After defeating Golden West, 6-2, on Sunday, Santa Rosa JC’s baseball team is one win away from winning the CCCAA State Tournament.
By capturing their first two games in the final four, the Bear Cubs will have two opportunities today to grab the championship in the double-elimination format.
Santa Rosa will play Golden West again at 11 a.m. and if necessary, the two schools will play again 30 minutes later. Sunday night, Golden West beat Cypress, 6-5, in an elimination contest.
The Bear Cubs took control of their Sunday game in the first inning thanks to home runs by Bryce Nagata and Jeff Bart.
Nagata’s homer was an inside-the-park hit to center field. Mitch West scored in front of him.
Later in the inning, with Jake Scheiner on base, Bart muscled up and sent the ball over the left-center field fence. It was the first home run of the season for the Rancho Cotate alum.
A four-run lead turned out to be more than enough run support for Matt Estes. The lefty allowed one run through eight innings before being relieved by Jared Noonan (Montgomery). Golden West (31-15) came in averaging six runs per game.
“I had it all working,” Estes said. “I got a lot of ground balls off my fastball and I was able to spot my slider and change-up. I tried to get ahead in the count and then was able to get them to hit my pitch.”
The Bear Cubs (37-8) added two more insurance runs in the fourth while the Rustlers from Huntington Beach scored single runs in the fifth and ninth innings.
Jake Scheiner and Nagata led the 10-hit Santa Rosa attack with two hits each. Scheiner (Maria Carrillo) has 5 hits in 7 appearances this weekend and with another big day in the finals, he could come back home with the most valuable player trophy. Previously, he was named Big 8 Conference Player of the Year.
Estes said he and his teammates are feeling pretty good about the Bear Cub’s chances to pull off a second state title in 11 years.
“We’re extremely confident,” he said. “We still have a lot of pitching available.”