Corona del Sol and Mountain Ridge Force Elimination Games
Daniel Sotelo came out of the bullpen to throw 3 shutout innings and earn the win as Corona del Sol topped Red Mountain 10-6 at Diablo Stadium.
Sotelo, who will have to have Tommy John surgery on his elbow following the season, entered the game in the 5th inning with the Aztecs trailing 6-4.
CDS had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Cade Verdusco led off the game with a walk and later scored on a Kaiden Frees grounder to make it 1-0.
In the bottom of the second Nathan Campos doubled in Connor Watson to tie the game at 1.
Red Mountain would plate 2 more in the 3rd on a Watson RBI single and a sac fly from Nathan Zobeck.
In the 4th Frees would walk and later score on an infield error to pull the Aztecs with a run at 3-2.
The Mountain Lions seemed to pull away in the 4th, when TJ Adams and Luke Hyzdu both singled with 2 outs.
Kai Murphy followed with a double to right field to score both runners, and then Murphy scored on an infield error and it was 6-2.
Corona bounced right back in the 5th, when Verdusco and Hunter Haas both singled with 2 outs, and then executed a double steal, moving up to second and third.
With first base open, RM opted to pitch to Brian Kalmer, who launched a towering drive to left center field that caromed off the top of the wall for a 2 RBI double to pull the Aztecs within 2 at 6-4.
RM starter Daevion King had held things together pretty well for the Mountain Lions through 5 innings, but things got off the rails a bit in the 6th.
Corona opened the inning with consecutive singles by Ulises Jimenez and Ben Click, and RM Coach Rob Gorrell immediately summoned Murphy in from center field to toe the slab.
Matteo Baker was next for Corona, and the senior worked the count full before reaching on an infield hit to load the bases.
At this point the usually reliable Murphy totally lost the strike zone, issuing consecutive walks to Brian Webb, Sotelo and Verdusco and the score was 7-6 Corona.
The Lions then brought in RJ Gilmore to relieve Murphy, and Haas followed with a grounder that got past the third baseman into the left field corner, clearing the bases and giving CDS the 10-6 lead.
With the victory the Aztecs force a decisive 6A Pool A championship game Saturday night at Diablo Stadium.
Mountain Ridge 4 Hamilton 1
Zach Rogers threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing only 4 hits and a solo run to lead Mountain Ridge past Hamilton 4-1 and force a Saturday afternoon winner take all matchup at Diablo Stadium to determine the 6A Pool B champion.
The game was scoreless entering the 3rd inning when Colton Neville led off with a single for Ridge and the scored when Kyler Stancato blasted a double to right center field and it was 1-0.
In the 4th Tate Childers led off with a walk for Ridge, and Austin Singer was hit by a pitch.
With 2 outs in the inning Travis Warriner stepped in and smoked a double into the left field corner to plate both runners and it was 3-0.
In the 6th Singer and Garrett Olson opened the inning with consecutive walks and moved up on a Neville sac bunt.
Warriner then sent a pop up down the line in short right field that was caught by first baseman Tyler Wilson, but Singer tagged up and scored to make it 4-0 Lions.
Hamilton showed a pulse in the 6th when Michael Brueser was hit by a pitch and later scored on a Will Maxey single to make it 4-1.
Side armer Brock Peery moved to the mound for Ridge with 2 outs in the 6th and worked 1 1/3 innings before leaving the game with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th and a 2-2 count on the hitter in order to keep his pitch count at 30.
Matthew Martinez would throw one pitch and get Dustin Buermudez to ground out to end the game.
Warriner drove in 3 runs for Ridge.
Keegan Stancato and Tate Childers were both 2-4.