No. 3 Nogales defeated No. 7 Waddell Canyon View 3-2 in the 5A elimination-bracket game on Luis Martin Romero’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday night at Tempe’s Diablo Stadium.
The Apaches (25-7) will face No. 2 Queen Creek Casteel (25-6) in the semifinal round Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Mesa’s HoHoKam Park. It is a rematch of a third-round game won 10-0 by the Colts last week at Diablo Stadium.
Nogales must beat Casteel on Wednesday and Thursday at HoHoKam to advance to the championship game May 16 at Diablo Stadium.
Luis Marty Romero walks it off in the 8th for Nogales. Beats Canyon View 5-4. Sets up Wednesday semifinal rematch with Casteel pic.twitter.com/JsTyqJQ4Mu
— Richard Obert (@azc_obert) May 9, 2023
The Apaches prevailed against Canyon View in extra innings, breaking a scoreless stretch for both teams after the Jaguars scored two runs in the fourth to tie the game at 4.
After an out was recorded in the bottom of the eighth, Jorge Amaya singled and Alain Garcia reached base on a throwing error on a bunt attempt. Amaya moved to third on the play. Garcia then advanced to second on a defensive indifference.
The next batter struck out before Romero hit the single to left field, scoring Amaya with the winning run.
What’s it like hitting the wall off to win it, @ApacheBaseball1 Marty Romero all smiles as the Apaches beat Jaguars pic.twitter.com/EeX336x1H0
— Kevin McCabe (@KevinMcCabe987) May 9, 2023
Amaya, Nogales’ No. 8 batter in the lineup, went 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI. His run-scoring single with two outs in the second inning tied the game at 2.
Nogales rallied for two runs on two outs in the third to increase the lead to 4-2. Salvador Valenzuela, the winning pitcher in relief, hit an RBI double as part of the third-inning rally. Valenzuela came home when the next batter, David Zazueta, hit a single.
Zazueta finished 2 for 3 with a run and RBI.
Romero was the starting pitcher, going 5 2/3 innings before Esteban Acevedo relieved him with two outs in the sixth. Romero, who went to second base after being relieved, scattered six hits on the mound, allowing three earned runs with three walks and four strikeouts.
Valenzuela allowed a hit in his 1 2/3 innings of work. He struck out three and walked none.