Originally, Kyle Hall was supposed to bunt in the third inning. But when the defense shifted, the Coronado junior swung away.
It easily cleared the left-field fence.
Hall’s three-run homer supported an offensive outburst by the Cougars, and they picked up a 12-5 road upset over top-seeded Green Valley in a winners’ bracket semifinal of the Class 4A Sunrise Region baseball tournament on Wednesday.
“Doing it at the right time, doing it in playoffs,” Coronado coach Rich Santigate said. “It’s a tough challenge, but the boys are playing well.”
The Cougars pounced early and often, scoring a run in the first and another in the second before Hall’s homer capped a four-run third inning. Coronado added three more in the fifth inning and led 9-0, while Green Valley had managed one hit to that point.
That was because Hall had his best stuff on the mound, too. He faltered late, finishing with 5⅓ innings pitched and was charged with five runs, but he faced the minimum through three innings.
“Kyle’s a gamer,” Santigate said. “He’s our guy. We saved him for this game.”
All through the lineup, the Cougars could not be stopped. The top six hitters collectively went 11-for-22 with three doubles, a home run, seven runs scored and seven RBIs. Every spot in the order scored at least one run.
Green Valley battled back once Hall started to tire, scoring one in the fifth and four in the sixth to bring the game to 9-5. But three more seventh-inning runs eased any anxiety for Coronado, which lost to the Gators twice in the regular season.
“I think we can take the two losses if we get the win in playoffs,” Hall said.
Coronado will travel to Basic (24-7) at 4 p.m. Thursday with a trip to the region championship on the line.
Green Valley will stay home and play Rancho (21-7) in the losers’ quarterfinal at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Basic 6, Foothill 2 — At Basic, Shane Spencer fired a four-hitter to lead the Wolves over the Falcons.
Spencer allowed one earned run and struck out five.
Christian Rivero went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Basic’s 11-hit attack.
Roger Riley was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI for the Wolves, and Jack Wold and Trace Evans each added two hits, a run and an RBI.
Anthony Pannullo went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI for Foothill (16-15).
The Falcons will travel to play Liberty (16-15) at 4 p.m. Thursday in an elimination game.
Liberty 4, Las Vegas 0 — At Liberty, Jordan Moreno tossed a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and one walk to guide the Patriots to victory over the Wildcats in an elimination game.
Logan Coons led off the first inning with a triple, followed by a two-run home run by Jacob Rogers for Liberty. Michael Wong and Kaeden Camat-Toki each added an RBI in the second inning for the Patriots.
Ben Bowen and David Campbell each had a hit for Las Vegas (13-19).
Rancho 6, Silverado 2 — At Rancho, Anthony Guzman hit a three-run homer and scored twice as the Rams eliminated the Skyhawks.
Michael Shy threw 6⅔ innings for the Rams, allowing two runs.
Dax Fellows homered for the Skyhawks (14-17), and Kevin Pindel hit a double.