Baseball: 3 region titles claimed on 6A's final day

April 24, 2017 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

It took an extra 85 minutes and four innings, but Corona del Sol finally outlasted Desert Vista on Monday afternoon in the game that decided the 6A Central Region title.

Christian Slater's two-run single in the top of the 13th broke the final tie (5-5) and gave the Aztecs a 7-6 win over the Thunder at Desert Vista. Desert Vista outhit Corona 7-3 over the final four extra innings. Corona, however, made the plays defensively when they were needed.

Corona (No. 5 in the power rankings) dodged trouble in each of the four extra innings played Monday. The teams picked up the game in the top of the 10th of a 4-4 tie from two weeks ago. Slater's hit was needed as Desert Vista fought back with a run in the bottom of the 13th and had the tying run at second when reliever Brandon Bracy fanned Hunter Tielke for the final out.

Bracy started the game started on April 11 and went the first five innings. He got the final two outs to preserve the win for Matt Hovis, who threw 3 1/3 innings in the resumption of play.

Corona grabbed the first lead Monday on Wyatt Berry's solo homer in the 11th inning. Desert Vista tied it on a long double by Zach Paquette in its half of 11. 

Desert Vista loaded the bases with one out in the 10th, but Corona coaxed a force out at home and fly to right to force the 11th. Desert Vista again had the bases loaded and one out in the 11th after Paquette's double tied it. A 5-3 double play initiated by Berry at third  base squelched the rally. 

Again in the 12th Desert Vista had a good chance with runners at first and second and one out. With the runners moving, Gavin Fitzgerald ripped a line drive headed up the middle. It was speared by Hovis to the right of the mound fwho turned it into an easy double play.

Corona del Sol should finish no worse than fifth in the power rankings and will await its opponent in the first round of state on Saturday (April 29). Desert Vista, No. 24 at the start of the day needs to at least hang on to that spot to qualify for a play-in game on Wednesday (April 26). The seedings for the play-in games should be known late Monday night after all the day's results are reported. 

HORIZON 6, MTN RIDGE 5: Evan Williams stroked a tie-breaking double and Dannhy Berger followed with a two-run homer that proved the difference as the Huskies (4th in power-rankings) edged the Mountain Lions f(2nd in power rankings) for the 6A Desert Valley Region title.

Horizon trailed 3-1 after four innings as courageous Mountain Ridge senior pitcher Tommy Lowe held Horizon in check over  4 2/3 innings allowing two runs, five hits and striking out five. 

The game was tied 3-3 heading to the seventh as Horizon had evened the game with two runs in the fifth on a two-out, two-run homer by Kody Huff.

Horizon, staked to its its three-run lead in the bottom of seven, was one out away from a 6-3 win when the Lions' Spencer Campman belte a two-run homer to narrow the gap. Horizon reliever Cameron Doherty recorded a strikeout for the game's final out and the Huskies' 20th region title. Doherty pitched  the final 3 1/3 innings to notch the win in relief of Wiliiams,who started the game.

SAN LUIS 2, SUNNYSIDE 0: The host Sidewinders (9th in 6A power-rankings) won the pithcher's duel in beating the Blue Devils f(3rd in 6A power-rankings) for the 6A Southern Region title. Both teams won their sub-region titles for the right to meet to for the region crown.