Tigers claim playoff bid ahead of Golden Eagles

Baseball Roundup
By: Kurt Johnson Gold Country News Service
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LOOMIS — The final mountain was too steep for a team that has been fighting along the comeback trail for the entire season. The Del Oro High baseball team was down by six runs after two innings Thursday in a winner-take-all Sierra Foothill League game, and while the Golden Eagles made it interesting, they did not have enough. Roseville earned the third and final SFL playoff spot with an 11-6 win. After splitting the first two games of the three-game series, the two squads entered this contest tied for third and knowing that just the winner would continue playing into next week. The Tigers played like a team on a mission, using a collection of bloopers and bunts to score four in the first against Del Oro starter Brian Bynum. Roseville added two more in the second on a pair of long sacrifice flies, and it looked bleak for the home team, but there was no quit in the Eagles. Singles by Freddy Cargile, Copper Johnson, Jesse Lang, Ryan Xepoleus and Cole Perez allowed Del Oro to plate five runs in the home half of the third, and suddenly it was a one-run game. The Tigers added two runs to get back to a three-run cushion at 8-5, and with Tyler Ash coming on to toss two strong closing innings, that was enough. The Roseville closer had hurled a complete game in Roseville’s Wednesday win. “Ash kicked our butts the last two days,” Lachemann said. “Down 6-0 was tough on us today, but these guys battled like we have all year. We just couldn’t do enough to keep it close.” Lang and Xepoleus each had two hits for the Eagles as both teams banged out a total of nine hits in the game. The loss ends a tough season for Del Oro, which swept Nevada Union last week to set up this decisive set with Roseville. “If you had told us three weeks ago that we would be playing Roseville with a chance, we would have taken it,” Lachemann said. “We had them (with the Tuesday win), but hats off to Roseville, they came down to our place and took two.” Del Oro finishes its year 8-10 in the Sierra Foothill League and 12-12-1 overall. The Tigers (9-9, 14-13) open the D-II playoffs next Friday against Rosemont.