Liberty, Verrado Head to the ‘ship
The 5A State Championship game is set, with Verrado and Liberty taking care of business and avoiding the “if” game scenario.
Liberty 4 Mesquite 3
Liberty held off a 7th inning rally by Mesquite and took a 4-3 win to advance to the 5A title game.
Junior right hander Chandler Murphy threw 6 1/3 innings, scattering 7 hits and allowing 3 runs with 6Ks before hitting his pitch limit.
JD Wadleigh replaced Murphy in the 7th with one out and runners on 1st and 2nd. Grant Gorrell worked the count full before being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Willie Cano followed with an RBI sac fly to make it 4-2, bringing Davis Heller to the plate.
Heller’s previous at bat resulted in a towering blast that was caught on the warning track. Wadleigh quickly jumped ahead 0-2, then left a ball over the plate that Heller lined into the gap in left center, scoring Holden Breeze with Gorrell having to stop at third.
TJ Clarkson would step in and send a deep fly ball to left center, but left fielder Kai Tuita squeezed it for the final out.
Liberty had scored a pair of important insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth when pinch hitter Isaiah Montoya sent a hard ground ball just inside the bag at first into the corner for a 2 RBI double.
Verrado 13 Notre Dame 3 (5 Inn)
After an incredibly emotional 24 hour period after learning of the death of teammate Bryan McKinsey, Verrado answered the bell with a 13-3 mercy rule win over Notre Dame in 5 innngs.
The Vipers wasted no time taking control, sending twelve men to the plate and hanging a first inning 7 spot on Notre Dame starter Zach Zdimal.
Hayden Brown had a lead off triple and later in the inning slapped an RBI single.
Brown, Brad Bulger and Chad Berger all had 2 hit games.
Dominic Demarbiex went 3-3 with 2 RBIs for the Vipers.
Verrado starter Rocky King lived on the tightrope all day’. He allowed 11 hits but did not walk a batter in 4 innings while surrendering 3 runs.
Colton Keith worked a perfect 5th inning with 2 Ks.
Verrado and Liberty will face off on Tuesday afternoon at Diablo Stadium for a winner take all Championship game.