Mt. Whitney High completed an improbable run to a championship.
Holden Powell limited the two-time defending champ Rangers to one run, Jordan Rojas drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth and the seventh-seeded Pioneers captured the Central Section Division II title with a 2-1 victory Friday to open the two-day championship gathering at Rawhide Ballpark in Visalia,
It is Mt. Whitney’s fifth section crown in school history and the Pioneers’ first since 2008, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
And the Pioneers (18-12) accomplished their feat by beating No. 1 Redwood (27-4), No. 11 Hanford (14-15-1), No. 2 Sanger (21-6) and No. 10 Tehachapi (19-10) by a combined 30-11 during the postseason.
Redwood won 8 of 10 to close the season, with both of the losses to Mt. Whitney.
The Rangers, after their back-to-back run in 2015 and 2016, were chasing after the fourth section title in school history.
D-V: Sierra Pacific 3, CVC 0
Sierra Pacific’s Will and Sammy Springer took turns dominating on the mound during the postseason.
Friday’s finale proved no different.
Sophomore Will Springer, the younger of the two brothers, threw a three-hitter as No. 2 Sierra Pacific beat top-seeded Central Valley Christian and captured the D-V title at Visalia’s Rawhide Ballpark.
Sierra Pacific won its its second Central Section title in school history and its first since 2013.
The Golden Bears (27-4) won their second section championship, with the other in 2013. The Cavaliers (23-8), still seeking their first, are runners-up for the third straight season.
The Golden Bears’ pitching, however, again refused to yield.
Junior Sammy Springer tossed a five-hitter as Sierra Pacific eliminated No. 3 Caruthers 3-0 in the semifinals. After a first-round bye, Will Springer yielded one run in a 12-1 victory against No. 7 Woodlake in the quarterfinals.
James Lowe and Dean Perez each drove in a run for the Golden Bears in the championship game.
At Rawhide Ballpark in Visalia
No. 7 Mt. Whitney 2, No. 1 Redwood 1
No. 2 Sierra Pacific 3, No. 1 Central Valley Christian 0
D-IV: No. 1 Firebaugh vs. No. 2 Wasco, 9:30 a.m.
D-III: No. 1 Porterville vs. No. 3 Highland, 1 p.m.
D-VI: No. 1 Sierra vs. No. 7 Fresno Christian, 4:30 p.m.
D-I: No. 1 Buchanan vs. No. 3 Clovis, 8 p.m.