TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Canyon del Oro Baseball is back in the state championship game.
The Dorados (31-2) planted a six-spot on Tucson High starter Jesus Contreras and the Badgers in the fifth inning on their way to an 8-5 win the Division II State Semifinals.
The Badgers now fall into the elimination bracket where they must win their way into Tuesday's state title game by beating Salpointe Catholic on Saturday night at Hi Corbett Field. The Lancers eliminated Sunnyside earlier in the evening with a 6-3 win.
Max Smith using an old school over-the-top pitching delivery held the Badgers in-check through four and a third innings before tiring.
The senior's RBI double broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the 5th to ignite the six-run inning. Nate Soriano knocked in a run with a single and Nick Ames added two more with a double. Two additional Dorado runs scored on an error in the inning.
The Badgers (28-6) and Lancers (27-5) will square off for the first time this season in a game that will start at 6:30 p.m.
CDO is back in the title game for the first time since they won the 4A state championship in 2009. It's the program's 11th trip to the finals where they have previously won seven times (1979, 1984, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2009).
In Softball action, #4-seed Cienega is in the Div. II state championship game after a 3-1 win over 2nd seeded Salpointe Catholic. The Bobcats return to the title game for the first time since 2011, the third of their three straight trips to the Class 4A Division I championship. Cienega won it all in 2010.
The Lancers fall to the Elimination bracket where they will be forced to travel to Phoenix Friday for a 6 p.m. showdown at the Rose Mofford Complex with 9th seed Peoria Sunrise Mountain.
The winner takes on the Bobcats in the state championship game at ASU's Farrington Stadium on Monday at 5 p.m.