Dylan Barrett may be the younger, shorter, lighter-throwing version of his brother, Jake, but his performance on Tuesday kept alive Desert Ridge’s hopes to continue the championship trend started by his sibling.
The senior left-hander allowed three runs - two earned - on only four hits in a complete game victory as the No. 3 seed Jaguars defeated No. 6 Gilbert 6-3 to advance to Thursday’s 5A Division I baseball semifinals, where they will face No. 2 Mountain Pointe.
Jake Barrett led Desert Ridge to a state championship two seasons ago and was a third-round draft pick of the Blue Jays before deciding to attend Arizona State. The Jaguars also won the title last year.
“It was an awesome experience to (watch Jake win a title),” Dylan Barrett said. “I loved that so much. And now I want to do the same thing he did.”
This year’s postseason didn’t start off well, as Desert Ridge lost its first round game to Dobson. However, the Jaguars have won four straight since. It will need to beat the Pride twice on Thursday to advance to a third consecutive championship game.
“We didn’t talk about championships or anything (after the Dobson loss),” Desert Ridge coach Pat Herrera said. “Our theme was, ‘Not today’. We might lose down the road, but not today.”
The game was scoreless through four innings, and Gilbert struck first when Dustin Peterson doubled in Greg Esquibel for a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth.
The Jaguars answered back in the bottom of the frame, scoring six runs with two outs. Desert Ridge had just one runner on with two outs, but J.D. Donovan coaxed a full count walk to get to the middle of the order, and Scott Hoffman, Barrett, Alonzo Palacios and Taylor Flores all singled consecutively to open the floodgates.
“We work on that with two outs, just trying to turn it over to the next guy to make something happen,” Herrera said.
Gilbert got two back in the top of the sixth on a homer from Billy Darras and a run-scoring double by Jack Zoellner, but Barrett clamped down from there.
He held Gilbert’s three Division I bound players - Nathaniel Causey, Drew Stankiewicz and Stephen Tarpley - to a combined 0-for-9 day at the plate, though each did walk once.
Desert Ridge is looking to become the first team since Tucson from 1954-56 to win three consecutive 5A titles, which seemed a pipe dream after the opening round loss.
“I cried because that was such a bad game,” Barrett said. “But it doesn’t matter now. We’re coming back and we’re not going to stop.”