It was a game of wits, but Tyger Talley’s slider didn’t hurt, either.
The Chaparral right-hander came out on top against a team he knows all too well, throwing a complete game and striking out 13 as No. 2 Chaparral defeated No. 7 Desert Mountain 3-2 on Thursday in the third round of the Division I baseball tournament at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Talley said he has played against the Desert Mountain players so many times growing up that facing them is as much of a mind game as it is physical.
“I basically know their lineup top to bottom, and they know me,” Talley said. “You have to make adjustments, and I got the better of them today.”
Talley used pinpoint location with his slider to keep Desert Mountain off-balance, but it looked like he would be the hard-luck loser late in the game.
Tim Willittse hit a two-run double in the top of the fourth inning to put the Wolves ahead, and Cody Erickson kept the potent Chaparral offense at bay through five innings.
Dylan Cozens led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo homer — his 17th of the year that cleared the scoreboard in right field — and Chaparral got a sacrifice fly from Collin Gabel to tie the game. Then, with runners on first and second, Eric Brossart singled through the right side for the go-ahead run.
Talley struck out the final two batters of the game and put down 11 in a row after the Willittse double.
“We’ve been trusting those guys all year long to get it done and it just didn’t happen (early),” Chaparral coach Sam Messina said. “(But) we just keep rolling that lineup over.”
Chaparral stays in the winner’s bracket and will face off against either Sandra Day O’Connor or Mesquite on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Desert Mountain drops to the loser’s bracket and will have an uphill battle the rest of the way now that it cannot lose again.
“This team has a lot of heart, and they’ve been through, in the last three years, a lot of games like this,” Desert Mountain coach Bryan Rice said. “They’re not going to give up. There’s no question about it.”