Mountain Pointe grounds Highland - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Mountain Pointe grounds Highland

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Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 11:02 pm | Updated: 11:40 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

In its one-run loss to Gilbert Mesquite on Saturday in the third round of the 5A Division I state baseball tournament, Phoenix Mountain Pointe felt it simply didn’t generate enough scoring chances.

SLIDESHOW: See photos from the game

In its one-run loss to Gilbert Mesquite on Saturday in the third round of the 5A Division I state baseball tournament, Phoenix Mountain Pointe felt it simply didn’t generate enough scoring chances.

SLIDESHOW: See photos from the game

The 14th-seeded Pride were handed several golden opportunities by No. 7 Gilbert Highland in an elimination game Tuesday. They took advantage of just enough of them and will now get another shot at the Wildcats.

Jake Waldren’s two-out, two-RBI single in the fourth inning was the difference and starter Jordan Madison and the defense behind him came up with big plays at crucial times to preserve a 3-1 victory at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Mountain Pointe (20-14) will face No. 15 Mesquite at 4 p.m. Thursday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in the semifinals. The Pride are 2-1 against the Wildcats this year and will have to beat them twice more Thursday to advance to the finals.

Mesquite, which hasn’t lost at state, can get there with just one victory. If a second game is necessary, it will immediately follow the first.

“It’s a little unusual,” Mountain Pointe coach Brandon Buck said of the No. 14 vs. No. 15 rematch, “but exciting.”

As was Tuesday’s contest, which could just as easily have gone Highland’s way.

Staring with a two-run deficit with three outs remaining, the Hawks (18-16) loaded the bases on three singles. But Madison (eight hits, five strikeouts) got Trey Maldonado to ground out to end the game.

“He’s been throwing awesome,” Buck said. “His last three or four starts have been lights out. He’s just been able to locate all of his pitches and keep guys off balance.”

The leadoff batter reached for Mountain Pointe in each of the first five innings and in the fourth the Pride, who had only four hits, finally scored. After a walk and single put runners on first and second, Eric Klem popped up to right field, but the ball bounced off Zach Gulley’s glove, allowing Nick Lira to score from second.

“I was running so I didn’t see him drop it,” Klem said. “It was obviously exciting to drive in a run there.”

Two batters later, Jake Waldren drove in Matt Gibson and Klem with a single to give the Pride a 3-1 advantage.

“It was outside and I was thinking drive it up the middle and I did. I knew we had to get those runs.” Waldren said.

“The bats struggled a little bit today,” Buck said. “We were getting guys on . . . but we just couldn’t find that hit at the right time. Luckily, Waldren came though with a big two-out, two-RBI single. He’s been pretty clutch all year.”

Although Pride had only four hits, 13 other runners reached via walk (five), error (four) or hit by pitch (four).

Highland scored its run in the third on a two-out single by Colton Zebe that plated Trevor Hestand from second.

All of Mountain Pointe’s runs were unearned.

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