Sometimes a baseball game can come down to the simplest of things.
On Tuesday, Spring Valley was able to secure a victory by playing catch.
Jack Sellinger induced a game-ending 1-6-3 double play as the Grizzlies held on for a 5-4 road victory over Palo Verde in the Class 4A Sunset Region tournament.
“We were fortunate that we got the pitch we needed and got the comebacker and were able to execute playing catch right there,” Spring Valley coach Paul Bassett said.
Spring Valley (23-7) starter Nick Rupp gave up a leadoff single to Asher Bouldin, but was able to force him out at second when Johnny Condron bunted back to the mound.
With the top of the Panthers’ lineup coming up, Bassett went to Sellinger.
“I just had a gut feeling that he was running out of steam,” Bassett said of replacing his ace. “That was the plan all along, that Jack was available there at the end, and he was going to come in and close it. And they got a guy on, so I felt like it was the right thing to do.”
Jacob Godman greeted Sellinger with a single to left to put runners on first and second for Jaret Godman, who came into the game leading Palo Verde (21-9-1) with a .512 average and seven home runs.
But Jaret Godman grounded the first pitch he saw back to the mound, and Sellinger fired to shortstop Jaxson Otis, who returned the throw to first to end the game.
Most of the runs in the game came via the long ball, including a two-run home by Palo Verde’s Dylan Orlando in the fourth inning that cut the Spring Valley lead to 5-4.
“The wind was blowing out, but I don’t think there was a cheap home run here today,” Bassett said. “Both teams, they put good swings on the ball.”
Palo Verde also had a solo homer from Jaxon Hammond to cut Spring Valley’s early lead to 2-1.
But No. 7 hitter Humberto Maldonado gave the Grizzlies some cushion when he crushed a three-run homer over the fence in left in the third inning to make it 5-1.
“He had a great at-bat and he battled,” Bassett said. “He got a good pitch and put a short swing on it and barreled it up. He’s a senior leader for us, so we expect those kind of things from him. We kind of hide him down in the lineup, and he came up big today.”
Spring Valley will travel to play Bishop Gorman (27-4) in second round at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and the Panthers will host Arbor View (13-14) at the same time.
Centennial 4, Bonanza 3 — At Centennial, Kyle Horton singled home Gino Sabey with no outs in the bottom of the 14th inning as the Bulldogs outlasted the Bengals.
Sabey singled to left to lead off the inning and went to second on Jake Rogers’ single to right before Horton singled to center to end the marathon.
Nik Dobar pitched seven scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win for the Bulldogs (22-8-1). He allowed five hits, struck out six and walked two.
Bonanza scored three runs in the top of the first, but Centennial rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
Austin Kryszczuk hit a solo homer to lead off the seventh for the Bulldogs, who got an RBI double from Zack Simon to pull within one. Centennial then drew back-to-back walks, with Kian Wilbur’s base on balls forcing home the tying run with one out.
Simon was 2-for-2 with two doubles, and Horton and Tanner Wright each added two hits for Centennial.
Danny Ruiz went 3-for-6 with a run and an RBI to lead Bonanza.
The Bulldogs will host Desert Oasis (24-9) at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Bengals (16-14) will travel to Cimarron-Memorial at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Desert Oasis 4, Cimarron-Memorial 3 — At Desert Oasis, Aaron Roberts allowed two earned runs on four hits in 5⅓ innings as the Diamondbacks edged the Spartans.
Roberts struck out 10 with one walk. Andrew Martinez went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Desert Oasis offense. Brett Brocoff and Gage Ventura each added two hits for the Diamondbacks, who led 4-1 after five innings.
Seth Hoffman’s two-run double in the sixth pulled Cimarron within a run, and the Spartans had runners at first and second with no outs in the seventh. But reliever Cole Schaefer was able to escape the jam secure the win.
Trevor Doyle was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Cimarron.
Bishop Gorman 14, Arbor View 3 — At Gorman, Nick Hernandez was 3-for-4 with two homers, including a grand slam, and seven RBIs as the Gaels cruised to the six-inning win over the Aggies.
Jorel Hignada went 2-for-4 with a homer, three runs and two RBIs, and John Gaughan and Jordan Sadovia each added a solo home run for Gorman.
Braxton Wehrle went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs for the Gaels, who scored seven runs in the third inning to break a 2-2 tie.
Jarrod Billig allowed two earned runs on five hits in five innings to get the win. He struck out seven with one walk. Hernandez pitched a hitless sixth with one strikeout.
Dylan Anderson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead Arbor View.