Santa Rosa JC’s baseball team began the CCCAA state tournament final four with a 6-5 victory against Cypress Saturday night in Fresno.
Next up for the Bear Cubs is a winner’s bracket game Sunday at 2 p.m. against Golden West. The Southern California team defeated San Joaquin Delta on Saturday in the first game of the double-elimination tournament.
The champion will be decided Monday.
Santa Rosa appeared on its way to an easy victory against Cypress when the Bear Cubs took a 6-2 lead after six innings. However, the Chargers made it close with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.
The game ended with Cypress stranding runners on second and third. Relief pitcher Anthony Bender induced a routine fly ball to left fielder Mitch West for the final out.
Alec Rennard pitched into the eighth inning and improved his record to 14-1.
“My goal was to give my team the best opportunity to win,” the Maria Carrillo graduate said. “I didn’t have my best stuff but I wasn’t about to let my teammates down.”
While Rennard would’ve liked to stay in the game, he felt confident handing the ball to Bender.
“I knew he would finish the job,” Rennard said.
Bender, a Casa Grande alum, got the final out in the eighth and then survived the ninth.
Jake Scheiner (Maria Carrillo) was the offensive hero for Santa Rosa. The sophomore went 3 for 4 and hit a home run in the fifth inning. Myles Andrews, also from Carrillo, had a pair of hits.
Santa Rosa is seeking its first state title since 2005 and the Bear Cubs will take a 36-8 record into Sunday's game.