West End only had itself to blame.
In a contest highlighted by mistakes, with both teams combining for 11 errors, it's going to be the final one that will leave West End players and fans alike shaking their heads.
After being limited to just five hits through six innings, West End opened the seventh with four hits, scoring three runs to tie the game. And as the momentum seemed to shift in favor of the hometown team, the breaks continued to come as Valley West fell to its final out after attempting to steal home with the bases loaded.
West End's Dominick Bragalone chases down a foul ball Friday night at Logue Field.
Now down to his final strike, Joe Bayzich connected with what appeared to be a routine grounder to short.
The grounder was mishandled for West End's eighth error of the night, opening the door for two runs to score and give Valley West a 7-6 win. Valley West will play Media, 9-2 winner in the day's first game at 1 today at Logue Field for the state title.
"The kids want a shot at Media," Valley West manager Bill Onuschel said. "They beat us in pool play and we want a shot at them in the finals."
Media beat Valley West in the pool play, something the Valley West kids used as motivation in Friday's game.
"I talked to the kids and told them we've been in this position before," Onuschel said. "We have been telling them all week to play their game. We can come back and win any game."
Despite committing three errors, which doesn't seem like much when compared to West End's eight, Valley West had two key double plays, wrecking what could have been a solid offensive start for West End.
In the first, after West End put runners into scoring position with a hit batter and walk, Valley West ended the threat after a strikeout when Jordi Arius started a 4-6-3 double play. Valley West pulled a similar defensive gem in the sixth after a lead off single.
On the offensive end, Valley West capitalized off of each West End error, scoring five of its seven runs directly from errors. The Valley West team was also extremely aggressive on the bases, converting seven of eight attempts, with the only miss coming in the seventh on the attempt at home.
"We were trying a suicide squeeze, but the batter missed the bunt," Onuschel said. "He missed the bunt, but really came through with the big hit."
Surprisingly, Valley West's biggest offensive contributor didn't even register an hit. Arius walked four times in five plate appearances and scored three runs, stole two bases and ended the game with a head first dive into home.
West End 011 000 31-6 12 8
Valley West 002 210 02-7 8 3
David Sanders, Sam Buck (4), Bradley Walter (6), and Damone Buxton. Corey Frye, Jacob Donlin, and Jeremey Budgeon.
Top West End hitters: Buxton 3-4, 2B, 2 runs. Top Valley West hitters: Jordi Arius 4 walks, three runs, two SB.