SAN MATEO They have traveled near and far, so what's one more trip to cap what's developed into a record season?
Cosumnes River College, the ultimate road-warrior crew, beat host City College of San Mateo 13-3 late Sunday afternoon in cool, blustery weather more suited for sailing in nearby San Francisco Bay to win the program's first Northern California Super Regional baseball title.
CRC lost to San Mateo 7-6 in 11 innings in the first game Sunday, forcing a winner-take-all finale, and the Hawks typically rallied.
Next is the California Community College State Championships in Bakersfield, a locale that promises to be a good five-hour drive and a great bit warmer. Cosumnes (25-16) will meet Rio Hondo (38-3) on Friday.
The Hawks became the only team to win a NorCal Super Regional without the benefit of a home practice or game as their campus is undergoing a significant athletic facilities upgrade.
"It's amazing what these kids have done," CRC coach Tony Bloomfield said. "I don't know if playing every game on the road and still making the state championships will be done again. We're a small group, and we don't carry that many guys with 19, but we're like a family, like brothers. It's such a resilient group."
The resiliency certainly includes winning pitcher Nick Smart. He went six strong innings after being pulled in the third inning of Friday's Super Regional opener. Bloomfield wanted a fresh, motivated Smart ready in case it came down to a third series game, and he reveled in the results.
"He was eager, and he was great," Bloomfield said of Smart.
Colby Brenner had four RBIs for CRC and Jake Schu, Josh Silver and Luke McDonald each had two RBIs. Silver also made some more superb plays at shortstop.
Sierra 10, Fresno City 6 in Quincy Seldom-used Collin Monagle pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th innings, and his Wolverines teammates won the game with four runs in the 11th to take the other NorCal Super Regional.
Sierra is 5-0 in the playoffs and now aims for the program's second state championship since 2008. The Wolverines (25-15-1) will meet Orange Coast (36-5-1) on Friday.
Brady Steiger had three hits and three RBIs and Travis Israel, Brad Gerig and Casey Friederich each had two hits for the Sierra, which turned five double plays.
Sierra softball 16, Ohlone 12 in San Mateo Annette Merjano had two home runs, a two-run triple and seven RBIs, and Ande Martin had a three-run triple for the Wolverines (41-6), who used a three-game winning streak to cap their Super Regional triumph.
Sierra beat Ohlone 9-0 earlier Sunday as Ashley Osier had two homers and five RBIs and pitched a one-hitter.