SURPRISE - Tanque Verde is making a habit of appearing in the state championship game. The Hawks won their second title in three years, defeating No. 2 St. David 18-6 in a five-inning, run-rule-shortened 1A state championship game Saturday at Surprise Baseball Stadium.

"It's amazing. We all worked our tails off the whole year," said shortstop Mark Harris. "Seeing it all come together like that and finish our year like that to win it all … . It's well worth it."

Harris tripled into left center to score Nic Martin and give Tanque Verde a 2-0 lead in the first inning, then the rout was on.

The top-seeded Hawks gave plenty of run support to starter Jose Perez, scoring in every inning, including nine in the fourth to put the game out of reach after sending 14 batters to the plate.

"Our team is solid everywhere," said Perez, who gave up four runs before being relieved by David Novak in the fourth. "We have a lot of people that can hit for power, but they can battle a lot, and that can wear pitchers down."

The Hawks led the state this year, scoring an average of 14 runs per game and had double-digit runs in all of their games during the championship run.

After winning the championship in 2009, Tanque Verde lost last year to Gila Bend in the title game.

"This baseball team had a target on them from the beginning of the year," said Hawks coach Jim Lawwill. "I'm just impressed with how resilient they were. To get to the state championship game is one thing. To get there three years in a row and then be able to win it twice, when your school is five years old, it just speaks volumes."

TANQUE VERDE 18

ST. DAVID 6