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SUNSET BASEBALL: Throwing error sends Mustangs by Spartans in 10 innings

Shadow Ridge’s baseball team scored on an error in the bottom of the 10th inning on Tuesday to earn a 4-3 home win over Cimarron-Memorial in the opening round of the Division I Sunset Region tournament.

Travis Caskie’s fielder’s choice resulted in a throwing error that allowed Brady Hoskins to score the winning run from third.

Hoskins reached on a leadoff bloop single and took second on a walk by Francisco Robles. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, but relief pitcher Tyler Giovinco got pinch-hitter Dustin McDonald to line out to shortstop. Caskie pushed an infield chopper to second, scoring Hoskins with the winning run.

The Mustangs (21-11) advanced into the winner’s bracket and will play at Bishop Gorman (25-4) at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Feeling his team needed a strong start to its postseason run, Shadow Ridge baseball coach Frank Tousa turned to his ace Jake Wilson.

Wilson responded by throwing seven solid innings with eight strikeouts.

After the Spartans took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning, Wilson found his groove and tossed five straight scoreless innings before being yanked by Tousa at the start of the eighth inning after 115 pitches.

“Jake’s done that all year for us,” Tousa said. “He pounds the strike zone with all three of his pitches. He’s pitched really well in big games for us against good competition, and he did it again today.”

Wilson worked out of jams and struck out the final batter in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, each time stranding the potential go-ahead runs on base.

Shadow Ridge responded from the three-run deficit with three runs of its own in the bottom of the third. After loading the bases, the Mustangs took advantage of a two-run infield error, and an RBI single by Tyler Burton.

Cimarron-Memorial’s Larry Quaney held the Mustangs scoreless after that by alternating a swift fastball with a solid change-up, and finished with 11 strikeouts on 101 pitches over nine innings.

“Larry did a great job on the mound, but a couple of mistakes by his team in giving up those three runs hurt,” Tousa said. “You have to tip your hat to him. It was a great job by him.”

Tousa replaced Wilson in the eighth inning with sophomore Chris Opolka, who tossed three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Opolka gave up three straight one-out singles in the top of the eighth, but got a laser outfield assist from Caskie to nab Cimarron’s Adam Mitchell at the plate. Opolka then got Jamie Yanchisin to groundout to short, stranding runners at first and third.

Opolka was able to escape danger again in the 10th inning when right fielder Eric Jordan threw out leadoff hitter Niko Decolati at third base after Decolati’s blooper dropped fair down the right field line. Opolka then eventually stranded Mitchell at second base by striking out Trevor Lippard, and getting Ryan McHale to fly out to left.

Jordan Hand was 3-for-4 with a run scored, and Burton supplied two hits and an RBI for Shadow Ridge.

Mitchell finished 3-for-5, and Giovinco supplied two hits, two RBIs and a run for Cimarron, which got two his from Alexander Marco.

Cimarron (21-9) hosts Palo Verde (12-18) at 3:30 p.m. in an elimination game on Wednesday.

Arbor View 9, Desert Oasis 6 — At Arbor View, Kevin Johns’ three-run triple in the bottom of the sixth gave the Aggies the lead as they downed the Diamondbacks.

Arbor View trailed 5-4 going into the bottom of the sixth, but Quinn Gallagher and Joe Fitzhugh started the inning with consecutive singles. One out later, Kaid Urban drew an intentional walk to load the bases for Johns, who cleared the bases with a triple to make it 8-6.

He came home on an RBI single by Sam Pastrone.

Johns was 3-for-4 with three runs, and Nick Quintana went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple for the Aggies. Gallagher added two hits for the Aggies.

Ben Cutting threw 1 2/3 innings of relief with two strikeouts to get the win for the Aggies, who host Centennial (22-11) at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Desert Oasis’ Zach Rickard went 2-for-4 with a triple, and Chris Van Kuren was 2-for-3 for the Diamondbacks (13-20), who play at Spring Valley (15-15) at 3:30 p.m. in an elimination game on Wednesday.

Centennial 22, Spring Valley 2 — At Centennial, Hayden Grant and Jacob Horton each went 3-for-4 with a double, four RBIs and two runs, and Will Loucks was 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two runs as the Bulldogs routed the Grizzlies in five innings.

Winning pitcher Cooper Powell was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs, and Tanner Wright went 2-for-3 with a double and four runs for Centennial.

Michael Macove went 2-for-3, and Bryce Bullock had a double for Spring Valley.

Bishop Gorman 6, Palo Verde 3 — At Gorman, Brandon Wulff was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to lead the Gaels by the Panthers.

Bronson Bowe went 2-for-3, and teammate Andrew Newson added two RBIs for Gorman, which also got a double from Austin Cram.

Palo Verde’s Will Hamilton was 2-for-3 with a double.

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