The Tucson Badgers will get a chance to extract that bad taste from their mouth on Tuesday night.
THMS will play for the school’s record 30th baseball state championship after a convincing 10-0 run rule win Saturday night over Ironwood Ridge at Amphi High School.
The Badgers are appearing in the Division II State Championship for a second straight year. They lost to Canyon del Oro 3-1 in the 2015 final.
Tucson, the 9th seed entering the tournament, will take on #5 seed Greenway at Tempe Diablo Stadium. First pitch is 4 p.m.
It’s been 27 years since the last of Tucson’s 29 state championships.
The Badgers went back-to-back in 1987 and 1988 under Tom Lundy. Current head coach Oscar Romero, an assistant in 1988, took over the program in 1990.
Tucson has played in two state championship games under Romero (2002 and 2015) losing both times to the Dorados.
Romero has 435 career wins but the big victory in the final game of the season has eluded him.
Tucson scored three times in the first inning to take control of their game with the Nighthawks.
A pair of walks by Ironwood Ridge starter Josh Darang came home to score when Nighthawks catcher Adam Mays threw the ball down the leftfield line on a double steal by the Badgers.
Kyle Rivera’s RBI single made it 3-0 THMS in the first.
Tucson closed the game out with a five-spot in the fifth. Jacob Federico drove home two on a double that deflected off the glove of IRHS centerfielder Jacob Allen.
Martin Garcia ended the evening with an RBI single. He finished the game four-for-four with three RBI.
Jose Contreras allowed just two hits and struck out five in five innings.
Sophomore George Arias will get the start for Tucson in Tuesday afternoon’s final. He’s 5-1 with a 0.80 ERA this season.
Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
Takuma Sato gave Andretti Autosport a 2nd consecutive victory in the Indianapolis 500 by holding off Helio Castroneves in the closing laps.
Wildcat freshman leaps into the championship.