The two best teams in the Southeast Yosemite League fittingly met for the regular season finale last Friday afternoon with the league championship on the line.
Mountain Baseball and Garces came into the contest with an identical 8-1 league mark. After seven innings of stellar baseball, the Warriors reigned supreme in a 2-1 victory.
Tehachapi (13-11; 9-1 SEYL) was spearheaded in the win by the steady arm of David Carter, who threw a one hitter and recorded seven strikeouts in a complete game performance.
With the score knotted at 0-0 through the first three innings, Garces nearly took the lead in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and only one out, a Carter strikeout and a catch at shortstop by Davin Domingo stranded three Ram runners and kept the game at a scoreless tie.
Then in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Warriors made their move when Reid Feeley roped a blast to right field for a double. Zach Wagner then came in to pinch-run for Feeley, who was brought home off a Nathan Hedberg double to make the score 1-0. Hedberg would eventually score later in the inning from third base off a Justin Amparan RBI-single to make the score, 2-0.
The THS defense took over from there, with a sixth inning homerun by Garces the only blemish on an otherwise perfect afternoon of baseball for the Warriors. In a last gasp for Garces in the top of the seventh inning, the Rams had the tying run on second base with just one out. But then the Warriors slammed the door shut when Justin Amparan recorded a highlight-reel diving catch in shallow right field and Carter recorded a strikeout for the final out to secure the league title.
Earlier in the week, Tehachapi dismantled Foothill in a 21-0 win.
Dakota Medovitch led the offense by going 3-3 with three runs scored, followed by two hits each by Amparan, Wagner, Carter, Brandon Ursua, Hiroto Sigawa, Ryan Hanzel, Lucas Underhill and Tyler Huebner. Cade Temple and Wagner also had three runs scored apiece, and Domingo, Sigawa and Huebner each had doubles.
David Wier picked up the win on the mound by striking out six batters in three innings, with Ryan Hanzel also pitching three innings and striking out four batters. Ursua pitched the final inning to preserve the shutout.
With the regular season concluded, Tehachapi earned the No. 5 seed in the CIF Division III playoffs and faced off against No. 12 seed Highland this Tuesday. The winner of Tuesday's contest will face off against the victor of No. 4 seed Hoover and No. 13 Yosemite this Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m.
The Braves concluded the regular season with a 8-2 SEYL record after defeating Foothill 13-0 and Garces 11-5.
With the game tied at 4-4 after three innings, Tehachapi scored seven unanswered runs to rally for the victory over the Rams.
Jalen Wallace, Jake Gonzales and Sage Voda each had two hits for the Braves, with Gonzales and Lars Olofson recording triples and Wallace and Voda doubles.
Tyler Metzler pitched four innings and struck out four batters and Gonzales pitched three innings and recorded two strikeouts in the win.
Against Foothill, Gonzales went 3-3 with two triples, two runs scored and five RBIs and Wallace went 3-5 with a double and three runs scored in the victory.
Nic Ledesma picked up the win on the mound by going four innings and recording eight strikeouts. Nathan Boesler earned the save in the fifth inning.
Results of the freshmen games against Foothill and Garces will be highlighted next week.