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 Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN

(1) comment


I attended both the Brophy and SDO game. DV seems to be peaking at the right time and are doing what it takes to win the game. Very disappointed in Luketiech's decision to keep running Viza out to the mound. He has thrown 226 pitches in the last five days. I assume he will close on Thursday if needed.

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