08/01/2017 9:04 PM
Josh Berman (Clark CC) went 3-4, all RBI singles.
MEDFORD, Ore. – The Medford Rogues (39-17) defeated the Chico Heat (34-22) 11-2 on Tuesday night at Harry & David Field to clinch the Great West League regular season title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Heat centerfielder Tanner Tokunaga singled to lead off the game, but was thrown out trying to steal second by Alex Isola (Yavapai).
In the bottom of the first, Jayden Hanna (Lane CC) walked and Eric Yang (UC Santa Barbara) was hit by a pitch.
With two outs in the inning, Johnny DeLaCruz (Louisiana-Monroe) hit a ground-rule double down the right field line to score Hanna and move Yang to third base.
The next batter, Jake Hellweg (Bethune Cookman), fouled a ball off his foot and was in some obvious pain. After taking a few minutes to walk it off, Hellweg hit the next pitch he saw into right field, scoring Yang and DeLaCruz.
Hellweg then stole second with Dante Gutierrez (University of San Diego) at the plate. Hellweg caught his left index finger on the cleat of Heat second baseman Brandon DeLaGuardia. He called over the trainer and had to be removed from the game due to a small amount of blood on his left index finger.
Caleb Smith (Linn-Benton CC) came on as a pinch runner, and scored on the RBI single by Josh Berman (Clark CC).
The Heat loaded the bases in the third inning with one out, but starting pitcher Jaiden France (San Jose State) struck out Carson McCusker and got Marcus Wilhite to ground to first base to end the inning. France scattered three hits, struck out three over five innings, and allowed just one earned run. France moved to 5-0 on the season. The Rogues have won his last nine starts.
Heat shortstop Eric Robles doubled to lead off the fifth, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on a wild pitch to give the Heat their first run of the game.
Hanna doubled to lead off the fifth inning. Yang hit a groundball to short, and Robles threw to third base to try to get the running Hanna. The ball bounced off Hanna's leg and rolled into foul territory, allowing Hanna to score.
Isola singled and Smith walked to bring up Berman, who singled to left field to score Isola.
Heat catcher Joe Bath singled in the sixth inning, but was thrown out trying to steal second by Isola.
Isola singled to lead off the seventh, and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a ground out. Smith walked to put runners on the corners for Gutierrez.
Gutierrez hit a line drive double to the gap in left-center field to score Isola.
Berman came up and delivered his third RBI single of the game, which scored Smith.
In the eighth inning, Hanna walked and Yang was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to set the table for Isola, who hit a no-doubt-about-it home run over the left field wall to put the Rogues up by nine.
Taylor Frost (Southern Idaho) came on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning to clinch the 2017 Great West League Regular Season Title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
For the full box score: CLICK HERE