May 20, 2022 - 10:14 pm
Updated May 21, 2022 - 9:36 am
Bishop Gorman’s season appeared in jeopardy against Reno on Friday in the losers bracket final of the Class 5A state baseball tournament at Las Vegas Ballpark.
But after falling behind by four runs for the second time, the Gaels rallied with a four-run seventh inning that kept their season alive.
Then, in the top of the 13th, Maddox Riske hit a ground ball that went past the glove of Reno second baseman Harvey Smeroon, scoring Tommy Rose with the decisive run in Gorman’s 12-11 victory.
Gorman will meet Basic at 10 a.m. Saturday at Las Vegas Ballpark in the championship round. If the Gaels win, a second game will be played at 1 p.m. with the title on the line.
The Wolves defeated Gorman 10-4 Friday in the winners bracket final and have beaten the Gaels three straight times.
Against Reno, with its season on the line, Gorman coach Gino DiMaria kept his message to his team simple.
“Just continue to be aggressive and attack the zone,” DiMaria said. “We can score runs, we can put ourselves right back into it, and they just keep fighting.”
Basic used a five-run fourth inning to pull away from Gorman in the winners bracket final.
“They were ready to play today,” Wolves coach Scott Baker said. “We got down a couple of runs and didn’t see any letdown or loss of confidence. You could just tell the players were ready.”
Gorman took a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning on Justin Crawford’s two-run single, but that was all the offense it could muster.
The Wolves sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth and were aided by Gaels starter Kaden Soder walking the bases loaded with no outs.
Chase Ditmar gave Basic its first lead with a two-run single, and the Wolves did most of their damage with two outs in the fourth. Ditmar added a triple in the sixth that started a three-run inning.
“This group is so resilient offensively,” Baker said. “They’ve been getting big hit after big hit, quality at bats. Even if they don’t get a hit, it’s a quality at-bat and puts us in a really good spot.”
Cooper Sheff and Jesus Pedraza each went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for Basic.
Wolves starter Aaron Rubio kept Gorman’s offense in check, stranding five runners, and reliever Braden Turner tossed two shutout innings to close the game. They overcame four errors from their defense.
Baker knows his team can’t afford to make the same mistake against the Gaels, who made the Huskies pay for their eight errors in the elimination game.
”We had a couple of miscues, and if you make errors against Reno, they’ll punish you, and today we kind of pitched around it,” Baker said. “We don’t really want to be doing that.”
DiMaria knows his team did not play its best, but credited his players for continuing to fight back after playing 20 innings.
“We’re just reaching down within ourselves, our kids are holding each other accountable,” he said. “They’re just reaching for something and giving everything we’ve got to keep competing.”