Despite trailing 4-1 entering the final inning, the Wasco baseball team rallied to beat #1 Firebaugh in the the D-IV section championship game at Recreation Park in Visalia. It was the Tigers first valley title since 1990.
In the bottom of the seventh, Dominic Martinez came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. Down to the Tigers' final strike, Martinez hit an RBI single to left. On the throw to the plate, the runner from second was held at third appearing to leave a Wasco runner from first caught in between second and third. Somehow he returned to second safely setting the stage for senior Lalo Barraza.
— Stephen Hicks (@StephenHicks23) May 27, 2017
The senior who is heading to play at Monterrey Bay next season blasted a deep shot over the head of the center fielder driving in all three runs and giving Wasco a 5-4 lead. "I was just trying to help my team win," he said on his approach with the bases loaded. "I was going to do anything to get on base. It was just to get the next guy on base and we did."
Martinez shut down the Eagles 1-2-3 in the seventh to secure the title. "The grit of this team, the tenacity, the never give up attitude from 1-22 on this roster, these guys just never gave up," said head coach Jeff Wedel who was a senior in '93 the last time Wasco played for a title.
In the later game Highland hung on for the 8-5 victory over Porterville in the D-III title game. The Scots jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead through the first two frames but the Panthers battled back to score two in the sixth and brought the tying run to the plate before Chase Morales got the strikeout to end the threat.
In the seventh, Morales recorded the final strikeout with a check-swing delaying the Scots' celebration on the field. "That was so sweet. That was the best feeling of my life," said senior second baseman Landn Kauk. "We've been trying for four years just working our butts off and to finally accomplish it is something very special."
The softball championships took place at Margie Wright Diamond on the campus of Fresno State and the Independence Falcons pulled away for the 11-5 win over Kerman.
It was a bit of redemption for the Falcons who lost in last years section final.
Like Stephen Hicks on Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/StephenHicks23ABC
Follow him on Twitter- https://twitter.com/stephenhicks23