CDO was trailing Salpointe 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning in the 4A state championship game before senior center fielder Austin Madsen cracked a solo home run that bounced off the bottom of the left field scoreboard at Hi-Corbett Field to tie the ballgame.
The home run ended up being just the shot of hope and confidence that the Dorados needed, activating a five-run inning that proved to be the deciding factor in a 7-6 victory that earned CDO its first state championship since 2015, and ninth title overall.
“It feels great; it’s surreal,” Madsen said. “I’ll never be able to live this moment down. It’s gonna be in my brain forever.”
CDO was down 3-0 before beginning to claw its way back in the top of the fourth by scoring two runs, setting up a game-changing moment in the sixth that marked an evident change in momentum for the Dorados.
“Three, one. He hadn’t thrown a curveball for a strike very often, and I just crowded the dish and waited for a fastball, and I got it and swung as hard as I can,” he said.
For Madsen, who experienced losing to Salpointe in the state semifinals last season, and once this season, the victory was beyond gratifying.
“Sweet, sweet victory right there, that is insane,” he said. “Taking one split series during the regular season and taking this one felt real good.”
Salpointe rallied in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the lead to 7-6 off an RBI single by Arizona signee Mason White and a two-run double by Omar Monreal.
When the game ended after Monreal was called out on an attempted steal of third, Madsen’s game-changing swing seemed that much more of a significant factor in the win for CDO.
“I think the momentum shifted when Madsen hit the home run,” CDO head coach Jason Hisey said. “I think when that happened, and honestly, we should have tacked on a couple more on in the sixth…”
Madsen was quick to credit Hisey and the CDO coaching staff for his growth as a player over the years.
“Everything I’ve learned is from the coaches. Everything,” he said.
For Hisey, who had three runner-up finishes in state championship games coaching at Catalina Foothills in 2002, 2004 and 2005 before finally getting over the hump on Monday night, Madsen’s growth as a player is astounding.
After all, Madsen’s shining moment in the sixth may have been the difference in Hisey coming up just short again in a state championship game and finally taking home a well-deserved state title.
“He is the most improved baseball player I have ever coached,” he said. “If you would have told me he was going to have the year he had after last year, I would have said you’re crazy. He’s an unbelievable learner. Just putting, applying, and getting better each and every day.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He is currently attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies. print