The Eagles dismissed Hebron Christian in a doubleheader sweep Monday, 8-6 and 11-0.
Mount Paran will host King’s Ridge Christian on Saturday for the Class A Private school state title. King’s Ridge swept defending state champion Eagles Landing Christian 11-3 and 7-2 in the other semifinal series.
“It’s always nice to play at home, but the bottom line is, we want to be in that game,” Mount Paran coach Kyle Reese said. “We just need to stay consistent, keep doing what we’ve been doing. As far as we’re concerned, everyone in that opposing dugout is the ’27 Yankees, and that’s how we have to approach it.”
Game 2 ended after a six-run sixth inning that included a three-run homer by Jack Rowan.
“It’s all about finishing strong and being able to leave the field with the series win after Game 2,” Reese said. Monday’s wins over Hebron marked the second straight series in which the Eagles swept their opponents with explosive sixth innings in the second game.
Game 1 started quickly for Mount Paran. With two outs and Taylor Trammell and Reed Massey on base, Rowan popped a ball up that was mishandled by a Hebron infielder. Trammell and Massey scored, giving the hosts an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
In the bottom of the third, Rowan and Isaac Phillips crossed the plate for the Eagles, extending their lead to 5-1.
Hebron responded in the fourth with an RBI double by Caleb Martin and a two-run double by Will Hardigree. Parker Runnels brought the Lions all the way back with a solo home run.
In the sixth inning, with the game tied 5-all, Trammell and Rowan both homered to help Mount Paran take an 8-5 lead. Jake Palomaki earned the win with a complete game, allowing eight hits and striking out nine.
“Palomaki got a little bit tired in Game 1,” Reese said. “But he’s such a competitor, he came back and made pitches when he had to. And then (Andrew) Maxwell is just unbelievable. He’s so consistent.”
Reese was referring to Maxwell’s presence in Game 2, where he retired the first 13 batters.
Palomaki started the Eagles offense with a solo home run in the first inning, which was followed by another solo shot from Phillips.
With Maxwell, who pitched a complete game, one-hitter, in control of the game, the Eagles did more damage in the fifth inning. Palomaki, who finished Game 2 3-for-3 with four RBIs, connected for his second home run of the night, a two-run shot off of the scoreboard in right field for a 4-0 lead.
Travis Isenberg started the onslaught in the sixth inning with a two-run triple to right, driving in Emoni Williams and Ruddy Jones. Rowan’s three-run home run came with two outs, and Maxwell retired all three Hebron batters in the bottom of the sixth to close the game.
Rowan finished the doubleheader 4-for-8 with two home runs and six RBIs.