Desert Vista is back in the 5A state baseball tournament. Corona del Sol will have to play its way in.
The Thunder earned the second seed out of the Central Region on Thursday with an 8-7 home victory over the Aztecs. It was the regularseason finale for both schools.
Depending on who wins their three-game series next week at Tempe Diablo Stadium, either Desert Vista or Mountain Pointe will be the league’s No. 1 seed.
"We are a much better team than we were at spring break," Desert Vista coach Stan Luketich said. "It’s because of our effort. These kids work hard at practice every day."
Corona del Sol and Yuma will face off with in a best-ofthree series in Tempe as well with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
Needless to say, Thursday’s game was big and the Thunder (16-13, 8-4) took advantage of Aztecs’ miscues to get the victory.
"We’ve done this all year," Corona coach Ron Davini said. "We’ll play very good and then all of the sudden the defense goes to pieces."
After the top half of the third inning the Aztecs (15-15, 6-6) led 4-1 with Eric Smith and Cameron Quade having gotten RBI hits.
Two errors in the bottom of the inning, however, led to five unearned runs for the Thunder. Brian Dobyns drove in two of them with a two-out triple and then scored on a throwing error. Brian Dodd, who had homered in the first inning, also had an RBI single in the inning. The senior finished the game with three hits.
Leading 6-5, Desert Vista scored two more times in the bottom of the sixth inning as two more errors benefited the Thunder. Andy Mees had his second run-scoring hit of the game in the inning.
Corona, playing a less-thanforgiving schedule (its fourth game in three days), made a last-ditch effort to get even with the Thunder in the seventh.
With one out, the Aztecs got three consecutive doubles, the last of which was by Chris Rodriguez. His run-scoring hit cut the Desert Vista lead to 8-7. Two straight walks had the bases loaded and one out for the Aztecs. Thunder reliever Ian Tindall then got Max Ortiz to hit into a gameending double play.
"I knew we were going to need those extra runs because they are a good team and never stop fighting," Dodd said.