When your season hangs in the balance you're not picky about how you go about extending it.
Arcadia High's baseball team took full advantage of Campo Verde's late-inning generosity on Thursday afternoon to come away with a 5-2 victory in a winner's bracket game of the 5A state tournament at Diablo Stadium.
Fifth-place hitter Bobby Peirce made Campo Verde pay twice with a game-tying double in the sixth and snapped a 2-2 tie in the seventh with a two-run single. Arcadia delivered three hits in the final two innings and Peirce's hits were oh so timely. But extra runners reached around Peirce both times on five Campo Verde errors.
Arcadia's win means the teams come back to play again Friday May 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Maryvale Ball Park for a berth in the 5A championship game. The winner faces Raymond Kellis, a 2-1 winner over top-seed Liberty in Thursday's late game, in the 5A championship game on Tuesday May 16 at 4 p.m. at Diablo Stadium.
Campo Verde felt good with its situation as the game moved to the sixth. The Coyotes sported a 2-0 lead thanks to a first-inning, two-run homer by Garret Thornton. Starting pitcher Hayden Udall took a four-hitter to the sixth with flawless defense behind him, including a couple of very nice plays by his infield defense.
In the sixth inning three infield errors and Peirce's double totaled two runs to tie. In the seventh, a single ,error in right field and walk filled the bases with two outs. Peirce battled Udall to a 1-2 count before grounding his single through the left side of the infield to snap the tie. An error at short followed and added and extra run for Arcadia. Udall was charged with all five runs -- all unearned.
Arcadia senior right-hander Matt Shroer bore down in the sixth and seventh to finish off a complete game five-hitter, two of those hits coming in the first inning. Schroer walked two and struck out seven.
RAYMOND KELLIS 2, LIBERTY 1: The Cougars two-run, fifth inning rally was enough to eliminate the Lions in a winner's bracket game.
Justin Flebbe's sacrifice fly capped Kellis' rally. Adrian Salazar singled home a run earlier in the inning to tie the game at 1. Salazar notched the win going 6 2/3 innings and allowing only a first-inning run on an RBI single by Liberty's Sam Stewart. Jonathan Ornelas earned the save striking out the game's final hitter with the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
Kellis, the No. 13 seed, has won a play-in game and four tournament games thus far to reach the final. Kellis beat Liberty twice.