A perfectly executed squeeze bunt was all the Richland Bombers needed to spark their offense in the top of the seventh inning.
That opened the door for Josh Mendoza, whose two-run single drove in two more runs, helping the Bombers to a 5-2 victory over Skyview in the 4A state baseball championship game Saturday at Gesa Stadium.
"This is crazy cool," said Richland shortstop Adam Weissenfels, who also won a state football title with the Bombers in December. "Richland is known for having amazing success. There have been some good classes, but we will go down in history. People will remember the class of 2018."
It's the first state baseball title for Richland since 2009. It is the fifth title in team history. The Bombers also won in 1999, 2005 and 2007.
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"It's incredible," said Richland coach Grant Richardson, who was a sophomore on the 1999 title team. "It was a great game. That was a good team we played, and they took it to us early. When we went to bat in the seventh, you could see it in their eyes that we were going to get something done."
That they did.
Drew Daves led off the top of the seventh with a single to left field for the Bombers. At that point, Skyview coach Seth Johnson pulled starter Cooper Barnum in favor of Ryan Pitts.
A sacrifice bunt by Kirby Robertson pushed Daves to second. Pitts then walked Taylor Johnson and Weissenfels to load the bases.
That brought up senior Gavin March, who laid down a squeeze bunt to score Daves from third.
"He executed that pefectly," Richardson said. "Then Mendoza had a big knock after that."
March said his heart was beating pretty hard by the time he got to first base.
"That was awesome," March said. "I jut put it down. That was our first successfully executed one this year."
Daves was ready to move when March did his part.
"It was great to do it for my team," he said. "Baseball is a dynasty here. To be up in the rafters with those others teams — this is a dream. I don't think it will seem real for a while."
Mendoza followed with a two-run single to right field to make it 5-2.
"Josh has been huge for us all year," Daves said. "He got the job done."
Taylor Johnson finished off his complete-game effort on the mound for Richland, watching Daves reel in a fly ball for the final out to seal the win.
Johnson scattered five hits, struck out two and walked one.
"He gets better as the game goes on," Richardson said. "He had a good defense behind him."
Skyview got on the board in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs on a double by PItts.
The Bombers answered in the top of the second as Daves and Robertson drove in runs.
The score would not change until the top of the seventh.