Mesa Red Mountain shed itself of a losing funk three weeks ago. And Tuesday night the wins kept coming as well as the 5A-I East Valley Region baseball title.
Red Mountain scored eight runs with two outs and no one on in the second inning to snap a tie, and went on to topple defending region champ Mesa Mountain View, 14-4, at HoHoKam Park.
"We struggled in the spring break tournament and for a time after that," Red Mountain coach Jason Grantham said. "Ever since we lost to (Glendale) Deer Valley 9-0, we've found ourselves. We're playing with a lot of confidence. Now is the time to be doing that."
Red Mountain was 6-12 after getting thumped by the 5A-II Skyhawks on April 7. Three weeks later the Mountain Lions are 15-12 overall, 7-0 in region and region champs. Mountain View dropped to 16-11, 4-3.
For the second time in two weeks, Red Mountain's Colten Sheley (5-2) tamed Mountain View with his effort on the mound. His start Tuesday wasn't as good as the one on April 15, but after giving up four runs in the first two innings he tossed three shutout innings - backed of course by the Mountain Lions odd eight-run second inning.
"Colten has matured so much this season," Grantham said. "The troubles he had the first inning or to would have flustered him last year, two years ago. He got to the third, started throwing more first-pitch strikes and got more comfortable."
Mountain View starter Brian Williams (6-1) appeared to be on the rebound after a rocky first in which he gave up three hits, two walks and four runs. He retired Red Mountain's first two hitters in the second, but that's when the night unraveled for the Toros. The second of three hits by Derek Medoza -- his second double - opened the rally. An intentional walk to Cole Gleason (three hits and two RBIs) and a walk to Mickey Caldwell loaded the bases. Ty Grant's slow bouncer to short was thrown in the dirt on a bang-bang play at first and a run scored giving the Lions the lead for good, 5-4.
A single, two walks, a hit batter and a three-run double by T.J. Bennett followed, taking the score to 12-4.
The victory puts Red Mountain in the top eight in the power-point rankings heading into today's season finale against Mesa High. Teams in the top eight play their first round state tournament game on Saturday at home. Mountain View likely will drop to 10th, 11th or 12th. Mountain View visits Mesa Dobson today in its final game of the regular season.