Clovis News: Sports

Memorial baseball shocks No. 1 El Diamante

Surprise, surprise, Memorial High is back in the Central Section Division II baseball final.

The No. 13-seeded Panthers achieved a fourth-straight title-game appearance by upsetting No. 1 El Diamante 7-6 on Wednesday in Visalia.

Memorial (18-14) will face second-seeded Edison at 4 p.m. Friday for the title. The Panthers won the D-II title in 2006, but have lost the past two years.

Lucas DiCiccio scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the seventh on an error.

The Panthers rallied from a two-run deficit with a three-run sixth inning that featured bases-loaded walks to John Bonadelle and Trevor Ellison, and a sacrifice fly by Nate Dalena.

Ellison hit a solo home run for Memorial in the first inning.

In the other D-II semifinal, Edison scored three runs in the first and six in the second and never looked back, defeating No. 6 Frontier 13-4.

E.J. Lopez led the Tigers' 14-hit attack by going 3 for 3 with two doubles and five RBIs. Marquise Cooper added a home run.

Edison and coach Cliff Rold will be going for the program's first baseball championship, and they get to do it against a familiar foe.

"I'm excited," Rold said. "Pete Dalena is a great coach, and we've gone to war many times over the years. I'm excited to do it again."

In other games:

Division III: Nick Palomino's squeeze brought home Mike Hernandez and Justin Gallegos in the fourth inning, and No. 5 Madera South held on for a 9-7 semifinal victory over top-seeded Clovis North.

Madera South relief pitcher Robert Berckesfeldt came in with the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh inning and got Chris Hockokian to ground out to third to end the game.

Division IV: Rick Martinez drove in two runs, and fourth-seeded Selma capitalized on No. 1 Kingsburg's six errors for a 9-2 upset victory in the semifinals.

Anthony Cantu pitched an eight-hitter and had three strikeouts.

The Bears will face second-seeded Washington (31-3) in Friday's final after Jacob Phillips pitched a six-hitter with six strikeouts in the Panthers' 11-1 victory over No. 6 Taft.

After giving up a homer in the second, Phillips settled in to scatter five singles. He escaped two jams with the help of pickoffs.

Braden Fukuda was 3 for 3 and scored three runs. His RBI double down the left-field line ignited a four-run third for Washington.

Junior Maravilla's two-strike single to right field capped that rally, and he added another two-run single as the Panthers broke the game open with a five-run sixth.

Washington had suffered three straight section semifinal losses before Wednesday.

Division V: Mason Gonzales and Austin Fugate drove in a run in the fourth inning, and Ryan Luna pitched a two-hitter with six strikeouts as No. 3 Corcoran (21-6-1) beat No. 7 Lindsay 2-0 to advance to the first title game in team history.

Division VI: Carlos Hernandez scored on an error with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift top-seeded Orange Cove to a 6-5 victory over No. 2 McFarland for the school's first section baseball title.

Consecutive two-out, run-scoring hits by Carlos Hernandez, Efrain Arroyo and Adrian Quintanilla allowed the Titans to tie the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh.

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