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Eagles fall in Section championship
TC baseball 1
Brothers Joe and Gavin Farinha, flanking Blake Starn, show their disappointment after the Turlock Christian Eagles lost to the Ripon Christian Knights in the Sac-Joaquin Section final at Islanders Field in Lathrop (SAMANTHA SCHMIDT/The Journal).

LATHROP – Top-seeded Turlock Christian carried a three-run lead into the fifth inning Tuesday night when Ripon Christian tallied five runs in both the fifth and sixth innings behind five Eagles errors as the third-seeded Knights claimed the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII baseball championship with an 11-3 win at Islanders Field.

“We didn’t execute quite a few times,” Turlock Christian coach Bill York said. “The first nickel they put up we didn’t execute and gave them a lot and then we did the same thing again.

 “I’m super proud of them to get to this spot. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. You have the game plan in place and a few executions don’t go your way. They played hard all year and with young kids things kind of get away sometimes.”

The Eagles (21-4) started fireball lefthander Gavin Farinha on the hill, and he was pretty much in control until Logan Sauer, the No. 9 batter for Ripon Christian (22-7), plunked a one-out sun-aided triple into the right field corner in the fifth inning. Sauer and the next four batters scored with Farinah yielding to Rob York with runners on the corners with one out.

Rob York struck out the next two batters to end the frame, but the four-error sixth sealed the fate for Turlock Christian.

Farinha ended with nine strikeouts and outside of Sauer’s triple, the Knights did not get the ball out of the infield in the fifth. 

“Any time Gavin (Farinha) is on the mound, we are very confident in his ability and his hard work. He has been our guy,” Bill York said.

Ripon Christian coach John de Visser knew that Farinha was going to be tough.  

“He (Farinha) is a really good guy,” de Visser said. “He is one of the best left handers I have seen in the 15 years I have been here.

“We knew it was going to be tough so we had to get guys on base and cause chaos. And that was the only way we were going to sustain an inning because it was going to be tough to get two or three hits in a row to do anything.”

Rob York (2 for 3, two doubles, run) doubled, took third on a passed ball and came home on a wild pitch to give the Eagles a 1-0 first-inning lead. Three walks and an error helped spot Turlock Christian to a 3-0 lead after two innings.