Phoenix Arcadia capitalizes on Campo Verde’s errors to win 5-2, May 11, 2017. The Titans will play the Coyotes again in the 5A semifinals.
This story was udpated on Friday, May 12.
Glendale Raymond S. Kellis, the No.13 seed in the 5A state baseball tournament, has reached Tuesday’s championship game for the first time since the school opened in 2004.
The baseball team will try to claim Kellis’ fourth team state title in school history when it plays the winner of Friday’s game between No. 11 Gilbert Campo Verde and No. 3 Phoenix Arcadia at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Kellis has won state titles in boys soccer (2008), girls basketball (2009) and boys track (2013).
BASEBALL: State tournament scores, schedules
“We are thrilled and excited to make the finals,” said Michael Deardoff, who has been the baseball coach for nine years. “It’s an historic achievement for our program and school. It feels very gratifying to see our players performing at such a high level knowing all of the hard work they have put in all season.”
Kellis (21-11) beat No. 1 Peoria Liberty twice in the playoffs, the latest a 2-1 victory on Thursday night at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Liberty was held scoreless after putting up a first-inning run.
“When we fell behind 1-0 in the first, there wasn’t any panic from our team,” Deardoff said. “We talked about playing with composure and sticking to what got us to this point before the game. We knew going into it that runs were going to be at a premium and that we needed to capitalize when given the opportunity.”
Kellis, led by senior pitcher/shortstop Adrian Salazar, has won its last eight games.
Arcadia 5, Campo Verde 2
No. 11 Gilbert Campo Verde was about to take its historic season into the 5A final, before its defense fell apart.
Third-seed Phoenix Arcadia stayed alive Thursday, taking advantage of five errors with five runs in the final two innings of its 5-2 baseball victory at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Arcadia (22-10) gets another crack at Campo Verde (19-14) on Friday at Maryvale Baseball Park to see who advances to Tuesday’s state championship game at 4 at Diablo Stadium.
Pitcher Hayden Udall and outfielder Garret Thornton were the stars during Campo Verde’s run of five consecutive wins to reach the final four for the first time since the school opened in 2009.
It looked like it would be six wins in a row after Thornton’s two-run homer in the first inning off of ace and LSU-signee Matt Schroer and Udall in a groove for five innings, giving up just four hits.
But in the sixth, three Campo Verde errors led to two runs that tied the score. Bobby Peirce’s double tied it at 2-2.
Then, in the seventh, Campo Verde made two more errors that led to three more unearned runs.
Peirce broke the tie in the seventh with a two-run single. That chased Udall, who has signed with Grand Canyon.
“I was picking up the ball great off of his hand,” Peirce said. “A couple of errors for them, that just kind of got us going.”
Schroer was locked in after Thornton’s first-inning home run.
He gave up only three hits the rest of the way.
SOFTBALL: State tournament scores, schedules
“I didn’t let it get to me,” Schroer said. “I just kept my composure. I started throwing better strikes, getting the batters out.”
Arcadia is trying to reach the final for the first time since 2006. It has never won a state baseball championship. Its only other appearance came in 1961.
Coach Troy Gerlach has seen his team get on a roll in the double-elimination tournament since the 5-0 loss to Campo Verde last week.
Arcadia eliminated No. 2 Scottsdale Chaparral on Tuesday behind the pitching of Max Siegel and Schroer.
Gerlach said he’ll have to figure out who to put on the mound Friday.
Campo Verde, which had a week’s rest after the Arcadia win, could start Austin Breazeale, who gave up only one hit in six innings in the 5-0 win over Arcadia.
“I preach to these guys to just keep grinding,” Gerlach said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re playing the New York Yankees, Campo Verde, Chaparral or Tempe. It doesn’t matter. Just go out and play the game of baseball. Stick to the process and trust it.”
Gerlach felt it would take more than two runs to beat his team, but he praised the job Udall did, keeping his batters off balance.
“I kept telling the guys, ‘You keep the ball in play, we’re going to be OK,’ ” Gerlach said. “When you strike out and walk back to the dugout, you take the pressure off of the defense. They did a great job of competing and not giving up.”