San Joaquin Delta wins the CCCAA Baseball Championship

San Joaquin Delta wins the CCCAA Baseball Championship

FRESNO - It took six meetings and came down to the final game of the season, but San Joaquin Delta College was able to hold off rival Sacramento City College, 7-5 on Monday at John Euless Ballpark to capture the California Community College Athletic Association Baseball State Championship. 

The two teams, both members of the Big 8 Conference, faced each other three times in the regular season and three more times in the postseason. They squared off in the championship semifinal with the Mustangs posting a win, while the Panthers earned a win on Monday morning to force a Game 7 winner-take-all game in the afternoon.

Trailing, 5-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, San Joaquin Delta scored five times, with the big blow being a bases loaded double by co-Most Valuable Player Jordan Vujovich, which plated three runs to tie the game. Jake Cruce then stepped up to drive in the eventual game-winning run with a double, while he came home on a throwing error off a base hit from Anthony Lucchetti.

Tournament co-MVP Kevin Kyle, who started the first game of the tournament, came on in the seventh inning with one out and retired eight of the 10 batters he faced, while striking out six batters. The final out came when Kyle struck out Kevin Saenz looking, which set off an eruption of celebration by the Mustang bench.

Sacramento City opened the game with two runs in the top of the first inning and added three more in the fifth inning. Joe McNamara provided a two runs single in the fifth inning and finished the game with three RBI.

In both 2014 and 2015, San Joaquin Delta advanced to the championship game, but came up short against Orange Coast College. This is the first title since the 2011 season when they won twice on the final day to defeat Ohlone College. It was also the also the last season that two Northern California teams reached the championship game.

As for Sacramento City, they were making their first visit to the championship game since 2007. Winners of five state titles, the loss in the finals was also the 12th runner-up finish for the Panthers.