Zach Davies showed on Tuesday that even on a bad day, there aren’t many other pitchers you would want on the mound.
Despite mediocre stuff, Mesquite’s ace right-hander battled out of jams and helped the top-seeded Wildcats advance to the 5A Division I baseball semifinals with a 12-2, six-inning run-rule victory over No. 9 Brophy at Glendale Camelback Ranch Stadium.
Davies allowed the leadoff man to reach in four of his five innings of work, but only gave up a pair of unearned runs in the contest.
“I had the (right) mentality, but I just didn’t feel (the pitches) a whole lot,” Davies said. “I had to work with what I had. Luckily our offense was there to pick me up.”
Mesquite’s offense was potent enough to stick Davies to leads of 5-0 and 8-1 early on.
Brophy’s only big threat came in the top of the fifth, when Dan Winkler scored on an error and the Broncos loaded the bases with only one out, trailing by six.
However, Davies buckled down and struck out Connor Messman to end the threat.
“He goes out on the mound and he competes,” Mesquite coach Jeff Holland said. “He didn’t have his best stuff, but the guy’s just a competitor. I wish I had 25 Zach Davies’ every year.”
Brophy defeated Mesquite in the second round of the tournament to drop the Wildcats into the loser’s bracket. In that game, Mesquite had trouble cashing in on scoring chances.
This time around, the team got going early and often, scoring four runs in the first inning to start the blowout win. Mesquite will now play Hamilton in the semifinals, needing to win a pair of games on Thursday to make the championship game.
“We knew we’d battle back, and we knew we’d face (Brophy) again,” Davies said. “We were going to get them the second time. You may beat us once, but it’s not going to happen again.
The Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to enact the run rule, as Jake Howard’s bases-loaded single to deep left-center field drove in Garrett Jeffries for the winning run.
Jeffries went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and reached base all four times he batted. Lane Doty was 2-for-2 with four runs scored and Spencer Applebach was 2-for-3 with a solo homer.