Tyler Vizcarra was brilliant Friday night, firing a two-hitter to lead the LV Mustangs to a 1-0 victory over the SN Falcons in an elimination game in the Connie Mack state tournament at Faith Lutheran.
Vizcarra was perfect through the first four innings, battled out of second-and-third jams in the fifth and seventh, and cruised to a victory that sent the Mustangs to Saturday’s championship game, where they will face the LV Cats at 6 p.m.
The Mustangs need to beat the Cats twice. The Cats defeated the Mustangs 10-0 in Thursday’s winner’s bracket semifinal.
Tyler Black was 2-for-3 for the Mustangs, while Ashton Caniglia was 1-for-4 with the game’s lone run.
Of the 26 batters Vizcarra faced, only three balls left the infield, as he mixed four pitches around to keep the Falcons guessing, led by a fastball and a wicked curve that caught Adrian Marquez looking to end the game.
“We all felt the need to win, and I just told the guys before the game we need to forget last night and move on,” said Vizcarra, who threw 93 pitches, 57 of them for strikes. “I think everything was working best, everything was complimenting each other. I think I had them off balance and they didn’t really know what was coming.”
The Mustangs chased Falcons starter Evan Ringler in the sixth after back-to-back singles by Caniglia and Black. Gandulla then laced the first pitch he saw from reliever Tyler Kara to left-center field to score Caniglia and give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead. Kristian Saldana had a chance to extend the lead later in the inning with bases loaded, but rapped a hot shot to Kara, who threw him out at first.
“I just knew before then I was in a big slump, so I just thought I need to do this for my team,” said Gandula, who struck out in his first two at-bats before knocking in the game-winning RBI. “I put a lot of hard work and effort into this and I can’t let my team down. Runners on second and third, I was like, ‘We need a run here or else things are not gonna go so good.’ That was going through my head, I need to come through for my team.”
Connie Mack State Tournament
At Faith Lutheran
LV Mustangs 12, Summerlin Panthers 6
LV Cats 1, SN Falcons 0
SN Falcons 7, Summerlin Panthers 2
LV Cats 10, LV Mustangs 0
Game 5 — LV Mustangs 1, SN Falcons 0
Game 6 — LV Cats vs. LV Mustangs, 6 p.m.
Game 7 — LV Cats vs. Winner Game 5, if necessary, 8:30 p.m.