Mariposa wins D-6 baseball championship

LODI -- Mariposa iron man Jacob Johnson, knowing he's got all summer to rest his arm, spent Monday morning convincing coach Bruce Vegely to give him one more start.

"It's for the championship, so I worked him pretty hard," the senior said. "They were going to bring me in late if the situation was right, but I felt I could throw one more time."

Johnson won the argument -- and Mariposa won its second Sac-Joaquin Section Division 6 title in three seasons.

Johnson had a three-hitter, allowing just one hit over the final four innings, as the Grizzlies beat Golden Sierra 5-1.

It capped an historic week for Johnson: He won all four of Mariposa's playoff games.

"I've got an easy throwing motion and I like to throw the fastball," said Johnson, who mixed in curves and sliders. "I play a lot of long toss and throw bullpen during the offseason to build up strength."

It paid off for the Grizzlies.

Johnson, who won the first playoff game in relief, threw 10 innings Friday and picked up two wins over Marysville.

The wins rallied Mariposa to victory in the best-of-three series and put it in the final. He threw seven on Monday, for 17 innings in four days.

The section restricts pitchers to 10 innings in a calendar week, Monday through Saturday. Luckily for Mariposa, the new week began Monday.

"Once I convinced coach to let me pitch, I had to come out and throw well. Pressure was on," Johnson said. "I was using my two-seam (fastball) to get the inside corner. It was hitting all the right spots."

The score was 1-1 in the bottom of the third, when Kevin Farraker tripled and scored on Jarrett Miller's sacrifice fly. Two runs in the fourth, A.J. Hall's single and Colin Stitt's sacrifice fly produced them, boosted the lead to 4-1.

Mariposa nearly didn't get out of the first round of the playoffs, Vegely noted, so winning the title was a surprise.

"We rallied for three in the seventh to beat Lindhurst," Vegely said. "That was Jake's first win. He got us rolling."