Citizen Staff Writer
TEMPE – Baseball can be a game of inches.
Catalina Foothills lost 3-2 to Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor in eight innings Friday in a Class 4A Division I semifinal game at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Tied at 2 in the top of the seventh, Catalina Foothills had runners at first and second with two outs and cleanup hitter Andy Hunter at the plate.
Hunter hit a 2-1 pitch that hugged the left field line before going foul.
“What it came down to was inches,” Hunter said.
Foothills was unable to get either run in as Hunter flied out to end the threat.
“It was close,” said Foothills coach Lance Robertson. “It was real close. It’s just tough luck.”
In the bottom of the eighth, O’Connor got back-to-back hits and an intentional walk to load the bases.
Maverick Lasker then singled with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run.
Lasker, who went the distance on the mound for O’Connor, stranded 10 Foothills baserunners.
“They got the big hit at the right time and we couldn’t get them in at the right time,” Robertson said. “I wish it was two out of three. It would’ve been a lot better on us. We did the best we could.”
Foothills was forced to come back twice in the game. Jesus Martinez tied the score at 1 for Foothills with an RBI groundout in the fourth.
A wild pitch by Lasker led to a 2-2 tie in the sixth.
“We made it to the final four in state. I hated that it had to end this way,” Robertson said.