Tyler Bozeman had a pair of two-out RBI hits, Clay Staton had another one and Cole Evans pitched a shutout as Centennial clinched its first Class AAA baseball tournament berth with a 3-0 sectional win Saturday over Rossview.
“It’s been a trend for us through this postseason,” Evans said of the team’s offensive success. “It’s a risky thing to do, but we’ve been getting the hits with two outs, and it’s been putting runs on the scoreboard for us.”
Centennial (31-9) went up 1-0 as Rossview starting pitcher Kyle Anderson hit Deon Sanders to lead off the second. Evans flew out to deep center field, then Sanders advanced on an errant pickoff throw before Billy Lowe fouled out to third base. Staton’s grounder eluded second baseman Jeremy Gonzalez with Sanders scoring on the play.
“We’re just trying to hit the top half of the ball, try to keep it out of the air and get the run in any way we can,” Staton said.
Centennial extended its lead in the third as Bozeman singled to drive in Bailey Wisniowski, and added another run in the fifth on Bozeman’s bloop single to left field that scored Kyle Brennan.
“You just try to choke up a little and drive the ball, put it in play and hope it finds a hole,” Bozeman said. “Two-out hits move momentum. They kill (the opponents’) momentum and give you momentum to go out and put up goose eggs.”
Rossview (27-12) advanced just two runners to second base.
Kevin Kane led off the third with a single and moved up on a sacrifice bunt, but Evans speared a groundball to his right and Kane was caught in a rundown for the second out.
In the seventh inning, the Hawks had runners at first and second with two outs before Trey Martin’s grounder to Sanders at second base started a game-ending double play.
“I didn’t think we played that poorly,” Rossview coach Jason Rice said. “We didn’t pitch that badly. We just couldn’t produce any offense.
“The kid on the mound did a great job competing. He’s probably one of the best competitors we’ve seen. We just couldn’t put the bat on the ball, and that kept us from doing the things we need to do to be successful.”