By Wes McCurtis
FRESNO, CA – The Cypress College baseball team (31-15, 12-9 OEC) ended their season with a crushing 6-5 loss to Golden West in the State Semi-Final on Sunday. The Chargers dropped their opening game of the tournament against eventual State Champion Santa Rosa 6-5 on Saturday before bouncing back with an 11-7 victory over San Joaquin Delta in the morning game on Sunday.
The Chargers got off to a hot start against the Rustlers in the semi-final. In the top of the first inning Nick Reeser (2-for-4, 3 RBI) and Bo Coolen (1-for-4, RBI) each hit RBI singles to give Cypress an early 2-0 lead. The Chargers posted 3 more runs in the top of the fifth after an RBI double from Elijah Skipps (2-for-4, RBI) followed by 2-run homer to left field from Reeser.
Despite not recording a hit after the fifth inning, Cypress seemingly had control of the game with a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. With 2 outs and the bases loaded, Cypress starter Henry Martinez (5-4) was replaced by Sebastian Lopez after 7.2 innings. Golden West's Daniel Maguire (2-for-4, 2 RBI) stepped to the plate and launched a 2 RBI double to right field to cut the lead to 3. The Chargers made another change at the mound by calling on freshman reliever Tripp Aversa. A wild pitch from Aversa allowed the third run to score. Following a John Shattles walk, Philip Knapp (1-for-3, RBI) laid down a bunt to score the runner from the third while beating the throw to first and keeping the inning alive. Tyler Depreta (1-for-4, RBI) brought in the tying run with an RBI single before the Chargers could collect the third and final out of the inning.
With momentum on their side, the Rustlers ended the Chargers' season with a walk-off single from Shattles in the tenth inning.
After a 3rd overall finish in the state this season, Cypress will look to develop this year's freshman talent and bring in another strong recruiting class this offseason to make another run at a State Championship next season.
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