HIGHLANDS RANCH — The Mountain Vista baseball team put itself in the position it wanted.
"Now we'll see where the chips fall," Golden Eagles coach Ron Quintana said after his team advanced to Saturday's Class 5A Final 8 with a 4-2 victory over Fairview in the District 6 championship game.
Mountain Vista earned its district title game berth with a 6-0 victory over Brighton.
Each team managed only three hits, but the Golden Eagles rode the arm of pitcher Mark Mumper, who struck out seven while issuing just one walk in going the distance.
Fairview beat Montbello 10-0 on a walkoff grand slam home run by DH Ryan Madden. Johnny Feauto struck out eight in holding the Warriors to two hits to record the shutout victorty.
It was just Montbello's third appearance in the district playoffs in 38 years.
Fairview jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Mountain Vista in the top of the second, but the Golden Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning on four consecutive singles.
The game was marred by an injury in the bottom of the fifth when Madden, the Knights' starting pitcher in the second game who had given up three runs on five hits to that point, was struck in the face by a line-drive batted ball.
Madden was eventually helped to his feet to the relief of the stunned crowd. Mountain Vista added another run on an RBI single by Will Dixon. After the game, Fairview tweeted that Madden was "doing well."
It was Dixon's performance on the mound that was the difference. Other than the four-run second, he gave up just two other hits in earning the victory.
With windy conditions, "My curve wasn't working so I moved to a cutter halfway through the game," he said. "I hadn't thrown it all year."
It worked as he kept the Knights off balance through most of the game.
"He's been our horse for two years," Quintana said of Dixon.
The Golden Eagles get a break before the tournament resumes Saturday, giving both Mumper and Dixon four days rest.
The 5A bracket will release after all of the districts complete play on Wednesday.