At one point it looked like Mountain Pointe’s boys baseball team might win its Division I first-round playoff game in a blowout.
The Pride would take a big early lead over Marana Mountain View but would see it shrink in an eventual 9-5 win on Saturday
The Pride put up three runs in the first inning on four hits. Junior shortstop Cole Tucker and senior second baseman Brantley Bell hit back-to back singles followed by back-to-back RBI doubles from junior catcher Christian Bitar and senior third baseman Michael Weaver.
“We had great approaches at the plate against a very good pitcher,” said Mountain Pointe head coach Brandon Buck of his team’s hitting.
After scoreless second and third innings, Mountain Pointe junior first baseman Taylor Martin would start another offensive surge with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.
Mountain Pointe would tack on three more runs in the fourth inning after Martin’s homer to take a 7-1 lead.
Mountain View would get one more run in the fifth inning but senior left-handed starter Zach Cordova was dealing early. Cordova surrendered only two runs through the first five innings by throwing some heat.
“I thought I located my fastball really well,” Cordova said. “My off-speed stuff wasn’t as good as it normally is but I thought I located my fastball really well.”
In the bottom of the sixth Cordova got himself in a bind. Following a walk after giving up a one-run double with one out, Buck came out to have a chat with Cordova.
“I thought he was worrying about the last pitch ad not the next pitch,” Buck said. “Just kind of went out and told him ‘Hey, keep doing what you’re doing. You’re making good pitches just keep doing what you’re doing.’”
Cordova would finish the inning giving up three runs but still had a solid day overall, allowing five earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in six innings of work.
Cordova’s teammates would rally behind him adding two more runs in the bottom of the sixth off a one-run double from Bitar and a sac fly from Jake Alexander to make it 9-5 for the Pride.
That final offensive spurt put the game away for Mountain Pointe.
“The biggest thing that stood out is when they scored three (runs) and then we came back in and Brantley led it off with a double,” Buck said. “We played like regular baseball, move a guy over, score him, that was what I kind of thought took the wind out of their sails.”
Junior right-hander Jorge Carrazco would take over for Cordova in the top of the seventh inning and would pitch a one, two, three inning to finish things off.
The Pride face third-seeded Desert Ridge Tuesday, April 30 at 4p.m. at Desert Ridge.
Smith is a junior journalism major at Arizona State interning this summer at the AFN.