Baseball and superstition go hand-in-hand, so it's no wonder Colby Brenner hasn't considered a request for fresh duds.
The Cosumnes River College center fielder has game pants that bear a gaping hole in the hamstring region, courtesy of his relentless efforts.
On Sunday afternoon, Brenner had a stolen base, a diving catch in the outfield and a hustling three-run double that keyed the seventh-seeded Hawks' 7-3 close-out victory over No. 10 College of the Sequoias in a Northern California Regional playoff series at American River College.
CRC (22-15) advances to next weekend's four-team Super Regional against Ohlone (28-10) in the Bay Area.
CRC athletic specialist/equipment guru Jason Neary will sew up Brenner's pants again, but that's about the only hole you'll find in the Hawks' game.
Defense, sound pitching and timely hitting again told the story for the Hawks, in the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons under coach Tony Bloomfield.
"No need for a new pair of pants, because these work," said a smiling Brenner.
Brenner's double came with two outs in the second inning for a 4-0 lead against the Giants of Visalia. Garrett Heisinger, Jake Schu and Pete Pendley each drove in a run for the Hawks, and Austin Ales improved to 9-2 with a complete-game seven-hitter.
Ales struck out five. Brenner and Cosumnes' standout shortstop, Josh Silver, sport mutton-chop sideburns that would have made Elvis proud. Bloomfield cracked that he has mellowed too much in his old age he's approaching his 50th birthday in even allowing facial hair.
"I've gotten soft," Bloomfield said. "They're having fun with this."
Sierra 10, Laney 9 Brad Gerig hammered a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning on a 3-1 pitch, and Chris Daniels pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the win as the 11th-seeded Wolverines won their seventh Regional in nine seasons in eliminating the No. 6 Eagles in Oakland.
Gerig's blast traveled 450 feet, Sierra coach Rob Willson said, setting off a celebration.
"Brad just destroyed it, and it went over the net that is there to keep balls from leaving the place," Willson said. "It was an amazing game, incredible."
Gerig, an outfielder, had three hits, two RBIs and three runs. Clinton Brill, Eddie Mora and Kaden Kamoe each had two hits for Sierra.
Sierra College softball 15, De Anza 9 State Player of the Year Ashley Osier had a two-run homer and a three-run blast, giving her a state-leading 20 home runs this season, and the host Wolverines eliminated the Dons in a NorCal Regional. Kacy Romero also homered for Sierra, on her 19th birthday.
Annette Merjano had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs, and Jenna Thorn drove in four runs for the Wolverines, who have hit a state-high 72 homers this season.