Eventually, Phoenix Desert Vista was going to have to throw a pitch to Nolan Gorman’s liking.
With runners on first and second, Gorman pounced on a fastball, hitting a towering, 400-plus-foot home run that provided the offensive spark host Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor needed to beat Phoenix Desert Vista 11-8 on Saturday in the first round of the 6A state baseball tournament.
“I tried to hit the ball as hard as I could,” said Gorman, a senior third baseman who is projected to be a first-round MLB draft pick in June. “Cut the lead in half and good things happen after that.”
Actually, Gorman’s three-run blast brought O’Connor back from a 6-2 deficit to 6-5 with two outs in the fourth inning off starter Brandon Childers, who had walked seven and gave up his first hit before Gorman delivered.
“We were fortunate,” SDO coach Jeff Baumgartner said. “We had guys who grinded it out, then Nolan with that three-run blast gave us the belief that, ‘Oh, man, we’re back in it.’ ”