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Former Buhach Colony star's bat swelters in summer heat

The triple-digit heat didn't keep Joe Medeiros from having fun.

The former Buhach Colony star has had the type of summer where he can't wait to pick up a bat -- and on Saturday he had a game to remember.

All Medeiros did was go 5 for 5 with a tape-measure home run, two doubles, five runs scored and five RBIs in the second game as the Merced Volunteers finished off a two-game sweep of Stockton Ed Stewart in the Area 3 Legion championship at Merced College.

The Vols won the first game 11-9 and followed that up with an 18-10 victory to punch their ticket for Yountville and the American Legion State Tournament for the fifth straight year.

"All summer, I've seen the ball real well," Medeiros said. "I don't know, I'm just having fun. I'm not working and I'm not in school. I'm just playing baseball. That takes a lot of the pressure off."

The Volunteers followed Medeiros' lead, pounding their way to Yountville with 29 runs on 35 hits in the two games.

"We've been hitting the ball well," Vols coach Rollo Adams said. "The last six or seven games, we've put up some runs. We just have to fix that defense."

A couple of misplays at the wrong times made for some tense moments for Merced (21-13).

The Volunteers actually watched an 8-0 lead evaporate with ace Dylan Floro on the mound in the first game.

Floro struggled while adjusting to what seemed to be a strike zone that changed inning to inning.

Nonetheless, Floro took a no-hitter into the fifth before giving up three doubles and three runs that cut the lead to 8-3.

A dropped fly in left opened the door to six unearned runs in the seventh.

Despite 11 strikeouts, Floro got a no-decsion when Stuart Burnett launched a grand slam off of Vols reliever Nick Bernardi to give Ed Stewart a 9-8 lead.

However, the Vols rallied in the top of the ninth as Daniel Benson tied the game with a sacrifice fly and Marco Ledesma singled home Brock Pisacco with the eventual winning run.

"When you're up in that situation, you have those butterflies but you're excited at the same time," Ledesma said. "The feeling in the dugout was that we just had to come back."

The Vols wasted little time in the second game: Medeiros' two-run homer highlighted a seven-run, first-inning rally.

Medeiros' homer sailed over the trees in right-center field, bounced on the track and finally stopped somewhere near the 30-yard line on Don Odishoo Field.

"Joe has been in a zone all summer," Adams said. "Since we started, he's hit the ball hard consistently and he's hit for extra-base power."

Brett Mooneyham struck out 11 and gave up four runs in six innings to pick up the win.

Justin Koehler collected six hits in the doubleheader, including four doubles. Art Corona added five hits.

The Vols will open the state tournament on Saturday against Area 4 champions Lakewood at 3 p.m.