Another solid game from the staff ace. And an offensive boost from a newcomer.
That added up Thursday to Scottsdale Desert Mountain posting a 7-2 win over Phoenix Brophy in a 5A-I state baseball elimination game at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Desert Mountain (21-10) remains alive in the tournament and next faces Tempe Corona del Sol at 4 p.m. Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in another elimination game. Corona advanced by beating Gilbert 6-4 on Thursday.
Brophy, which reached the 5A-I championship game last season, finished 2008 with an 18-11 record.
Desert Mountain ace Brad Douthit, a senior left-hander headed to USC this fall, didn't have his best stuff Thursday. He was good enough, however, to scatter nine hits in the first five innings and close the game in style by retiring the last eight hitters he faced.
Just prior to his strong finish, Douthit's teammates gave him some wiggle room. The Wolves were leading 3-2 after five innings when varsity newcomer Adam Sonabend belted a long two-run homer to left field in the top of the sixth to push the lead to 5-2.
Sonabend, a sophomore who came up to the varsity late in the season, got his feet wet Tuesday with a pinch-hit single against Mesa Mountain View. On Thursday he was rewarded with a surprise start. He responded by collecting three hits in all and driving in three runs.
"I didn't have him in the lineup on the way over," Desert Mountain coach Bryan Rice said. "I changed my mind and remade the lineup with him in it (designated hitter). He came through."
All of Sonabend's RBIs came during two-run rallies in the sixth and seventh innings, giving Douthit a solid cushion to close out Brophy.
Acknowledging Douthit wasn't at the top of his game, Rice still praised his college-bound No. 1.
"He's mentally tough, a real competitor," Rice said. "That showed today."
Brophy's Drew Maggi had three hits to lead the Broncos. Brandon Bayardi, Jake Williams and Brian McIlhenny collected two hits apiece. The quartet combined for all of Brophy's hits off Douthit. Douthit improved to 8-4 on the season and won for the second time in the tournament. He fanned six and walked one.