EAGLE Eagle High's J.T. Williams watched the ball sail deep into center field as a teammate made the turn for home in the bottom of the seventh. It appeared to be enough to clinch the district championship until Capital's Garret Pearson skipped his cutoff and gunned down the winning run at the plate.
The major-league throw only delayed the inevitable.
Williams finished what he started in the ninth inning by reaching on a bases-loaded single as the Mustangs beat Capital for the fourth consecutive time this season, 2-1, to win the District Three championship Tuesday.
Williams also picked up the win in relief.
"J.T. is as good of competitor that I've ever coached, and I've been around a long time," Eagle coach Frank Wright said.
Eagle improved to 7-2 in games decided by one run, including 3-0 vs. Capital.
"This class has not won a championship, and to win one now is a major accomplishment, especially in this league," Wright said. "Anyone who has followed baseball in the Valley knows the SIC was about as even as leagues can be. We didn't blow anybody away. Our kids are very tenacious and played very hard. It's huge for us."
Griffen Pape scattered five hits with three strikeouts in seven innings for Eagle. Capital's Sam Wong also worked seven innings, striking out four and surrendering six hits before Colbi Paul entered in the eighth.
"Griffen has done that for us all year,'' Wright said. "He gives us five-to-seven innings every time he goes out."