Fresno, CA - The Chargers defeated conference rival and sister school Fullerton College 10-3 to capture their 5th State Championships under Coach Scott Pickler. The last State banners were won in 2003, 1999, 1997 and 1991. This marked the third decade that Pickler had brought home a banner at least once in each.
The dramatic story of this Charger team that finished 4th in the conference and was in danger of not making the Regionals. However the selection committee understood the strength of the Orange Empire Conference amd awarded the Chargers a 9th seed, which meant that they had to play on the road through out the post season. Pickler and his staff were once again brilliant in preparing the team to face adversary.
Going on the road at Cuesta, the champions of the Western State North Conference, the Chargers swept through two games by scores of 8-3 and 5-0. Then heading south on the 5 Freeway, the Chargers were thrown into the lions cage of Mt SAC, Canyons and Saddleback. They lost the first game to Mt SAC, and must go the long way through the losing bracket. Down 4-2 to Canyons in the elimination game, the Chargers scored 3 times in the B9 to win 5-4 and barely staying alive. On the same afternoon, they had to face Saddleback which beat them three times during the year, in the second elimination game. Once again, the Chargers came up with a 6-4 victory and suddenly the Super Regionals were without their host. The Chargers had their breakfast with Mt SAC, a team that beat them in the opening round. The Chargers pulled out some magic with their fourth pitcher, Nick Rogowski and defeat the Mounties 7-3. However the party was far from being over, as they only forced the final decisive game against the Mounties with no pitcher left. Pickler assigned Alon Leichman who only started one game this season to take the assignment. Leichman pitched the gutsiest game of his career in a Charger uniform, went the distance and shoutout the Mounties 7-0 to take the Chargers into the State tourney.
Fresno was friendly to the Chargers as they cruised through Santa Rosa, and Fullerton twice. In the three games, the Chargers outscored their opponents 27-6. This was certainly a sweet championships for the Chargers which entered the post season with a 23-13 record and went 9-1 to claim their fifth title in the school history.
Quick facts at the State:
- Tyler Schultz batted .538 in the three games.
- Stephen Kane pitched his usual opening game and collected his 13th victory of the season.
- Pickler collected his 904th victory, 5th state title, and 10 Final Four appearances.
- Fullerton beat Cypress twice during the season.
- The Chargers entered State as the only team not winning the conference.
- Brother Brad leads Scott 8-5 in State banners for Cypress.