St. Francis pinch-hitter Matt Kiewiet provided that first hit in the seventh.
Kiewiet recorded a single to right field on a 3-2 count against Spartan starting pitcher Jake Regalado (7-4).
"To do what [Kiewiet] did in that environment with that kind of pressure is special," said Solar, who squad competed in its first playoff game since 2001.
Regalado was splendid for the first six innings, limiting St. Francis (22-4) to just two hits. But he unraveled in the seventh, when his pitch count exceeded 100.
"When you get a high school kid to throw that many pitches, he's going to [struggle]," Solar said.
Kyle Wong followed Kiewiet with a sacrifice bunt, moving Matt Quintero ? who was inserted as a pinch runner ? to second. An Evan Simonitsch single to center field later, the Golden Knights tied the score at 2 on Quintero's run.
"I know what it feels like [to play under pressure]," Simonitsch said.
Regalado issued two straight walks to load the bases, bringing up Taylor Smale, who doubled home Christian Bergman in the first.
Smale took the first pitch before lining a 0-1 fastball to center field to score Simonitsch for the winning run.
"Everything counted," Smale said. "We played it base by base and pitch by pitch."
Bergman (7-2) and Regalado tried to best each other. Even though St. Francis struck first, Rio Mesa (14-10-1) came back with a run in the fourth and sixth innings.
With runners at the corners in the top of the sixth, Bergman struck out the final batter, setting up St. Francis' wild finish.
Said Solar, whose team played its first postseason home game in 14 years: "We did enough in the end to pull through."