As the No. 24 seed, Corona del Sol was the final team to make the Division I baseball state tournament, and on Saturday afternoon the Aztecs made it worth the wait with an incredible, 7-6, come-from-behind win over No. 9 Tucson High in the Old Pueblo.
Corona (18-11) trailed 6-2 heading into the top of the seventh inning, but saved its season thanks to timely hitting.
Mike Gammon hit a two-run double with one out in the bottom of the seventh to drive in the game-winning run. The Aztecs then relied on defense and sophomore Nathan Birecki pitched a perfect bottom of the seventh to send Corona to the second round.
Birecki pitched the final four innings and allowed just one run for his fifth win of the season (5-0). Nathan Chokey led the Aztecs at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance. Kyle Jorgensen was 2-for-3 and added a solo home run.
Corona will play at No. 8 Hamilton on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in another elimination game.
In other Division I state tournament games, John Havird pitched a complete game and had 10 strikeouts to lead No. 11 Red Mountain past No. 22 Peoria Centennial, 6-4. Jordan Zimmerman finished 2-for-3 with a single, double and two RBI to lead the Lions (21-8). Tarran Beasley and Connor Markell added an RBI each. Red Mountain will travel to No. 6 Mesquite on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in a second-round elimination game.
No. 20 Desert Vista went up to Anthem and came away with a 5-3 win over No. 13 Boulder Creek. The Thunder scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead that ended up being just enough. Hunter Rodriguez, Zach Steigerwald and A.J. Valencia each went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Desert Vista. Boulder Creek scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and had the bases loaded with one out, but Tyler Adams was able to get the final two outs to secure the win. The Thunder will play at No. 4 Brophy on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the second round.
No. 15 Arcadia beat No. 18 Phoenix Greenway, 5-1, in the first round of the Division II tournament. Gary Cornish pitched a complete game for the Titans (21-7). Cornish struck out 10 and allowed six hits. Mike Scannell, Mike Roberts and Brendan Satran had an RBI each to lead Arcadia. The Titans will travel Notre Dame on Tuesday in the second round.
No. 17 Queen Creek saw its season come to an end at the hands of No. 16 Glendale Apollo, 6-1. The Bulldogs finished the season at 18-11.