The Holy Cross baseball team pulled out a last at-bat, 4-3 win over District 9-5A rival Jesuit on Saturday at Holy Cross, but for Tigers coach Cass Hargis, it was “just like any other win.”
“That’s what we’ve been preaching all year,” Hargis said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. We only worry about ourselves. If we play as well as we can, it doesn’t matter who’s in the other dugout. We’re going to be fine.”
Holy Cross improved to 9-10, winning back-to-back games after losing five straight. Jesuit fell to 14-6. The Tigers are 2-0 in district, and the Blue Jays are 1-2.
Holy Cross’ Tre Turner led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left field and advanced to second base when Jesuit had a miscue getting the ball back in.
A sacrifice bunt by Grant Schultz put Turner at third. Cole Nalesnik took advantage of the opportunity and lifted a fly ball to left field that was just deep enough for Turner to score the winning run.
“I was just looking to put a ball in play,” Nalesnik said. “I had one of the fastest guys on third base.
“I knew he was going to score if he could.”
Turner, an Arizona State football signee who is also slated to play baseball for the Sun Devils, crossed home plate right after the ball reached the cutoff man, too late for Jesuit to stop him.
“I was just thinking I had to score,” Turner said. “Big game like this, fly balls like that, you have to score.”
Despite the late-game heroics, the Tigers wouldn’t let themselves get caught up in the moment.
“It’s amazing, but it’s just the beginning,” Nalesnik said. “Just the beginning of a long journey for us. … We have 10 more games (to win).”
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning, but Josh Schmidt’s double to deep left-center field scored two runs and gave the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead.
Sloppiness cost Jesuit in the bottom of the sixth inning when a fielding error by shortstop Nick Ray allowed the tying run to score.
Holy Cross starting pitcher Brenden Taravella pitched into the seventh inning, but Hargis chose to bring in Alex Wiltz in relief after Brandon Briuglio reached on an error.
After an Austin North sacrifice bunt, Wiltz struck out Hayden Fuentes and induced an infield pop-up from Connor Maginnis to escape the inning without any damage. He would be credited with the win.
“I knew my team had my back the whole time,” Wiltz said.
Next up for Jesuit is St. Aug at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Barrow Field. Holy Cross plays at Shaw at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.