Citizen Staff Writer
TEMPE – The Sahuaro High baseball team didn’t need much offense Friday night, because its pitching dominated in the Class 4A Division I state semifinal at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
The No. 12-seeded Cougars (14-12) defeated No. 8 Canyon del Oro 2-1 to advance to play Tempe McClintock at 4 p.m. today for the state title at Diablo. The game will be televised in Tucson on Cox cable Channel 7.
Sahuaro senior Pat McCoy pitched a complete-game five-hitter and allowed one run in his 96-pitch outing. He struck out 10 and walked one. The Dorados couldn’t seem to catch up to his high fastball.
“My curveball and my slider were also working really good,” McCoy said. “I had good stuff tonight. I believed in my abilities and I’m trying to go out and win a state championship for my team.
“We have 10 seniors on this team and we didn’t want to go home today.”
McCoy’s performance was much needed because the Cougars’ offense had almost as much trouble against CDO pitcher Matt Bittles. But a solo homer from Matt Fierro in the second inning got Sahuaro on the board.
Fierro also scored on a Ryan Moser RBI single in the fifth.
“I was seeing the ball real good and he gave me my pitch – a fastball right down the middle,” Fierro said. “That was my first home run of the year and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The Dorados (21-10) got a run in the fifth after Ray Nettling hit a single and pinch-runner Griffin Ronstadt stole second to get CDO into scoring position. Zach Tarbet hit a sharp single to right field to drive in Ronstadt.
“It was two heavyweights slugging it out,” CDO coach Len Anderson said. “Two great pitchers going toe to toe with each other. They were the ones left standing and we weren’t.”
Sahuaro coach Mark Chandler said he plans to start Kyle Waddell in today’s title game.
“He only threw 60 pitches (Tuesday) against Ironwood Ridge,” Chandler said.