The resiliency Desert Vista has shown in the early portion of the baseball season cropped up again Saturday only to be trumped by the two-out grind by Hamilton
The Thunder battled back from an early deficit, but the Huskies two-out fifth inning rally was enough to win the pseudo championship game 7-6 in the 15th annual Desert Vista tournament.
Both teams entered Saturday’s action 3-0 in the tournament, and while there is no official championship, with the winner essentially locking up the best record in the six-team, five-game event.
The Huskies, who were 6-0 overall heading into the day’s final game, grabbed an early 5-1 lead only to see Desert Vista (3-2 overall heading into the final game) score five in the fifth off starter Zane Strand.
The Thunder lead didn't last long as Hamilton's Ryan Peep doubled off reliever Dylan Boots (1-1) with two outs in the bottom of the fifth to plate Nick Brueser and Cameron Cruz, who reached on an error and single, respectively.
“We are playing well right now,” Hamilton coach Mile Wood said. “So far this year we have been scoring a lot of runs with two outs. We hit the ball really well and if it weren’t for the wind we’d probably had three home runs.”
Hamilton had multi-hit games from Peep, Austin Filiere and Jake Boston. Strand (5 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 K, 1BB) earned the win, while Cruz had two scoreless innings for the save.
The Thunder, who had five errors, had some struggles on the left side of the infield and a mistake on the base path led to the third out during the five-run fifth.
“It’s a game of catch and throw,” Desert Vista coach Stan Luketich said. “We didn’t that very well today.”
Despite all of that, the Thunder nearly pulled off the comeback win as it did earlier in the tournament against Desert Mountain and Mesquite.
Desert Vista had multi-hit games from A.J. Valencia, Zach Hardy, Isaiah Deutsch and Mike Popek, while Cullen Bottck and Garrison Schwartz both had two-run doubles in the fifth inning.
“We played hard and fought back,” Valencia said. “This team never gives in, but it just wasn’t enough this time.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.