FRESNO, Calif. - First baseman Noah Strohl had two doubles off the wall and a monster home run to left, and finished with four RBIs as Grossmont College won its first California Community College Athletic Association Baseball Championship with a 10-6 win over defending champion Santa Rosa Junior College on Monday afternoon at John Euless Ballpark.
The Griffins, who came into Monday's action without a loss in the three-day tournament, were forced to an extra game after the Bear Cubs won, 5-4, earlier in the day. It was Grossmont's (38-8-1) only loss of the postseason in 10 games.
Santa Rosa (38-11), which trailed 6-2 before scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to get within a run, were led by first baseman Ryder Kuhn and designated hitter Ben Sanderson, who each had two hits.
Right-fielder Cabot Van Til and designated hitter Robert Bostedt also had three hits each for the Griffins with Bostedt knocking in three runs as well on a big double in the eighth. Four pitchers carried the way for Grossmont, with none going more than 3-1/3 innings. Jeremiah Barr (1-1) got the win.
Among the hurlers for the Griffins was Hayden Shenefield, who threw the final two frames after throwing a complete-game victory over Santa Rosa on Sunday that helped him earn tournament MVP honors.
Grossmont never trailed in the decisive game, jumping to a 2-0 lead in the third when Strohl turned on a pitch and launched a towering homer to left that easily cleared the 25-foot wall and fence at the 330-foot mark. Van Til and David Maldonado each singled in runs during a two-run fourth while Santa Rosa's Ryder Kuhn's single through the right side in the third and a bases-loaded walk to Blake Berry in the fourth helped make it 4-2 after four innings.
Strohl struck again in the seventh with a long double off the wall in center that brought in catcher Trevor Beard who earlier had an RBI single.
Behind 6-2 going to the home half of the seventh, Santa Rosa looked to mount its second big comeback in as many days after turning one in during an elimination-game victory over El Camino on Saturday evening. Three consecutive singles, an infield error, a ground out and a sacrifice fly to right boy Dani Teasley combined to make it 6-5 but Javier De La Torre came in to get Josh Lenney swinging, stranding the tying run at third.
The Griffins broke it open in the eighth with Bostedt clearing the bases with a bases-loaded double to left-center and Strohl banging another double off the wall for the fourth run of the inning. Berry had a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth for Santa Rosa's final run but Shenefield was able to get the last out on a strikeout, setting up a wild celebration by Grossmont, which was appearing in its first state title game.
SANTA ROSA FORCES DECISIVE GAME AFTER 5-4 WIN OVER GROSSMONT
FRESNO, Calif. - Santa Rosa Junior College kept its hopes alive by delivering Grossmont College its first playoff loss with a 5-4 win and forcing a decisive Game 7 of the California Community College Athletic Association Baseball Championship at John Euless Ballpark on Monday afternoon.
The Griffins had won 12 straight games, including eight straight in the postseason, to earn a spot in the championship game while Santa Rosa, which lost to Grossmont in the semifinals on Sunday, had to fight back with an elimination-game win later that day. The Bear Cubs beat El Camino, 8-5, in 10 innings to earn their ticket to the title game.
Santa Rosa carried the momentum to a 2-1 lead after three innings, and then got the eventual winning run in the seventh on Trevor Mallett's sacrifice fly that scored Blake Berry. The Griffins were unable to get a runner past second the rest of the way.
Berry, Josh Leeney, Matt Kimura and Daniel Beasley each had two hits for Santa Rosa while Cabot Van Til had a pair for Grossmont. Lenney pitched four innings to pick up his third win.