GRIFFITH | After receiving a scare in its 1-0 sectional-opening win against Clark, Griffith worked on just one thing -- offense.
The work paid off after the host Panthers scored five runs in the first inning on their way to a 14-4 win on Saturday night in the Class 3A Griffith Sectional, the Panthers third straight baseball sectional championship.
"We wanted to have a big inning early," Griffith coach Brian Jennings said. "We talked about the mental approach and understanding situations and we did a great job of advancing runners and laying down some bunts."
Griffith (19-10) advances to the its own Class 3A regional this Saturday and will face either Rochester (17-9) or John Glenn (14-11) in the semifinals at 10:30 a.m.
Griffith's 3-4-5 hitters (shortstop Kody Hoese, pitcher Josh Terzarial, center fielder Matt Colomes) went a combined 9-for-12 with four doubles, two triples, nine RBIs and six runs.
"I was just doing what (Assistant coach Ryan) Bridges told me to do. He told me right and right center," said Hoese, who went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs and two runs. "We were more prepared today."
Gavit (2-22) didn't go quietly, as it scored three runs in its half of the fourth behind an RBI double from second baseman Mike Anguiano and RBIs from first baseman Jorge Perez and shortstop Anthony Gibson.
Besides that, it was smooth sailing for Terzarial, as he struck out nine and gave up six hits over five.
"It (the third) was one of our best innings of the year against one of the best pitchers we've seen all year," Gavit coach Tony Harris said. "We just knew he was throwing strikes and the kids that were here do not give up."
In the first game, Griffith scored 13 runs in the first inning and didn't look back against Hammond in its 21-0 victory.
Terzarial and Colomes both homered for Griffith while junior starter Ryan Nunez went all five innings, allowing just two hits.
Gavit took advantage of seven Roosevelt errors in the second game and scored seven runs in the bottom half of the fifth to finish off the Panthers' season in Gladiators' 13-3 win.