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Not this time: Central Catholic avenges football loss, run-rules Hilmar

Central Catholic's Billy Flamion pitched for the win against Hilmar, May 25, 2009.
(BRIAN RAMSAY/ Central Catholic's Billy Flamion pitched for the win against Hilmar, May 25, 2009. Merced Sun-Star

LODI -- The glass cleat finally fell off.

The Cinderella run through the playoffs came to an end for the Hilmar baseball team. There was no fairy tale finish for a team in search of the first section title in school history.

Instead, it was the same old story as Central Catholic celebrated its 10th straight Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a 10-0 win over Hilmar in the Division V championship Monday night at Tony Zupo Field.

Central Catholic extended its streak in dominant fashion.

Sophomore left-hander Billy Flamion struck out 10 hitters on his way to a no-hitter. Flamion's teammates backed him with 10 hits before the game was stopped after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

In a way, it was payback for Hilmar upsetting Central Catholic in the football section title game in December.

"We felt some pressure, especially with football," Flamion said. "Our seniors didn't want to be on teams that saw two streaks end in the same year."

Hilmar, which really became the little team that could during the playoffs, struggled on the big stage.

A large crowd showed up and the Hilmar half of the stands was decorated with green and yellow balloons.

They watched as Hilmar committed five errors on defense and struggled to get anything going against Flamion on offense.

"We've never played in front of a big crowd like this," Hilmar senior Sam Ramirez said. "Emotions were running high and I think that had something to do with it.

"It's heartbreaking. You work so hard to get here and then it crumbles right before your eyes."

Hilmar left-hander Brandon Cummings retired Central Catholic (25-6) in order in the first inning. However, he quickly found himself in trouble in the second inning.

Alec Dilallo crushed a double deep into the left-center field gap to start the inning. After a harmless pop up, Patrick Trinkler, C.J. Carson and Justin Pawek recorded three straight hits. The big blow was Pawek's two-run triple that gave Central Catholic a 3-0 lead.

By the end of the inning, Central had sent 10 hitters to the plate and had jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

Dilallo was at the center of another four-run rally in the fourth inning with a two-run single to help Central Catholic extend the lead to 8-0.

Meanwhile, Flamion(13-2) was cruising.

The Central Catholic starter changed things up after giving up two homers in 7-6 loss to Hilmar on April 30th.

"I knew that they knew about my fastball," said Flamion, whose fastball topped out at 88 mph on Monday. "I knew they would sit on it. I had to make sure I threw my curveball for a strike. If I didn't, it would have been a long day."

Flamion had the Hilmar hitters guessing all game.

The only two Hilmar hitters to reach were Cummings on a strike out on a ball in the dirt in the third inning and Ramirez on a walk in the fourth.

"He came out and threw the ball well," said Hilmar coach Justin Steelman, whose team finished the season with a 13-16 record. "He was ready to play."

Dilallo put the finishing touches on the title with a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth.

Jeremiah Graff came around to score from second base for the 10th run and tackled Flamion behind home plate and the rest of the Central Catholic players piled on top.

"We had a good run in the playoffs," Steelman said. "They say good things have to come to an end at some point. I'm proud of our kids.

"Just getting here has been a long time coming for Hilmar. It means a lot to the school, the kids and the community."

Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship


At Tony Zupo Field

Hilmar 000 00 -- 0 0 5

Central Catholic 040 42 -- 10 10 0

Brandon Cummings, Carl Jameson (4) and Will Wescott; Billy Flamion and C.J. Carson. WP -- Flamion. LP -- Cummings.

HILMAR -- None.

CENTRAL CATHOLIC -- Alec Dilallo 3-4 (2 2B, 4 RBI, 2 Runs), Patrick Trinkler 2-3 (2 Runs), Justin Pawek 2-3 (3B, 2 RBi).

Records: Hilmar 13-16; Central Catholic25-6.