May 12, 2005
Two-time defending state champ Hamilton certainly can hit the opposition into submission. Through two rounds of the 2005 5A state baseball tournament, the Huskies’ pitching has more than carried its weight.
Junior Kasey Pierson silenced Red Mountain on two hits Wednesday afternoon and supplied the big hit with a three-run homer in the fifth inning as the Huskies topped the Mountain Lions, 7-1, in a quarterfinal contest at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
‘‘Supposedly the book on us is offense, not pitching,’’ Hamilton coach Mike Woods said.
‘‘I’ll take the pitching we have gotten so far. Jason (Kudlock) is 10-0 and Kasey is 7-1. I don’t think we could have won as many games as we have without decent pitching.’’
Hamilton (26-6), which has won 11 consecutive state tournament games dating back to 2003, will take on Yuma Cibola in the semifinals tonight at 8 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Red Mountain (20-15) stayed close for four innings and actually was even with Hamilton at 1 after 2 1 /2 frames. A squeeze bunt by Paul Connolly in the top of the third scored Nick Orr to tie the game.
Making the adjustments they normally do, Hamilton scored twice in its half of the third to take the lead for good.
Consecutive hits by Hunter Pace, Dylan Johnston and Travis Peep scored one and a sacrifice fly by Kudlock capped the rally off Red Mountain starter Daniel Alvarez.
Any shot Red Mountain had at a comeback vanished in the fifth when Hamilton got runners aboard via a hit-bypitch and error.
Pierson made the Mountain Lions pay for the gift runners, ripping an 0-2 pitch over the left-field wall to make it 6-1.
‘‘Alvarez did a good job, he had trouble with some 0-2 pitches,’’ Red Mountain coach Henry Faccio said.
‘‘Hamilton is a powerful team, and you can’t make mistakes to them.’’
Pierson surrendered a single to left by Orr in the third and one to Connolly in the sixth. He walked two and struck out three as the Huskies got their second consecutive complete game.
‘‘With seven runs behind you, you have some room to work with,’’ Pierson said.
‘‘That made my job easier. Their guy was throwing a lot of breaking stuff early. We figured it out and started roping some.’’