TEMPE - Salpointe Catholic starting pitcher Ben Scherer had Scottsdale Notre Dame under control for a little more than six innings Thursday afternoon. In the seventh, he needed a little help.
He eventually got some from a teammate and an umpire, and the Lancers held on to knock off Scottsdale Notre Dame 5-4 in the third round of the Division II state tournament at Diablo Stadium.
"It doesn't matter how we get it as long as we get it," Scherer said.
The Lancers (24-7) went into the seventh with a 5-3 lead. Scherer, who had scattered six hits up to that point, gave up a triple, a run-scoring single and a walk.
Hunter Miller came on in relief and uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the runners to move up. Salpointe coach Danny Preble intentionally walked the next hitter to load the bases.
Miller got the batter to ground to shortstop Ray Eastman. Eastman threw it to second baseman Ryan Ramsower for an out. Ramsower relayed it to first baseman Michael Hoard, but his throw was late.
However, the umpire called interference and called Sam Griffen out at first to end the game.
"This is definitely huge to get this win," said Scherer, who was sporting a black eye after getting hit by a ball Wednesday at practice.
Preble added: "Ben threw the ball very well today, and it was awesome. He could barely see out of his left eye, but he came out ready to go, and I'm real proud of him.
"I'm proud of everybody."
Second-seeded Notre Dame figured to be a challenge, with the top three guys in the order all hitting over .400 and the Saints averaging nearly seven runs a game.
But Scherer (9-1) held the big three to 2 for 9.
The Lancers, meanwhile, jumped on Notre Dame starter Devon DeRaad at the outset. Kevin Brice doubled, and Tyler Kimbrough singled to open the game. Hoard knocked them in with a double to the right-center field gap. DeRaad lasted only 1 2/3 innings.
Brice finished 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles. Hoard was 2 for 3.