PHOENIX - It didn't take long for No. 17 Pima High School to put a scare into fourth-seeded Desert Christian on Friday.
Three batters into the Division IV baseball semifinal at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Pima's Wyatt Reynolds smacked a line drive that hit Eagles standout sophomore pitcher Zach Malis on the left foot before ricocheting into shallow right field for a two-out single.
But Malis stayed in the game to toss a complete-game shutout, allowing two hits and striking out nine, and Desert Christian scored six runs in the first inning to jump-start a 10-0 run-rule win.
Looking for its first state title, Desert Christian will play No. 3 Phoenix Christian today at 7 p.m. It's the Eagles' first shot at the championship since 1995, when it lost to Northwest Christian.
"Obviously it was a big game, and I just wanted to give what I could," said Malis, who was battling a head cold that kept him out of Thursday's practice.
"I'm still not feeling great today, but I think the adrenaline kind of kicked in. It's very helpful to have all that run support. It was a great win, and as a team, that's all that matters."
Desert Christian struck first when Malis lined an RBI single to left field following back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the first. Malis showed no lingering effects from the line drive off his foot, and the Eagles were far from done.
Senior third baseman Trevor Jorg drove in two more runs with a single, and after another base hit and back-to-back two-out walks, leadoff hitter Daulton Hopkins drove in two more runs with his second hit of the inning.
The Eagles added another run in the second and three more in the third - taking advantage of Pima miscues, including a dropped fly ball, errant throws and other unforced errors - while executing a number of successful steals and sacrifice bunts.
"We weren't the same team we were last weekend," Pima coach Greg Cooper said.
But Desert Christian will take the win any way it can get it - especially for a shot at a state title.
"I'm just so stoked for Desert Christian and Southeast Tucson," said Hopkins, who added that just one player on this year's roster was alive for the Eagles' last appearance in 1995.
"This has been a long time coming for us."