The season is down to few precious more outs.
“Every team goes through it but it kind of sneaks up on them,” Mountain Pointe baseball coach Brandon Buck said. “All of a sudden you are playing your last home regular season game in your career.
“We got two more weeks left to keep it going and we’ll do our best to make it sure.”
The Pride found out they were tabbed the sixth seed in the Division I baseball tournament on Thursday afternoon, but the coolest news of the day came much earlier when the school held a signing ceremony and nine of the players signed national letters of intent to play at the next level.
“We knew we had a chance to be pretty good when we were freshmen,” senior center fielder Ernie de la Trinidad said. “We’ve worked hard to get to this point. It’s unreal to have this many players from one team going on to college.”
Now it is a matter of when this senior group will play their last game together. They plan on it being on May 20 in the title game, but there are 23 other teams that have the same designs.
The Pride will play the winner No. 22 Gilbert and No. 11 Brophy on Tuesday at home. Should Mountain Pointe win that game, then they are guaranteed at least two more games before the idea of their final inning together becomes a reality.
“We’ve been through so much and we do everything together,” senior shortstop Cole Tucker said. “We have the team to win it all. I know it. It’s in the chemistry, the coaching and the way we play the game, but the truth is at some point I have played my last game with a lot of these guys.
“We just want it to happen for a long time.”
Of course, the Pride isn’t the only thing to face that fate.
Desert Vista had to settle for the 10th seed after losing its final two regular season games. It means the Thunder have two win two games, starting with Saturday’s home game against No. 22 Valley Vista, before the double elimination portion of the DI tournament starts.
If the Thunder win then they will advance to Tuesday’s game at No. 7 Pinnacle.
Desert Vista was hurt a little by the fact that Hamilton canceled their regular season finale as it would have been the Huskies’ 19th game and teams are only required to play 18. So instead of taking a chance of losing, and maybe falling out of the No. 1 seed, Huskies coach Mike Wood decided to not play it leaving the Thunder with only 17 games.
The softball teams also have to win two games before entering into the double elimination portion of the tournament.
Mountain Pointe earned a home game as the 12th seed and will host No. 21 North Canyon on Saturday, but the Pride – as do many teams – have the availability of their two best players in question as pitcher Kristen McCann and catcher Hannah Hoban are scheduled to take the SAT at the same time.
“I have been in contact with my athletic director (Bryan Winter),” Pride coach James Bradford said.
Game times have been moved in the past when both teams agree because prom and testing.
If the Pride should win, whenever the game is played, they would advance to play No. 5 Hamilton on Tuesday.
Desert Vista softball earned the 17th seed and travel to No. 16 Highland on Saturday morning. A win would put them on the road against No. 1 Gilbert on Tuesday.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.