GLENDALE - At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Kevin Cron is a menacing figure on a baseball diamond.
The Mountain Pointe senior looks as wide a batting cage and as thick as the history of the game.
And apparently he is as sturdy as the foundation of Camelback Ranch Stadium because Cron extended himself to near exhaustion in Saturday's Class 5A Division I state title game, pitching all eight innings in the 7-6 win over Chandler Hamilton.
"I had some adrenaline going and I had to keep fighting for my team," the right-hander said. "There was no way I was going to come out of the game."
Cron has been celebrated and touted for his hitting and rightfully after obliterating the Arizona record book with 60 career home runs and 27 on the season, but in a game that he took a rare O-fer in four plate appearances including a walk he came through on the mound.
Cron (8-1) struck out 14, walked seven, allowed seven hits and five earned runs while throwing an estimated pitch count somewhere between 110 and 120 pitches.
"He wasn't going to let me take him out even if it took him 200 pitches," Mountain Pointe coach Brandon Buck said.
The Texas Christian recruit left the field a winner and there was no denying him. After coughing up the lead in the fifth inning, Cron returned to the mound more emotional than ever and posted three straight scoreless innings as the Pride bats scraped together the tying and winning rallies.
"They had my back," he said. "I knew they would give me a second chance and there is no greater feeling."
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