D-I baseball: Mesquite relief, late runs knock out Horizon
Originally published: May 15, 2014 - 12:00 am
Mesquite fired the last volley Thursday afternoon in its Division I baseball tournament game with Horizon. It was double-barreled and lethal.
George Valenzuela pitched four innings of shutout relief and Carson Burton and Nick Daley delivered RBI doubles to break a tie in the sixth lifting Mesquite to a 6-3 victory over Horizon in an elimination game at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Mesquite, which has been close to winning a state title in baseball but hasn't yet, has one more elimination game to win to advance to the championship game. That game will be Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Diablo Stadium against the Hamilton-Chaparral loser -- the late game Thursday.
Valenzuela, a senior right-hander, won for the second time in the tournament in relief of starter Matt Heibult. Heibult was hit hard in the second and third innings. He allowed three runs on four hits in the third and that prompted Mesquite coach Jeff Holland to go to Valenzuela. Valenzuela threw three innings of one-hit, shutout relief against Sandra Day O'Connor in an elimination game last Saturday.
Mesquite built a 3-0 lead off Horizon's Trevor Horn after two innings. A double-play ground out in the first made it 1-0 and RBI doubles by Parker Holland an Burton were the other run-producers.
Horizon rallied on a long, two-run homer to right by Zach Taylor in the third and tied the game on Horn's single three batters later. Mesquite knocked out Horn in the sixth with Burton's RBI double and Daley's double. Nick Guevitz tacked on another run in the seventh giving Valenzuela a nice cushion.
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