons 4, Las Vegas Wildcats 3 — Ben Gonzalez had a two-run single to highlight a three-run eighth inning as the Falcons held off the Wildcats.
The Wildcats rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth and had runners at second and third, but Kelton Lachelt came on to get the final out to earn the save.
Falcons’ starter Andrew Hauck allowed six hits in 7 2/3 innings to get the win. He struck out nine with three walks.
The Falcons play the Green Valley Elite at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The Wildcats play the Las Vegas Mustangs at 5 p.m. Tuesday in an elimination game.
Green Valley Elite 15, Las Vegas Mustangs 0 — Carter Gehlken went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs to lead the Elite to the five-inning win over the Mustangs.
Green Valley took advantage of seven walks, three hit batters and five wild pitches to score 13 runs in the first two innings.
Tyler Heiny and Ben Gephart combined on a one-hitter for the Elite. Heiney got the win, allowing the hit and striking out two in three innings.
Gephart struck out three in two hitless innings.