ATWATER — Devin Mahoney has hit enough home runs to know what it feels like when he hits one.
Mahoney instantly had that feeling on Thursday night after launching a shot in the fourth inning off Atwater starter Ryan Sanchez.
The St. Mary's slugger casually flipped his bat as the ball sailed over the right-field fence for a solo home run to break a 3-3 tie.
Mahoney's blast was part of a three-hit, five-RBI night as he powered the Panthers to a 12-4 win over Atwater to win the championship of the 54th Annual Fran Oneto/Atwater-Winton Lions Easter Baseball Tournament at Fireman's Memorial Ballpark.
"When I hit a home run, I usually don't do that, flip the bat," Mahoney said. "I meant no disrespect. I usually just jog around the bases, but I was really into the game. It just kind of happened. I felt bad after I did it."
Mahoney should have spent more time apologizing to the baseballs he crushed during the tournament. Mahoney hit two home runs in the tournament as he went 9 for 14 at the plate with seven RBIs to earn tournament MVP honors.
"He's a dude," Atwater coach Jarrod Pimentel said.
Mahoney put an end to any late-inning comebacks when he laced a three-run double in the seventh inning down the left-field line that skipped to the wall.
The Panthers broke the game open late, but it was nip and tuck early as Sanchez and St. Mary's Oregon-State-bound pitcher Kevin Flemer silenced the bats early.
Sanchez retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced.
Flemer had the Falcons swinging behind his fastball until the second time through the order.
Atwater (10-7) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning as it took advantage of three St. Mary's errors. The Falcons' Dalton Beatty, who was named the Outstanding Hitter of the Tournament, highlighted the inning with an RBI single.
The Panthers answered right back as Mahoney and Max Goldstein each delivered run-scoring singles during a three-run fourth inning.
Mahoney then crushed a homer in the fifth to give St. Mary's a 4-3 lead.
The Falcons made some great plays behind Sanchez on defense. Bear Vasquez and Brandon Curiel made diving plays worthy of being on any highlight show early in the game.
However, it was the mistakes on routine plays that came back to haunt Atwater.
A dropped pop up opened the door for St. Mary's three-run sixth inning.
"We have the potential to be a really good team," Pimentel said. "Sometimes we just can't put it all together. We can't get that complete game."
Flemer pitched into the seventh inning and finished with eight strikeouts to get the win.
Atwater's Vic Tiscareno and Bear Vasquez were named to the all-tournament team.
ST. MARY'S 12, ATWATER 4
At Fireman's Memorial Ballpark
St. Mary's 000 313 5 -- 12 13 0
Atwater 003 001 0 -- 4 8 3
Kevin Flemer, Sean O'Farrell (7) and Stephen Giutinni. Ryan Sanchez, Vic Tiscareno (7) and Matt Parker. WP -- Flemer. LP -- Sanchez.
ST. MARY'S -- Malik Eddy (3B, Run, RBI), Nico Aldaco (2B, 3 Runs), Devin Mahoney 3-4 (2B, HR, 3 Runs, 5 RBI), Flemer 4-5 (2B, RBI).
ATWATER -- Bear Vasquez (3B, Run).
Record: Atwater 10-7.
MINARETS 4, MERCED 3
Merced 020 001 0 -- 3 9 2
Minarets 030 100 x -- 4 5 2
Jordan Kemps, Mitchell Miller (5) and Cody Laney; Helleiman, Carter (7) and Reardon. WP -- Helleiman. LP -- Kemps.
MERCED -- Derek Alva (2-4, Sam Fuerte (2B), Joseph Salmeri 2-4, Craig Bettis (2B, Run).
MOREAU 6, LIVINGSTON 4
Moreau 300 111 0 -- 6 6 0
Livingston 200 100 1 -- 4 7 3
Orourke, Cascalda (4) and Reichle; Joseph Chavez, Sean Brunelle (5) and Luis Santa Cruz. WP -- Orourke. LP -- Chavez.
LIVINGSTON -- Gabriel Perez 3-3 (2B, Run, 2 RBI), Brian Perez 2-3.