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Golden Valley eliminated

STOCKTON -- The call will stick with Golden Valley for a long, long time.

As soon as the field umpire signaled the out, three Golden Valley coaches stormed the field.

GV's Trevor Cesar appeared to have beaten out an infield single easily in the top of the seventh inning.

However, the umpire ruled St. Mary's second baseman David Nino's throw beat Cesar to the bag.

Instead of Golden Valley trailing 2-1 with one out and the bases loaded, GV had runners on second and third with two outs.

Left-hander Louie Lechich then struck out Stefan Arnsberg to end the game.

The turn of events allowed St. Mary's to escape with a 2-1 win in an elimination bout in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs Tuesday night at UOP.

"I can't legally say anything about the call," GV coach Scott Solis said. "If I say anything, it will get me in trouble. We all definitely thought he was safe."

Golden Valley first base coach Matt Thissen -- who had a clear view of the play -- wasn't as diplomatic.

"It wasn't even close," Thissen said. "He was a full step past the bag. I want to think it was an honest mistake, but man alive...

"How can you miss that? That wasn't even close."

It was a controversial ending that Golden Valley could have avoided if it would have come through with key hits earlier in the game.

GV left eight runners on base and went hitless in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Golden Valley left runners on second and third in the first inning. Then Jordan Locke drew a leadoff walk and worked his way to third base, where he was stranded in the fourth inning.

GV (18-11) missed another great scoring opportunity in the sixth when Arnsberg led off the inning with a triple but was unable to score.

The blown chances wasted another strong effort from submarine right-hander Ralf Vasquez, who went the distance -- giving up just four hits and two runs.

Vasquez's only mistake was a two-run double off the bat of St. Mary's Josh Grijalva in the bottom of the third inning.

It looked like Vasquez was going to get rewarded with GV's seventh-inning rally.

With one out, Alex Fletcher lined a single to right. Lechich came on to walk the next two hitters, loading the bases.

Cesar then hit a check-swing dribbler to Nino at second, the throw looked to be late -- but Cesar was called out and heartbreak was just ahead.

Cesar just stood at first base in disbelief.

"I had just crossed the plate and turned around," said Fletcher, who scored on the play.

"Once I heard everyone screaming, I feared the worst. It's a tough break. It's tough to blame it on the umpires, but that's a tough break."

Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs

ST. MARY'S 2, GOLDEN VALLEY 1

At Klein Family Field

G. VALLEY 000 000 1 -- 1 5 0

ST. MARY'S 002 000 x -- 2 4 0

Ralf Vasquez and Alex Fletcher; John Coughlan, Jordan Mould (6), Louie Lechich (7) and Michael Rivera. WP -- Coughlan. LP -- Vasquez. SV -- Lechich.

GOLDEN VALLEY -- Stefan Arnsberg (3B), Alex Fletcher 3-3.

ST. MARY'S -- Josh Grijalva (2B, 2 RBI).

Records: GV 18-11; St. Mary's 19-11.

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