The Turlock Christian Eagles saw their 2022 season come to an end on Thursday night when they fell to Berean Christian in the semifinal round of the NorCal reginal playoffs by a score of 7-2. TC was unable to score a run until the seventh inning, as Berean starting pitcher Sebastian Gonzalez kept the Eagles offense off-balance for the majority of the game.
The BC offense kicked off the scoring almost immediately when Griffin DeRusso led the game off with a double off of TC starting pitcher Rob York. A batter later, Dominic Rocca smacked another double to make it an early 1-0 lead for BC. Rocca scored later in the inning off a TC defensive error.
The 2-0 lead stood until the top of the sixth inning when the BC offense used a mixture of situational hitting and taking advantage of fielding errors to blow the game open with a 6-0 lead. BC added an insurance run in the seventh inning on an RBI groundout.
Facing a 7-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Eagles threatened a comeback. A walk, a hit-by-pitch and a base hit quickly loaded the bases with no men out. TC’s Beau Blake was then able to put a ball in play, hitting a grounder to the shortstop that was misplayed, scoring two runs. With two TC runners on base and still no outs, BC’s Gonzalez unloaded everything he had left in his gas tank, striking out the next three TC batters in order and ending the game.
Turlock Christian head coach Bill York spoke about the dominant opposing pitching after the game.
“This kid was really throwing well and you just have to tip your cap to him,” he said. “The ball was coming out of his hand really good. He’s a good pitcher.”
York also expressed his satisfaction upon watching his offense attempt the comeback, even though they ultimately fell short.
“Our guys knew we had to make adjustments and we got on base a couple of times. I always tell them to fight till the end, and I really enjoyed how they continued to battle through regardless of the score,” he said.
With the loss, Turlock Christian’s season comes to an end. Regardless of the outcome, York reflected on the season and their long list of accomplishments, such as being able to win league and the section as well as being able to advance to the semifinal round of the regional tournament.
“This was an incredible team to coach,” York said. “It’s a blessing to coach these kids and I pray that baseball gives them tools to benefit in life. It’s been a great time with these guys.”
As for what’s next, York is already looking towards the future. This year’s team was made up of nine freshmen, and he is excited to see how this year’s long playoff run can motivate them to be even better in the years moving forward.
“We don’t rebuild, we just reload,” he said. “I have high hopes for these kids coming up. The future looks pretty bright for us.”