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Knights, Spartans to meet for title

Appeal Staff Report

Pete Lazzari’s game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the Galena Spartans into today’s championship round in a 9-8 win over the Reno Muckdogs in the Joe DiMaggio State Tournament on Saturday in John L. Harvey Field.

It was a heartbreaking day for the Muckdogs, who suffered their second straight loss on a game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh when Thomas Wood came through with the game winning hit in an 8-7 win for the Reno Knights that eliminated the Muckdogs. The Knights stayed alive with an 8-2 win over Fallon.

The Spartans and Knights will play at 11 a.m. today at John L. Harvey Field. If the Spartans win, they will win the tournament title. If the Knights win, they’ll force another game for the title at 2 p.m.

The winner will advance to the Joe DiMaggio World Series to be played July 26-31 at John L. Harvey Field.

Lazzari’s walk-off single capped off a wild, back and forth game between the Spartans and Muckdogs. The Muckdogs had taken an 8-7 lead in the top of the seventh on a two-run home run by Brian Barnett, who will play at Western Nevada College.

Matt Evans allowed Barnett’s shot, but made up for it by leading off the bottom of the seventh with a double. Scott Underwood followed with an RBI double that tied the game before Lazarri came through with his game-winning hit.

Galena took a 3-2 lead in the first on Jake Hess’ three-run homer. Matt Gardner’s RBI double during a two-run rally in the second helped the Muckdogs take a 4-3 lead. Brian Poynter hit an RBI double for Galena that tied the score 4-4 in the bottom of the second.

Poynter started for Galena and was able to escape a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the fifth, keeping the game tied at 4-4. But in the sixth Poynter made a mistake that allowed the Muckdogs to take the lead.

With runners at first and third and two outs, the runner from first took off. Poynter balked before he stepped off, allowing a run to score. Kevin Carr’s RBI double then gave the Muckdogs a 6-4 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth after Corey Metoyer singled, Galena scored two runs to tie the score 6-6. Eric Maupin then followed with an RBI single to give Galena a 7-6 lead.

Maupin, Hess and J.D. Peters all had two hits for Galena while Galena graduate Basim Azzam had two hits for the Muckdogs. Poynter went 5.2 innings and Evans pitched 1.1 innings for the win.

KNIGHTS 8, MUCKDOGS 7

Drew Simpson almost ended the game in the bottom of the seventh when he hit a drive off the left field fence as he ended up with a leadoff double. Wood then came through with his game-winning hit.

The Muckdogs had overcome a 6-1 deficit to tie the score 7-7. Cavin Hill had a 6-1 lead and had pitched a no-hitter through 4.1 innings before Ryan Mirch hit a two-run single for the Muckdogs’ first hit, cutting the deficit to 6-3.

In the sixth, Josh McCarthy had an RBI triple and Willie Carr hit a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 7-5. In the seventh, Barnett singled and Azzam was hit by a pitch. Barnett scored on an error and after Van Love singled, Kevin Carr hit an RBI sacrifice fly to make it 7-7.

Wood and Pat Gallagher had three hits and J.D. Judd added two hits for the Knights. Judd pitched the last 1.2 innings for the win.

KNIGHTS 8, FALLON 2

Tim Moore pitched a complete game for the win. Judd went 3-for-4 and Shawn Walters and Jared Munson each had two hits for the Knights.