Tucson outlasted Mountain View on Friday night, thanks in large part to timely at-bats and junior pitcher Martin Dicochea.
Dicochea came in for senior captain Ryan Norrix in the second inning and fanned 10 batters in 5 2/3 innings. Five of his strikeouts came in the final two innings as the undefeated Badgers topped the host Mountain Lions 4-3.
Dicochea's plan on the mound was a simple approach: He trusted his arm and his teammates.
"I came in and just tried to throw strikes, get outs and let my defense help me; that was the biggest part," he said. "Ground balls, fly balls, it was (defense)."
Badgers coach Oscar Romero didn't hesitate to take out Norrix, who is 3-0 this year.
Dicochea "did an outstanding job," Romero added. "That's the great thing about this club. We always have another guy who can get on the hill, in case one guy falters a little bit."
The Badgers (6-0) scrapped together five hits behind the combined effort on the mound. Senior first baseman Felipe Peralta was 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI single and a run scored.
Junior left fielder Ivan Estrella came up with an RBI single to tie the game in the fifth and then scored the go-ahead run that same inning with the help of two Mountain View errors.
"We were able to move runners and get the key hits to make a difference," Romero said. "You can never tell what part of our lineup is going to hurt somebody, because all of them can do something with the bat."
Mountain View coach Brian Moore said he noticed some of his players deciding to swing before the pitch was thrown.
"We got behind, and we haven't been behind much this season, and my players started pushing," Moore said. "They were not staying disciplined hitters like we've been doing all year long."
Junior center fielder Buddy Balsino went 3 for 4 for the Mountain Lions (4-3), had a double, two singles and an RBI.
"We made this pitcher look a lot better than he really was," Balsino said. "I guess it just wasn't our night tonight. I think we were over-anxious, and people got a little freaked out by his speed."