Good luck to Gilbert Mesquite against Chandler Hamilton in the 5A-I baseball state championship on Saturday night. You’re going to need it.
The Huskies’ 15-2 victory against Scottsdale Desert Mountain on Thursday afternoon was typical late-season Hamilton: Spend a couple innings watching and the rest of the game feasting.
Those 15 runs all came in the fourth inning. Hamilton sent 19 hitters to the plate, had 12 hits in the inning, and had leadoff hitter Sammy Vandenheuvel bat three times.
It was enough offense to make Huskies football coach Steve Belles blush in the bleachers, and Desert Mountain feel ill, and if you think Desert Mountain is some cupcake, then good luck explaining how they could have been a 24-win team and one of four teams left in 5A Division I.
Nobody is playing like the Huskies have for the past four weeks, but it goes back further. Hamilton played one team with a losing record this season and lost six games by two runs or fewer.
They’ve scored at least 10 runs in every tournament game and outscored Mesquite 28-6 in the three previous meetings (although the Huskies haven’t seen the Wildcats ace).
Earlier this tournament, when Hamilton beat North Canyon and Mesquite toppled Mesa Red Mountain, Wildcats coach Jeff Holland told Hamilton coach Mike Woods a premonition these two teams would see each other on one more time on a Saturday.
It’s up to 10 consecutive wins for Hamilton, so who they’ve faced lately hasn’t mattered.
“We’re rolling,” Woods said, “but we’ve got one more to go.”