Sports

Chowchilla baseball wins thriller to reach first Valley Championship game since 2008.

Austin Hickman, Chowchilla
Austin Hickman, Chowchilla

The Chowchilla High baseball team is headed to its first Valley Championship game since 2008.

The seventh-seeded Tribe (16-11-1) scored the only run in the game in the top of the seventh inning and ace Austin Hickman made it stand up, going the distance in a 1-0 victory over No. 6 Fowler in the Central Section Division IV semifinals on Wednesday afternoon at Fowler High School.

Chowchilla will face No. 5 Monache (18-12) at Fresno State’s Pete Beiden Field on Saturday morning at 9:30 for the section title. The Marauders defeated No. 9 Bakersfield Christian 6-5 in the other semifinal game on Wednesday.

“It’s been a long time,” said Chowchilla coach Jeff Palmer. “They put it together at the end of the season and got hot along the way. We knew we had a team that could go the distance, it was just a matter of putting it together. We finally have and everyone is pumped up.”

The game was scoreless through six innings with Hickman and Fowler’s Parker Renteria locked in a pitchers’ duel.

Renteria went the whole way for the Redcats (17-12-1), striking out 13 and giving up just two hits.

A one-out walk to Cody Woolsey set up the Tribe for the game-winning rally in the seventh. Woolsey stole second base and, with two outs, Noah Linhares drove in the only run of the game with a single.

Hickman pitched seven innings, giving up just five hits, striking out four and surrendering just one walk. The fourth-year starter improved to 8-3 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.34.

“He had great poise and great command,” Palmer said. “He’s the one kid I want with the ball on the mound in those big situations. He’s always stepped up in the big games since he was a freshman pitching on varsity.”

Rain postpones games

The Buhach Colony and Livingston baseball teams both had their playoff games scheduled for Thursday postponed until Friday.

Buhach Colony (22-5) will host Rio Americano on Friday at 4 p.m. in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

Livingston (18-10) will travel to Woodland on Friday at 4 p.m. in the Division IV playoffs.

Softball

Del Oro 5, Atwater 2 in Loomis — The No. 7 seed Falcons (20-8) saw their season come to an end in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.

Michalah Robison doubled and drove in three runs for the No. 2 seeded Golden Eagles.

Megan Escobar went 1 for 2 and drove in a run for Atwater.

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