FARMINGTON — In a day that featured blown leads and multiple comebacks, Piedra Vista and Farmington High found ways to advance to the 4A baseball quarterfinals.
The No. 1 Panthers rallied from a 5-1 deficit to beat No. 16 Grants 9-5 and sweep their first-round playoff series. The No. 6 Scorpions needed three games to dispatch of a pesky No. 11 Miyamura squad on Saturday at Ricketts Park.
The Grants hitters were able to take advantage of PV starting pitcher Wyatt Weaver's low-velocity knuckleball and fastball, scoring three runs in the fourth inning to open a 5-1 lead.
"You look at their schedule, and they probably saw a ton of softer arms from the 2A and 3A schools they were playing," PV head coach Mike McGaha said. "Those teams at the bottom of the bracket have nothing to lose and can take a bunch of risks. We had a couple of bad hops and didn't turn double plays, then had a couple of mental breakdowns."
Weaver responded with a single to lead off the bottom of the fourth that sparked a four-run inning and allowed PV to tie the game 5-5.
Kody Russell and Tanner Goodwin recorded RBI hits in the inning to help PV tie the score. In the fifth inning, Matt Martin put PV ahead for the first time with a two-run double, giving the Panthers a 7-5 lead.
PV tacked two more runs in the sixth with a bases-loaded walk and hit-by-pitch after Zach Ahlgrim led the inning off with a double.
"We just kept calm and knew the bats would eventually come around," Ahlgrim said.
Tanner Goodwin came on in relief of Weaver to throw two scoreless innings and get the victory on the mound.
"I can't say enough for this group of kids," McGaha said. "We started out the season inexperienced and not very aggressive. Now, I feel like we're a little overaggressive, and the experience we've gained is obvious."
FHS had a rough time with Miyamura, but found a way to escape its first-round series with a victory in the third game.
The Scorpions looked like they were on their way to a sweep of the series after taking a 4-1 lead in Game 2. But the Patriots scored two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to force extra innings.
Miyamura then scored two runs in the eighth and hung on to beat FHS 6-5 and force a decisive Game 3.
In the do-or-die contest, FHS jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning on its way to a 17-12 win.
Beamer Wick and Isaiah George had hits that drove in a pair of runs in the offensive outburst.
Wick again came up with a big hit in the second inning after Miyamura cut the lead to 6-2.
The FHS senior had a two-run double in the inning to help FHS extend its lead to 9-2 after two.
Miyamura scored a run in the third and then hammered the FHS pitching staff for seven in the fourth inning to take a 10-9 lead.
Jared Meese hit a two-run home run to jump start the Patriots' comeback.
Miyamura had a chance in the top of the fifth to add to the lead but had a runner thrown out at home to end the inning.
"That was a big bang-bang play at the plate," FHS head coach Sean Trotter said. "Uncle Mo was definitely in the other dugout at the time. The emotion of the situation carried over into the bottom half of the inning."
FHS carried that momentum into the bottom of the fifth and answered the Miyamura rally with one of its own.
The Scorps scored six runs in the inning to regain the lead.
Wick's sacrifice fly put FHS up 11-10, and then Ethan Spellbring, Tyler Stock and Easton Haskill had RBI hits to push the Scorps lead to 15-10.
Miyamura scored a couple of late runs in the seventh inning but couldn't complete the comeback.
Lance Lee threw three innings of relief, giving up the two late runs, to earn the victory for FHS.
"That was huge. Hopefully, he can go down next week and give us some innings in Rio Rancho," Trotter said of Lee.
PV will advance to face No. 9 Deming, while the Scorps will see the defending 4A champion No. 3 St. Pius X on Thursday at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho.
"They pretty much lost one guy off a state championship team," Trotter said of St. Pius X. "It will be a real challenge."