Red Mountain baseball coach Henry Faccio is contemplating retirement from coaching, but if he does, it will have to wait a few more days.
Kris Quintana survived early control problems and pitched a one-hitter Thursday afternoon that helped Red Mountain top Skyline, 4-1, in the decisive game of their three-game 5A East Valley Region playoff series at Hohokam Park.
Red Mountain (13-20) advances to the 5A state tournament that begins Monday. The Mountain Lions play at either Peoria Sunrise Mountain or Glendale Ironwood in their opener. Skyline, bidding to advance to state for the first time in school history, finished the season 14-17.
"That was the best game he’s pitched all year," Faccio said of Quintana, a right-hander. "He’s been somewhat wild at times this year, which has been a problem. But he’s a senior and we decided he was our best option to go out there and pitch today."
Quintana overcame wildness early in the game. He walked five batters by the end of the third inning, but Skyline was able to score just one run. Quintana walked the bases loaded in the second and allowed the Coyotes’ only run on a sacrifice fly by Patrick Homer. The only hit Quintana allowed was a one-out single in the fifth by Trevor Vega.
Quintana, who helped himself with two hits, tied the game at 1-1 in the third with a sacrifice fly off Skyline starter Matt Schultz. The Mountain Lions took the lead for good, 2-1, in the fourth on another sacrifice fly, this one by Scott McGregor.
Schultz pitched in and out of trouble in the middle innings to keep Skyline close. Red Mountain finished the game stranding 13 runners. Three Skyline throwing errors — one in the fourth that led to the go-ahead run and two more in the seventh that led to a pair of extra runs — gave Quintana breathing room. Mitch Jackson’s double and James Faccio’s single with two outs in the seventh provided the insurance runs.
"Getting key hits has been tough for us," Henry Faccio said. "A lot of times, that’s been the tale of us losing a game. We were resilient today. We finally got some big hits late."