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Buhach Colony offense explodes for 13 runs to clinch back-to-back CCC championships.

Buhach Colony senior Dhelahn Tilghman hits a double during the Thunder’s 13-5 win over Golden Valley. The Thunder clinched their second straight Central California Conference championship on Tuesday, May, 7, 2019.
Buhach Colony senior Dhelahn Tilghman hits a double during the Thunder’s 13-5 win over Golden Valley. The Thunder clinched their second straight Central California Conference championship on Tuesday, May, 7, 2019. Sjansen@mercedsun-star.com

The Buhach Colony High baseball team finished the regular season strong, winning their final seven Central California Conference games to win their second consecutive conference championship.

The Thunder (21-5 overall, 11-1 CCC0 clinched the title outright on Tuesday with a 13-5 win over Golden Valley. It’s the 10th CCC championship in program history.

“These guys earned it,” said Buhach Colony coach Greg Wakefield. “They’ve worked really hard. I call them the ‘Dirty Dozen’ because there is only 12 of them.”

The Thunder only spent two days out of first place this season after losing the first game of a two-game series against Atwater on April 2.

Two days later, BC earned a split in the series with a 2-0 win over the Falcons and have won every CCC game since.

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Buhach Colony senior Alex Kendrick delivers a pitch during the Thunder’s 13-5 win over Golden Valley on Tuesday May, 7, 2019 at Buhach Colony High in Atwater, Calif. Shawn Jansen Sjansen@mercedsun-star.com

“After that game we realized we’re not unstoppable,” said Thunder sophomore Jake Sapien, who drove in three runs against the Cougars. “We could be beat. That made us work harder.”

Buhach Colony erupted for 10 runs in the first three innings as the Thunder opened up a double-digit lead against the Cougars (9-17, 5-7 CCC).

Buhach Colony pounded out 13 hits as Daniel Casso led the way, going 3 for 3, including a double and a triple, with three runs, two RBIs.

The Thunder received contributions up and down the order as six players finished with multiple hits. Dhelahn Tilghman added two hits, three runs and two RBIs. Brandon Ruiz and Brandon Ekizian both collected two hits, two runs and two stolen bases.

John Trujillo picked up the win in relief for the Thunder, who will find out who they will open the playoffs against on Friday when the Sac-Joaquin Section will release the playoff brackets.

“We have all the momentum going into the playoffs,” said Buhach Colony senior R.J. Garcia, who added two hits. “We have good energy. After sharing the title with Pitman and Turlock last year, we knew that was something we didn’t want to do again this year.”

Atwater 5, Merced 2 in Atwater — Jacob Weiss pitched four innings to pick up the win and also had two hits, including a double and an RBI as the Falcons finished the regular season 23-4 overall and 10-2 in the CCC.

Weiss struck out seven and gave up just one hit and six walks.

Colby Flatt added two hits and two runs scored and Nathaniel Silva scored three times for the Falcons.

Xaiver Stewart struck out seven batters in five innings of work for Merced (9-18, 2-10 CCC).

Livingston 3, Modesto Christian 0 in Livingston — Senior Cesar Avila struck out 14 batters on his way to tossing a two-hit shutout to help the Wolves (16-10, 9-2 Trans-Valley League) clinch at least a share of the TVL championship.

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