FRESNO, Calif. – El Camino College was two outs away from advancing to the California Community College State Championship final, but defending champions Santa Rosa pulled even in the ninth and eventually pulled out an 8-5 win over the Warriors Sunday night at John Euless Field at Fresno City College.
With one out in the ninth and hanging on to a two-run lead, Warriors (40-11) closer Jake Carr gave up a single to Matt Kimura to bring the potential tying run to the plate. After a balk advanced the runner to second, Blake Berry singled to right to put runners on the corners for the Bear Cubs (37-10). Josh Lenney then stepped up and smacked a double to right field, bringing in Berry and advancing the tying run to third with one out. Trevor Mallett then tied things up with a groundout to short, plating Berry and sending the game to extra innings.
In the 10th, the Bear Cubs completed the comeback as Lenney unfurled a bases loaded triple to left-center field, clearing the bases and putting the defending state champions ahead by three.
The Warriors final stand in the 10th came with a one-out double down the right-field line from Brady Dorn, his third extra-base hit of the day. But pinch-hitter Angel Mora struck out and then Connor Underwood grounded out to short to put an end to the Warriors' magical season.
Dorn led the way for the Warriors, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two runs scored and an RBI. Ryan Eastburn was 2-for-4 on the day while Trevor Casanova and Ty Conrad each hit a triple on the day.
Lost in the shuffle was another brilliant performance from Kenneth Haus, who had his longest outing of the season in his first start of the season in 16 appearances. He tossed seven and 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out six, leaving the game in the eighth with a two-run lead.
For seven innings, Haus kept the Bear Cubs bats off balance, allowing just one run on five hits in that span. But the Bear Cubs, trailing 5-1 heading into the eighth, scored seven unanswered runs in the next three innings to overcome the deficit.
They were helped by Lenney's brilliant day at the plate as the third baseman went 4-for-5 on the day with a double, triple, a run scored and four RBIs. Ben Sanderson also tallied four hits on the day for Santa Rosa, leading them to the CCCAA State Championship final for the second straight year where they will face Grossmont on Monday.
The Warriors finish the year with 40 victories, a South Coast Conference-South Division title and their first win in a CCCAA State Championship final four in two trips under head coach Nate Fernley.