Stefan Arnsberg gave himself a birthday present he soon won't forget.
The Golden Valley junior celebrated his 17th birthday with his first career four-hit game, including a game-winning double in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel GV to a 4-3 win over Atwater on Friday night at Merced College.
"That's the best birthday to date," said Arnsberg, who went 4 for 4 and drove in two runs. "To play a game on the night of your birthday is pretty fun.
"My parents gave me some cologne and stuff. But that was the best birthday present."
Three of Golden Valley's seven Central California Conference wins have come in its last at-bat.
"I don't know if there is a word to describe how I feel right now," said GV coach Scott Solis, whose team sits alone in second place in the CCC at 7-3. "(Atwater) came to play.
"We need to figure out how to play at the same level every game."
Arnsberg's heroics came after Atwater's Brock Pisacco tied the game at 3-3 with a solo homer off GV ace Trevor Cesar in the top of the seventh.
"We played so well tonight," said Atwater coach Jared Pimentel, whose team dropped to 1-7 in the CCC.
"From one through seven, we played a complete game against one of the best pitchers around."
Cesar gritted his way through seven innings.
The Duke-bound senior needed 103 pitches as he struggled with his control while dishing out five walks.
"That was more guts than anything because he didn't have his best stuff," Solis said.
Golden Valley answered Atwater throughout the game and the final inning was no different.
GV's Jordan Locke singled with one out to set the stage for Arnsberg.
"Thank God, Trevor is hitting behind me," Arnsberg said. "Even though I was 3 for 3, I knew they would pitch to me with the reigning MVP behind me
"I knew I was going to get a fastball and I hit it."
The hit made the birthday cupcakes handed out to the team by Arnsberg's mom taste that much better.
"That's a good thing," Solis said. "I didn't even know it was his birthday -- happy birthday."
Central California Conference
GOLDEN VALLEY 4
At Merced College
ATWATER 000 020 1-- 3 8 1
GOLDEN VALLEY 100 020 1-- 4 10 1
Lance Button and Nathan Sanchez; Trevor Cesar and Peter Sandino, Alex Fletcher (5).
WP -- Cesar. LP -- Button.
ATWATER -- Colton Beatty (2B), Brock Pisacco 2-3 (HR), Button 2-4.
GOLDEN VALLEY -- Jordan Locke 2-3, Stefan Arnsberg 4-4 (2B, 2 RBI).
Records: Atwater 1-7 CCC; Golden Valley 7-3, 15-8 overall.