As if the first-round heart-pounding win wasn’t enough, the Desert Vista baseball team had to go to extra-innings again to keep its season alive.
Unlike the crazy comeback win over Brophy, this time the Thunder coughed up the lead but they managed to hang on for a 4-3 win over No. 6 Sandra Day O’Connor in eight innings on Tuesday in the second round of the Division I state playoffs.
“Until the last out is record nothing is guaranteed,” Thunder coach Stan Luketich said.
AJ Valencia, who had the game-tying and game-winning hits against Brophy, was the table setter this time as he led off the eighth inning with a single and moved to third on Cullen Bottock’s double. Garrison Schwartz connected for a sacrifice fly for the winning run for Desert Vista (20-10).
Tyler Viza got the win in relief of starter Kyle Gibbs, who was strong for 6 2/3 innings but couldn’t hold on to a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning.
“They got a couple of swinging bunts we just couldn’t get to,” Luketich said. “His locations was outstanding and he pitched a heck of a ballgame.”
The No. 22 Thunder, who grabbed the early lead on a three-run home run by Austin Hicks, advance to take on rival and No. 14 seed Mountain Pointe on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN