Austin Primack delivered a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday to give host Green Valley a 5-4 win over Las Vegas in the Division I Sunrise Region baseball tournament.
The Wildcats left 11 men on base, including eight in the final three innings, to open up the door for the Gators.
“It was a scrappy type of game,” Green Valley coach Corey Gehlken said. “Both teams played their butts off today, we were just fortunate to make one play more than them.”
Green Valley (22-10) faces Basic (31-4) in the winners’ bracket final at 7 p.m. Thursday at Basic. Las Vegas (17-14) plays Liberty (21-12) in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Thursday at Basic.
Green Valley’s Jake Leonard opened the sixth inning with a single to left field and moved to second base on a passed ball. After Frankie Fitzgerald and Matt Uran went down on strikes, Primack singled to center for the go-ahead run.
But the Wildcats would threaten in the seventh inning against Green Valley closer Spencer Cofer.
Cofer walked Hector Perez, and Jason Herrera reached base on a bunt. David Campbell’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, but Cofer regrouped to earn the save.
Cofer got Noah Ponce to fly out to right field, and then struck out No. 9 hitter Jared Herrera to end the game.
“It was a shame that someone had to lose a game like this,” said Gehlken, whose team was outhit, 11-7. “We beat a very good baseball team today. Our pitching held up when it needed to at the right time.”
The Wildcats loaded the bases in both the fifth and sixth innings, but Green Valley starter Fitzgerald managed to not allow a run. All four Las Vegas runs came in the third inning.
Drake Maningo’s single in the first inning opened the scoring and gave Green Valley a 1-0 lead. But Las Vegas answered with four runs in the third, capped by a two-run double from Jason Herrera.
Matt Gilbertson’s two-run double in the bottom of the third pulled the Gators within 4-3.
“It was very important for us to get runs after they scored in the top half of the inning,” Gehlken said. “We kept clawing away and hung in there. Again, both teams played really well.”
The Gators tied the game in the fifth inning. Carter Gehlken was hit by a pitch by Wildcat starter Austin Strong, and after a pair of groundouts, Gilbertson drove in his third run with a single to right field.
Basic 7, Coronado 3 — At Basic, Trent Bixby fired a four-hitter with seven strikeouts, and teammate Nick Thompson was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, as the Wolves downed the Cougars in the other winners’ bracket semifinal.
Jack Wold had a two-run double, Ryne Nelson supplied an RBI double, and Garrett Giles went 2-for-3 for Basic.
Garett Lake finished 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and a run for Coronado (19-11-1), which plays Silverado (22-9) in an elimination game at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Basic.
Liberty 3, Foothill 2 — At Liberty, Andrew Gallegos went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Patriots edged the Falcons in an elimination game.
Gallegos was making his varsity debut for Liberty.
Shay Landers went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI, and Nathan Young had a run-scoring single for Foothill (13-18).
Silverado 11, Rancho 0 — At Silverado, Kevin Pindel fired a three-hitter with four strikeouts as the Skyhawks topped the Rams (18-16) in five innings in an elimination game.
Payton Ballard went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs, and Alex Grafiada was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs for Silverado.
Michael Janosik went 1-for-3 with a run and three RBIs for the Skyhawks.