In a back-and-forth battle of Giants, Bear River rallied back from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday night to score a 15-14 win against Sierra Foothills and capture the District 11 Area 2 Tournament of Champions title.
Bear River scored the game-winner on Chris Lopez’s RBI single off Sierra Foothills reliever Danny Casalagio that pushed David Keaton across the plate.
The win moves Bear River into the District 11 TOC championship series, which opens Thursday against the Area 1 winner.
Sierra Foothills entered the bottom half of the extra inning with a 14-12 lead. But Bear River battled back into contention by loading the bases on a walk and a pair of Sierra Foothills errors.
Josh Toft drew his fourth intentional walk of the game before Justin Brown and Keaton followed by reaching on errors. Toft scored on a wild pitch and Brown scored on Sierra Foothills’ third error of the inning to knot the game at 14-14.
One inning earlier, Bear River had twice attempted to score the game-winner and twice was turned away with plays at the plate.
With things tied at 12-12, Kyle Soria attempted to score from second on a hit to left field, but was gunned down at the plate on a relay throw from Sierra Foothills shortstop Matt Paskey.
On the next at-bat, Nickolas Medenwald attempted to score from second on a single to center field, but Sierra Foothills came up with another play at the plate when Tanner Kane made a perfect throw and catcher Bret Fowler blocked the plate again.
Sierra Foothills then carried that momentum over to the top of the seventh, when Paskey hit a solo home run to take a 13-12 lead. Sierra Foothills added another run on a walk with the bases loaded.
Bear River did most of its offensive damage early, scoring 11 runs in the first two innings. Michael Raygoza led the way with a 3-for-4 night, including two runs scored. Lopez went 2-for-4 with two singles, including the game-winning RBI. Tyler Toft was 1-for-4 with two runs scored, while Josh Toft and Brown each scored three runs on the night. Keaton had a double and scored two runs, while Soria added a triple.
For Sierra Foothills, Paskey went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, 3 RBIs and four runs scored. Mike Lerner went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored. Roger Lillie also had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a home run, 3 RBIs and three runs scored.
Bear River’s Giants, the Area 2 champion, will be back in action Thursday in the first round of the District 11 TOC best-of-three championship series against the Area 1 champ. Bear River will face the winner of the Rocklin-Tri City game also played Tuesday.
Bear River will host the first game at 7 p.m. Thursday, with game two scheduled for 7 p.m. in Lincoln and game three, if necessary, back Saturday at Bear River.
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4240.
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