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Prep Baseball Division IV Championship: TITLETOWN!

CHOWCHILLA -- Michael York was in the spot every pitcher dreams about at the end of a championship game.

The Chowchilla junior found himself on the bottom of a dog pile.

York threw his glove in the air after striking out Kingsburg's Michael Harbour for the final out of Chowchilla's 7-0 win in the Central Section Division IV Valley Championship game Thursday afternoon.

Chowchilla catcher Kyle Espinola jumped into York's arms and the rest of York's teammates piled on as they celebrated the school's second baseball section title and first since 1989.

"That's the best thing that's ever happened," said York, who pitched a four-hit shutout. "Kyle jumped on me. I kind of caught him but we fell down. Everyone just jumped on top.

"It kind of hurt a little."

Kingsburg felt a different kind of pain, as Chowchilla (26-6) took charge right from the start.

York hit an RBI single to give himself a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Chowchilla then turned a hit batter and a Kingsburg error into two runs in the second inning.

Things only got worse for Kingsburg (21-7), who came up short in the Valley Championship game for the third straight year.

Andy Jurado added a two-run double and Matt Kinsley followed with a two-run homer that rode the gusty wind as Chowchilla built a 7-0 lead by the third inning.

Meanwhile, York turned in another stellar performance on the mound with 10 strikeouts and just one walk.

Espinola led Chowchilla's nine-hit attack with three knocks.

Chowchilla ran wild on the base paths with six steals and played flawless defense.

"We pitched well, we stole bases, we got some key hits in key situations," Chowchilla coach Kirk Delmas said. "Today was a microcosm of how we've played all year."

Chowchilla came into the season with two main goals.

Delmas' boys came up short of the first, which was winning a North Sequoia League title, with three one-run losses to Washington Union.

On Thursday, though, they accomplished No. 2.

"Our guys were very aware of the history involved," Delmas said. "It's been a long time since Chowchilla's won a Valley Championship."

The Chowchilla skipper admitted he was a little nervous before the game.

"I was worried for my kids," he said. "I spend as much time with these kids as you do your own kids.

"Just like when your son comes up to bat in Little League, you get apprehensive."

That's why Delmas took so much satisfaction as he stood back and watched his team celebrate at the end of the game.

"At one time, Chowchilla was a baseball town," he said. "We wanted to make it one again."

Mission accomplished.

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com or via phone at 385-2462.

Central Section, Division IV Championship Game:

Chowchilla 7, Kingsburg 0

at Chowchilla

KINGSBURG 000 000 0 -- 0 4 2

CHOWCHILLA 124 000 X -- 7 9 0

Michael York and Kyle Espinola; Brian Brady, Levi Peterson (3) and Danny Flores. WP -- York. LP -- Brady.

KINGSBURG --Jordan Carlson (2B).

CHOWCHILLA --Espinola 3-4 (2B, Run), Steven DeWall 2-3, York 2-3 (RBI), Andy Jurado (2B, 2 RBI), Matt Kinsley (HR, 2 RBI).

Records: Kinsburg 21-7; Chowchilla 26-6.

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