KINGMAN - Twenty-one Willcox batters came to the plate and 21 returned to the dugout as Kingman Academy ace Tarik Skubal threw a perfect game and the Tigers knocked off the Cowboys (12-7) in the first round of the Division III Baseball State Championship at Surprise Sports Complex Saturday, 1-0.
"Tarik was lights out," said KAHS coach Bill McCord. "And they aren't a bad team. They put the ball in play and we made the plays."
Skubal fanned 14 for the seven-inning complete-game victory.
"I feel pretty good," the left-hander said. "I threw primarily fastballs and had real good location. My off-speed stuff wasn't the best, but it worked."
Colleges and professional scouts were on hand to get a look at Skubal.
"That's impressive to pitch like that with people looking at you," McCord said. "They were trying to bunt people on, but they couldn't do that. They got two bunts down out of seven tries. It was pretty impressive."
Kingman Academy (15-4) got its only run in the first inning. Westin McCord led off with a triple and scored on Austin Tomlinson's sacrifice fly. The Tigers managed four hits in the game with Tomlinson, Cody Quick and Chy Banda getting singles.
With the state tournament being played in one complex, it has given the Academy coaching staff a good look at some of the other teams.
"These teams are good, and Scottsdale Christian looks really good," McCord said. "We're going to have to come to play. We made it through the first week and get to come back and go at it again next week."
The Academy advances to the round of 16 and plays No. 4 seeded Page at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Surprise.