FRESNO, Calif. - The Warriors defeated Orange Coast College 8-2 in the winner's bracket game on Saturday afternoon to advance to the CCCAA Baseball State Championship Game on Tuesday, May 28th. This is the second time in program history the Warriors have advanced to the State Championship Game. The first time was on May 26, 1951 when they lost to Sacramento City by a score of 7-2.
The Warriors (40-7) will now await the winner between Orange Coast College (36-9-1) and Sacramento City College (35-14). Sacramento City College advanced to Saturday's third game after defeating San Joaquin Delta 7-6 in 16 innings in the first game on Saturday.
Aaron Orozco had himself a day on the mound and in the batter's box. He picked up his 12th win of the season after tossing seven innings and allowing just two runs on five hits, four walks, and striking out four batters. Orozco also went 3-for-3 from the dish with one run scored and three RBIs. Spencer Long picked up his third save of the postseason after tossing two scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and striking out one batter.
The Warriors jumped to a lead in the first inning after capitalizing on a fielding error by the OCC shortstop. Borges and Spencer Long both had singles with two outs. Ty Conrad reached the bases on the error by the shortstop to load the bases. Orozco singled through the left side to bring in two runs to give the Warriors an early 2-0 lead.
OCC tied the game up at 2-2 to start the top of the 3rd inning. Skylar Limonchi had a one out single and stole second base. The next batter, Tommy Williams walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Davis Delorefice singled to shallow CF to bring in a run and Murphy Stephy singled to LF to bring in the other run.
However, the Warriors immediately responded in the bottom half of the inning. Ty Conrad singled with two outs and advanced all the way to third base via a stolen base and a wild pitch. Orozco was able to single up the middle to bring Conrad in to score to make it a 3-2 game for the Warriors.
In the sixth inning, Aaron Orozco and Matt Beserra led the inning off with doubles to put runners on 3rd and 2nd. Logan Young was brought in to pinch hit again but did not have the same luck as the previous day and struck out. Taishi Nakawake hit a deep enough ball to RF for a sac fly and scored Orozco from 3rd to make it a 4-2 game.
The Warriors exploded for four insurance runs in the 8th inning. Julian singled with one out. Matt Beserra and Mateo Gonzalez-Drake walked to load the bases. Taishi Nakawake singled to LF to bring in one run. Jerry Granillo doubled down the RF line to bring in two more runs. And finally, Spencer Palmer hit a sac fly to left field to bring in the fourth run of the inning to give the Warriors a 8-2 lead.
Long allowed just one hit in the 9th inning before closing the door on the Pirates in the top of the 9th inning.
Max Pappas is due to get the start in Tuesday's game for the Warriors. The right-hander is 7-1 for the season with a 2.43 ERA. If the Warriors drop the first game tomorrow, the second game will be played thirty minutes after the conclusion of the first game.