5/12/2013 6:00:00 AM Academy seniors go 4-for-4 in title games Skubahl's one-hitter caps perfect season for Tigers
Kingman Academy’s Ty Sherwood slides safely into third base with his second triple of the game during the Tigers’ 8-0 win Friday night in the 3A CAA state championship game at Maryvale Stadium in Phoenix. RODNEY HAAS/Miner
KAHS Black’s Wyatt McCord greets Tigers starter Tarik Skubal as he walks off the field moments after the Tigers captured Black’s third straight title and KAHS’ fourth title in four years with an 8-0 win over EVAC Friday night. The 3A CAA championship game was played in Maryvale Stadium in Phoenix. RODNEY HAAS/Miner
PHOENIX - As their teammates celebrated on the field, Ty Sherwood, Jake Miner and several other of Kingman Academy Black's nine seniors sat in the third base dugout at Maryvale Stadium Friday night.
While every senior wants to win their final game, there is still the harsh reality that their high school playing days are over. For Miner, Sherwood and the others, it was starting the sink in.
"It sucks. It's the end, but it's a good way to go out," Sherwood said. "It was an awesome game. It sucks that it's our last game."
Despite the sadness of it coming to an end, there was plenty of joy after the Tigers' 8-0 win over EVAC in the 3A Charter Athletic Association Championship game.
Led by Sherwood's two triples and Tarik Skubal's masterful pitching performance, KAHS Black captured its third straight title and the school's fourth overall in four years.
"It was a good game and they played really good D," said KAHS coach Bill McCord. "We got some runs early so we could relax, but at the end we started hitting."
Setting the tone
Skubal set the tone early for the Tigers, striking out the side in the first inning. Sherwood gave KAHS an early 1-0 lead with his first triple of the night.
Skubal retired 11 of the 14 hitters he faced through the first 3-2/3 innings pitched, then ran into a bit of trouble.
Trailing 2-0, EVAC threatened in the fourth inning with runners at the corners and two outs after Skubal gave up his only hit of the night. Skubal got out of the jam with his 10th strikeout and finished the game with 16.
"I just wanted to throw strikes," Skubal said. "It's been fun being here all season. We've worked hard and it paid out. We've always been good and we've always been dominant and we just finished it off with a championship."
"He been throwing like that all year and we expected it from him tonight," Sherwood said of the left-handed pitcher.
Skubal had 96 pitches through six innings and there was never a question in McCord's mind about not having him finish off the complete game.
"He was in full command," McCord said. "I wanted him to finish it."
Skubal, who was named tournament MVP following the game, gave up four walks and allowed just two fly ball outs.
Sherwood added his second triple in the fifth inning. KAHS made it 3-0 in the fourth, 5-0 in the fifth ad 8-0 in the sixth.
Westin McCord had four hits, including a double in the fourth, to lead KAHS at the plate.
So long, CAA
Friday's game also marked an end of an era for the Tigers. It was their final baseball game in the CAA as next year they will move to the Arizona Interscholastic Association's Division III.
It's a division that has seen a lot of upsets during this year's state tournament, including having the top two seeds falling in the quarterfinals to the ninth and 10th seeds.
It will be a division that will force KAHS to bring its "A" game each and every night.
"I have a feeling that next year all of our games are going to be like this game," McCord said. "They are not going to get those easy games, they are going to have to earn