Andale only needed one win in its doubleheader against Maize South to clinch the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division IV title, and it took care of business in the first game with a 2-1 win.
Maize South rebounded with a 9-5 victory in the second game to make Andale's title-winning night a little less satisfying for first-year coach Mike Viramontez.
"It being my first year, we wanted to come out and win the league title like we did last year," Viramontez said. "And we won a tougher league this year. Clearwater is good. Maize South is good. That says a lot about our guys, but it's definitely bittersweet."
After Game 1, Viramontez had little to complain about. His starter Danny Kihle pitched a complete game, giving up one run and two hits. He outlasted Maize South sophomore Kane McCarthy, who pitched six innings of four-hit, two-run baseball.
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"The first game was good," Kihle said. "We had to battle against a great team. I felt like I was getting ahead of hitters. I struggled at the end a little bit, but I was able to get my fastball past those guys."
McCarthy didn't get much help from his offense. Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Maize South had men on second and third with one out, but a line out and a strikeout swinging left them stranded.
McCarthy went 2 for 4 in Game 2 with two RBIs to help give his starting pitcher Zach Keller some run support. He sparked a five-run fourth inning for the Mavericks that gave the team a 6-1 lead.
"We all want to get out there and hit," McCarthy said. "The fact that I got to do it and came up big feels good."
Kord Sanders, who closed the game by striking out the side, said the win over Andale was huge for Maize South's two-year-old program.
"We wanted to come out here and get two (wins) tonight and win the league," Sanders said. "But our main goal at the beginning of the season was to get to state. We came out here and gave it our all the second game."
Maize South (10-6, 7-3) and Andale (16-2, 6-2) each came away from the doubleheader with something.
Maize South coach Chad Christensen "was my coach in high school," Viramontez said. "I've got all of the respect in the world for him. He coached at Maize, and I went to Maize. I looked up to him. So this win means a lot to me."
Andale110 000 0 — 2 4 1 Maize South000 100 0 — 1 2 1
Andale001 012 1—5 7 0 Maize South001 503 x—9 9 3