Perry had plenty of chances on Thursday afternoon to push across a run or two throughout its Boras Baseball Classic Tournament game with Corona del Sol. Fortunately for the Pumas they were locked in a pitchers' duel. It took just one successful frame to plate the needed runs.
Jacob Tanaka laced a two-run double in the fifth inning and that proved enough for Perry to nip Corona del Sol, 2-1, in the winner's bracket quarterfinals of the spring break invite at Corona del Sol.
Tanaka, who was 2-for-3 with two doubles and reached on an error, saw only three pitches in his three at-bats. He seemed locked in on Corona del Sol lefty Daniel Sotelo (1-1) as both hits were solidly struck. Tanaka's fifth-inning double with two outs plated Coleman Roberts and Trevor Hauver, both of whom stroked one-out singles in the inning. Perry (4-6) finished with four hits, but four walks in the first four innings set it up with a runner at second or better each frame.
Sophomore pitcher Caden Christopherson, making his third start of the season, scattered five hits in 5 1/3 innings. to notch his second win. He allowed one run (unearned) in the bottom of the fifth via his throwing error. Sophomore Adam Parra closed it out for Perry with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work. Parra and Christopherson were helped by third baseman C.J. Valdez's relay to home that cut down the tying run in the bottom of the sixth. Christopherson finiished in the top 20 this fall at the D-I state golf tournament.
"Caden gave us a good outing," Perry coach Damien Tippett said. "He has golfer's mentality. It was needed because Corona has a scary lineup 1 through 9. He got ahead in the count to a lot of their hitters."
Gehrig Sanchez and Chase Hamilton each had two hits for Corona, which fell to 6-3 overall after opening the tournnamen with a 5-0 win over Maricopa. Perry advances to Friday's tournament semis to face Coronado High (Henderson, NV), a 7-4 winner over Campo Verde, at 3 at Corona del Sol. The winner of that game moves on to Saturday's 6 p.m. final at Arcadia High School.
In quarterfinals at Arcadia High on Thursday, Basic High (Henderson, NV) beat Catalina Foothills, 8-5. Mountain Pointe advanced by run-ruling Buckeye, 16-4 in 4 1/2 innings in the late game. Mountain Pointe and Basic play in the other semifinal Friday at 6 p.m. at Arcadia.