Shortly after Basic’s game ended, Queen’s “We Are The Champions” started blaring from the speakers.
Basic coaches were irate. The Wolves are close but not there yet.
Basic scored three runs in the first inning and rode a strong performance from sophomore Trace Evans to a 7-3 home victory over Coronado on Thursday in the Sunrise Region playoffs.
Basic, last year’s state champion, will play for the region championship Saturday at Las Vegas High.
“It’s good to be back here because we’re set up for success again,” Evans said. “Our offense has been hitting phenomenally lately, and we’re executing and getting jobs done.”
Each of the Wolves’ first four batters reached in the first inning, and Roger Riley hit a two-run double to set the tone.
Evans drew a bases-loaded walk in the first, but it was his work on the mound that helped the Wolves (25-7) the most. He threw five-plus innings, gave up two runs and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning. He allowed two hits total, one earned run and struck out three.
After the first, the Wolves kept hammering. They tacked on two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead. Coronado (20-12) had its chances but left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings and grounded into a bases-loaded double play to end the game.
“We put ourselves in that position, and then when we needed to make the big pitch, we made the big pitch,” Basic coach Scott Baker said.
Rancho (22-7) and Liberty (17-15) will play at 1 p.m. Friday at Las Vegas High, with the winner meeting Coronado at 4 in the losers’ bracket final. The winner of that game will play Basic on Saturday, needing to defeat the Wolves twice to win the region title.
“It’s for sure an advantage, no doubt about it,” Baker said. “They win one game and all they have to do is win one more. We’re not looking to try to go any deeper than this. We want to go one more game, and that’s it.”
Rancho 6, Green Valley 2. At Green Valley, Layton Walls earned the win on the mound, and smacked a three-run home run as part of a four-run third inning to help the Rams defeat the Gators.
Angel Walker and Miguel Elicerio each supplied a solo homer for Rancho.
Carter Gehlken and Drake Maningo each had two hits for Green Valley, which got and RBI single from A. J. Amelburu.
Liberty 11, Foothill 2 — At Liberty, Jordan Moreno collected four RBIs, and the Patriots used a six-run second inning to down the Falcons.
Kaeden Camat-Toki had two hits and two RBIs for Liberty, which got a complete game from Jordan Bohnet. Ethan Safier, Andrew Gallegos and Kelton Lachelt each supplied an RBI for the Patriots.
Anthony Pannullo had two hits and an RBI to lead Foothill.