Healdsburg Claims Berth to State Championship; Forte’s Two Laser Doubles Lead Saints to CCL Championship Berth

Updated: July 25, 2019

July 25, 2019

Healdsburg, CA

John Lagattuta (Cal) homered for the second consecutive game, singled and drove in four runs, and Bryan Sturges (UT San Antonio) doubled and drove in two runs to lead the Healdsburg Prune Packers to an 8-4 win over the Lincoln Potters tonight at Recreation Park, giving the Packers the championship of the CCL Affiliates Division and a berth to the 2019 California State Championship Saturday at Sparky Anderson Field in Thousand Oaks. Lagattuta’s home run came with two outs in the second inning with Healdsburg trailing 3-0, after Lincoln scored once in their first at bat when Lorenzo Debrecht (Sierra JC) led off the game with a home run, and twice in the top of the second inning when Parker Kelly (Texas Tech) hit a two-run home run. Two batters walked with two outs to set up Lagattuta’s home run that tied the score and, in his next at bat in the fourth inning, Lagattuta put Healdsburg in front when his single drove in Connor Mack (Cal), who had doubled right before his hit. Three batters later Lagattuta scored on a Sturges sacrifice fly to make the score 5-3. Morgan White (Portand) was the starting pitcher for the Packers and went two innings, allowing the two early home runs while striking out two. Michael Clark (Cal Poly) was the first reliever into the game, starting the third inning in relief of White, and worked around a two-out double by Isaiah Garcia (Cal St Fullerton) to pitch that inning scoreless, pitched around a walk in a scoreless fourth before allowing a run in the fifth when Charles Middleton hit Lincoln’s third home run of the game to make the score 5-4. That was as close as the Potters would get as Randy Polonia (UConn), Trey Garlett (Texas Tech) and Devin Kirby shutout Lincoln the rest of the way. Polonia pitched out of a sticky when a walk and two singles loaded the bases with out for the Potters in the sixth inning, but Polonia got a flyout and a groundout to escape unscathed. He then retired the first two batters of the seventh before Garlett came on to retire the third out in the seventh and the first out of the eighth, allowing a single and a hit batter before Kirby took over. Kirby was on the mound when Sturges picked the runner off second base from his catcher’s position for the second out of the eighth and Kirby struck out the last batter of that inning and then retired the side in order in the ninth, striking out the last two batters of the game, to secure the championship for Healdsburg. Jakob Frederick (San Joaquin JC) started on the mound for Lincoln and suffered the loss, allowing five runs on four hits while striking out one over three innings. Tyler Mead (Biola) pitched three scoreless innings for the Potters in relief of Frederick, striking out two, before Healdsburg added their last three runs, scoring once in the seventh inning on Mack’s RBI-groundout and two in the eighth when Sturges hit an RBI-double and scored later on a passed ball. The win qualified Healdsburg for a berth in the state championship set to begin Saturday in Thousand Oaks. The Packers will play the winner of the CCL Championship game between the Santa Barbara Foresters and Arroyo Seco Saints tomorrow at 4:30pm, also in Thousand Oaks.

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Thousand Oaks, CA

Anthony Forte (Richmond) cleared the bases with a two-out, three-run double in the fifth inning and drove in two runs with a double in his next at bat in the seventh, Pete Derkay (Tennessee) and Drew Cowley (Cal Pomona) each hit RBI-doubles and Morgan Allen (St. Edward’s) hit a two-out, two-run single to lead the Arroyo Seco Saints to a 12-7 win over the Orange County Riptide in the elimination game of the CCL playoffs today at Sparky Anderson Field. With the win, the number three seeded Saints advance to the CCL Championship Game tomorrow when they will meet the number one seeded Santa Barbara Foresters in a winner-take-all game to determine the league champion for 2019. Forte’s first double broke open what had been a close 5-3 game. His hit to the wall in the right-center gap drove in three runners after Thomas McCarthy (San Francisco) singled and Christian Scott (Tennessee) walked with two outs to load the bases after a batter reached base on a fielder’s choice. Forte scored the Saints fourth run of the fifth after advancing to third on an Allen single and coming home when Allen was picked off of first base but stayed in a rundown long enough for Forte to give Arroyo Seco a 9-3 lead. Both teams had scoring opportunities in every inning early in this game with the Saints scoring three unearned runs in their first at bat when a two-out walk and an error put two runners on board in front of Derkay’s double and Derkay scoring on a Jayson Gonzales (Vanderbilt) RBI-single, only to have the Riptide score twice in their first at bat on three consecutive hits to leadoff the bottom of the first inning, including a two-run double by Dylan Rock (UT San Antonio). The Saints scored twice more in the second inning on three hits, including Allen’s two-run single, and Orange County scored once in their half of the inning when Daniel Jung (Notre Dame) walked, advanced on a Carson Matthews (BYU) single and scored on a sacrifice fly. Both teams’ starting pitchers had a tough time getting outs in this game. Devin Sutorius (Biola) started for the Riptide and lasted only two innings while Cade Bullinger (Texas State) went two-plus, allowing two singles to leadoff the third inning before Eli Riechmann (Blinn) came on to strand the two runners by retiring three straight batters, including a sparkling diving grab by Allen at second base on a hard-hit line-drive by Jung for the first out of the third that changed the complexion of the inning, if not the game. Riechmann would go on to pitch two more scoreless innings before a walk and a Max Ferguson (Tennessee) home run in the sixth inning got Orange County closer 9-5. But, after two one-out walks, Forte took back the momentum for the Saints when he hit another line drive double into the right center gap to score two and did it one better when Cowley drove him in one out later with his double. Isaiah Ramos (Antelope Valley) started the seventh inning in relief of Riechmann and retired the side in order to pitch that inning scoreless before allowing two runs in the eighth when Matthews doubled and scored on a Chad Crosbie (Miami) pinch-hit home run to post the final 12-7 score. The game was called at the end of eight innings because of darkness and CCL Commissioner Pat Burns declared it an official game, deciding it was not in the teams’ best interests to regroup overnight and travel to a field that has not been reserved to complete the last inning of today’s game and then regroup again to meet the Foresters in the championship game. The Saints will meet Santa Barbara 4pm tomorrow at Sparky Anderson Field.

Click here for the boxscore of this game

The CCL Playoffs continue tomorrow at Sparky Anderson Field on the campus of Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Tomorrow the No. 3 seeded Arroyo Seco Saints will meet the No. 1 seeded Santa Barbara Foresters in a winner-take-all championship game. Game time is 4:30pm. The winner of the Affiliate Division Playoffs, Healdsburg Prune Packers, will meet the CCL Champion in a best-of-three California State Championship set to begin Saturday at Sparky Anderson Field at 12pm.

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