Division I state baseball playoff games were nearly all heart-stoppers Tuesday. Seven of the eight elimination games were decided by one run.
Here's how those nail-biters were won:
No. 1 Hamilton scored three times in the third inning and that held up in a 3-2 victory over No. 17 Chandler. The final hit of that frame — an RBI single by Hunter Robson — proved to be decisive. Kent Hasler tossed a complete-game five-hitter. He didn't allow an earned run as his usually stellar defense committed four errors.
No. 2 Chaparral had its hands full with No. 15 Corona del Sol. Corona scored twice in the top of the seventh to grab a 4-3 lead, but Chaparral turned it around by tying the game on a single by Kyle Palmer and winning on Andrew Shaps double, 5-4.
No. 20 Liberty took down No. 4 Desert Ridge using a five-run, fifth to build a 7-2 lead. That margin melted to 7-6 by the seventh. Desert Ridge loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but pitcher Tyler Wyatt fanned the final two hitters to preserve the victory.
No. 22 Gilbert built a 4-2 lead over No. 6 Mountain Pointe, thanks to a two-run double by Matt Keppler, RBI single by Chris Smith and and an errant pickoff throw. Alex Goodman held Mountain Pointe for the better part of six innings. Chase Merriman nailed the 4-3 win with the tying run on base with a three-pitch strikeout.
No. 3 Horizon was taken to the brink by No. 14 Sunnyslope. Matt Kroon, who had homered earlier in the game, singled in the bottom of the sixth to keep the Huskies afloat with a 6-5 win. Horizon battled back from a 5-2 deficit after three innings. The Huskies Trevor Horn notched his 8th win of the season against no losses.
No. 5 Sandra Day O'Connor got a complete-game, two-hitter from Cameron Ming to send No. 12 Centennial home, 2-1. Ming also delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit with a single in the fifth. Ming fanned nine batters.
No. 7 Pinnacle managed to shut down a game No. 23 Valley Vista, 6-5. The Pioneers needed a five-run rally in the fourth to overcome a 5-1 deficit. Kobie Foppe doubled in two runs and Gerard Hernandez and Ryan Nelson knocked in a run each in the frame. The final run — the decisive run — scored on a wild pitch. Trevor Colceri earned a save fro stater Blake Flint with three scoreless, one-hit innings of relief.
The only game not decided by a run went to No. 8 Mesquite with its 7-1 victory over No. 9 Mes Mountain View. Matt Heibult went the distance allowing four hits and striking out eight. Carson Burton launched a three-run homer as part of a six-run outburst and Tyler Pollett knocked in an additional three runs.
The schedule for Thursday May 8 for the first-round of double-elimination play with the Elite 8 has double headers at Tempe Diablo Stadium and Maryvale Baseball Stadium. At Diablo its Liberty vs. Sandra Day O'Connor at 4 p.m. followed a 6:30 p.m. by Hamilton and Mesquite. The Maryvale twinbill starts with Gilbert and Horizon at 4 and then Pinnacle and Chaparral at 6:30.