CHICO — As disappointing as Saturday’s 4-3 loss to San Mateo was — regardless of that outcome — Yolo Post 77 is headed for Sunday’s Chico Father’s Day Tournament finale.
Nonetheless, a walk-off, two-run homer by Nick Toomey gave the Shockers the win.
Now, the locals and host Chico will meet at 2:15 p.m. Sunday for the crown.
“It was a great game,” Yolo manager Dave Ryan said, adding that his team’s 7-6 victory Friday over Tri-County was equally as exciting.
On Saturday afternoon, former Davis High reliever Ted Riffle was locked in a scoreless duel into the fifth inning, in which the American Legion foes each scored twice.
Yolo’s pair came when Ethan Chrisp (Esparto) singled, Andy Snow (Jesuit) walked and each moved up on a passed ball.
With Jake Miille at bat squaring to bunt, a wild pitch was uncorked and the plated Chrisp gave the locals the lead. Then Miille, a former Blue Devil, was asked to bunt with two strikes — and squeezed home Snow.
San Mateo tied things in the bottom of the frame.
Later, Post 77 took the lead thanks to Snow’s single and a series of wild pitches and a passed ball.
Riffle walked the first batter of the seventh before Ryan relieved him with Kiki Gonzalez (formerly of Woodland High School), who allowed Toomey’s blast.
“Knowing we were in the championship game gave us a chance to rest players (Saturday),” Ryan told The Enterprise.
On Friday, in beating the Winters-based Gamblers, Yolo scored six times in the sixth to overcome a 5-0 deficit. Carlos Enriquez of Butte College (by way of Woodland High), went 5 2/3 innings with relief help from Chrisp and Davis’ Daniel Henrickson. Despite Henrickson allowing a game-tying run in the seventh, Miille’s walk-off single scored Snow — making a winner of Henrickson.
Snow, Miille, DHS junior Andrew Bolich and Pioneer 10th-grader Xavier Morales each had two hits Friday. Snow scored twice and former WHS standout Nico Sandoval drove in two runs.
Post is 3-1 at Chico and 6-7 on the season.
The Nuts have won three of the past four Father’s Day Tournaments. Post 77 won in 2007 and 2009.
From the Why Have a Schedule Dept.: Citing a tired pitching staff, according to Ryan, the Tri-City Gamblers have canceled their Tuesday and Thursday away-and-home games with Yolo.