When Pusch Ridge scored six runs in the third to take an 8-0 lead over Desert Christian, there were only a few questions left unanswered.

Each involved Owen Bertelsen.

Bertelsen belted two home runs, and with four hits in his first four at bats, needed a triple to hit for the cycle. He'd settle for a single, finishing with five hits, five runs batted in, and 12 total bases in a 21-0 whitewash.

"My coach told me to go 4-4 with two home runs before the game," Bertelsen said.

Bertelsen entered the game with one homer, so a multi-homer game seemed like a tall order.

Would Bertelsen, who was also the starting pitcher, pitch a shutout?

He got that, as he struck out seven, gave up three hits and walked none in the five-inning, mercy-rule shortened win.

Both home runs were hit at Udall Park in Tucson, a park used mostly for Little League play. Would they have gone out at a high school field?

"That first one," Bertelsen said. "Honestly, I didn't think it was gone. It was a line drive and it got some air." It also nailed the high scoreboard in center.

Bertelsen's second home run was blasted over the left-field fence. Coach Mark Frithsen had no doubt that both homers were legitimate no-doubters.

"It was a good game," Bertelsen said. "We got lots of people into the game. It was a great team game."

"We came out hitting," Frithsen said. "They (Desert Christian) jumped on us last game and were leading 6-2. This was where everything goes good for one team and everything goes bad for the other team."

Speedy Alec Erceg had two hits and two walks. He singled, stole second, and later scored the game's first run on a passed ball right before Bertelsen's first long ball.

"I was happy with two hits," Erceg said.

Erceg has been the regular at shortstop. Before this year, he'd been the regular in centerfield.

"I like center-field more," Erceg said.

Now the senior-laden Lions prepare for the playoffs after meeting all their regular season challenges. They have two games left.

"The experience, and the camaraderie has been very good," Erceg said. "We're looking forward to the start of the playoffs."

Bertelsen is enthusiastic as well.

"I'm excited about the playoffs," Bertelsen said. "I can't wait."

In 2A play, their are no home games for local teams in the playoffs. Pusch Ridge will probably open their playoffs on Tuesday, May 4 at the Diablo Stadium complex fields in Tempe.

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