Despite a shallow roster and not having played a home game all season, Cosumnes River CC won its first California Community College Athletic Association championship on Sunday, defeating third-ranked Rio Hondo 8-6 in 12 innings at Bakersfield College.
Battling back from an early 4-1 deficit, Cosumnes River (28-16) scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 6-5 lead. But, Rio Hondo (40-5) answered back in the bottom of the inning to send the game into extra innings.
After sophomore outfielder Colby Brenner laid down a bunt single and stole second base to lead off the 12th inning, sophomore shortstop Josh Silver (.335/.400/.445) singled to right center to plate Brenner for the go-ahead run. Sophomore third baseman Phillip Roa then added an insurance run by doubling in Silver. Silver and Roa led the Hawks offensively with three hits each.
Cosumnes River freshman righthander Austin Ales (11-2, 1.09) was named the tournament’s MVP after going 1-0 with a save in 10 innings over the weekend. Ales allowed just one run in a complete game effort against Rio Hondo in the opening round game on Friday–snapping its 33-game winning streak–and came in to earn his fifth save of the year in the championship.
The Hawks had just 19 players on their active roster and played their home games at three different fields as they build a new ballpark set to open next season. The Big 8 Conference has won three of the last five state championships (Sierra in 2008, San Joaquin Delta in 2011).