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  • Randy Allen / Special to The Bee

    Yuba City's Chandler Eden struck out 14 hitters while no-hitting Colfax in the Division III championship game.

  • Randy Allen / Special to the Bee

    Eden gets a congratulatory hug after pitching the Honkers to their fifth Sac-Joaquin Section title since 2007.

  • Randy Allen Special to The Bee Rocky Moreno scores Yuba City's first run in the top of the seventh inning on Chandler Eden's double to right field.

Yuba City rides Eden no-hitter to D-III crown

Published: Tuesday, May. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, May. 29, 2013 - 8:58 am

In the long, storied history of Yuba City High School baseball, Chandler Eden can now stand alone with an effort for the ages.

The senior delivered one of the epic pitching efforts in Sac-Joaquin Section postseason history, a 14-strikeout no-hitter to squeeze past Colfax 2-0 in the Division III championship Monday afternoon in front of a near-full house at Sacramento City College.

Relying on a fastball that hit 92 mph and a curve that befuddled the Falcons, Eden powered the Honkers to the program's fifth title since 2007.

Poised in play and hardly believing his good fortune afterward in a moment of humility, the 6-foot-2 Eden said he couldn't fathom doing this in his final prep outing. A teammate in the dugout blurted, "We're going to Disneyland!"

In truth, Eden and his senior classmates won't head to Southern California until after their June 7 graduation.

The Oregon State-bound ace also expects to be drafted next month. In other words, it's become some senior swan song.

"I'll take it," Eden said of his first lifetime no-hitter, moments after striking out the side to end it. "I felt great – just a lot of fun."

Eden also produced the go-ahead run with a screeching double down the right-field line in the top of the seventh inning to score Rocky Moreno, who pinch-ran for Hayden Mejia, who had singled.

Damon Bugarin drove in Sam Byers for a 2-0 lead. Byers had pinch-run for Eden.

"Great game for Chandler and the guys," Yuba City coach David Rodriguez said. "He's our horse. He showed he's the area's best pitcher."

Eden offset a superb showing by Colfax senior Devon Loomis, who threw a five-hitter with five strikeouts. He and Eden have known each other for years, including four seasons on the same travel team.

"He pitched a great game and he's a great pitcher, a good friend," Eden said. "I know how good he is."

Yuba City (21-11) thrives on pressure. The Honkers won eight times in walk-off fashion this season, including beating Lincoln twice in extra innings to take Games 2 and 3 of a best-of-three series to get here.

Rodriguez and the Honkers tipped their caps to acknowledge their raucous support group at Union Stadium.

"They've supported (us) forever," the coach said.

Del Campo 2, Benicia 0 – Sam Long tossed a five-hitter with five strikeouts at Sacramento City College. He singled in Derek Rodigo for a 1-0 lead in the second inning as the Cougars won their third section title and first in D-II.

Tim Hall singled in Jared Biggs in the sixth, and first-year coach Paul Martinez was doused with a water-cooler bath for winning his third title (San Juan in 1995 and '97).

Long was backed by a superb defense that stalled the Panthers. Rodigo, the Del Campo team leader, said the Cougars "won this for our coach. He was there every day, getting the field ready. He gave us the tools to succeed."

Said Martinez of his championship bath, "I'll wear it all the way home … . I couldn't be happier for this group."

Valley Christian 3, Brookside Christian 2 – Jeremiah Moore struck out nine in tossing a five-hitter, and he received just enough offensive production to defeat the Knights of Stockton at Sacramento City College. It was the Lions' third straight Division VII championship.

Levi Haggerty scored on a wild pitch in the second inning for a 1-0 lead, Teagan Mowry had an RBI double in the third to make it 2-0, and Asher Hammargren walked with the bases loaded in the fourth to make it 3-1 for Valley Christian, which overcame illness and injury this season to win the program's fifth title in six seasons under coach Brad Gunter Jr.

The coach's son Micah started at shortstop and had a double, and Gunter's father was in the stands. The coach's father, who founded the Valley Christian program, was hospitalized with heart troubles on the eve of last year's title march.

"I didn't think Dad was going to make it last year," Brad Gunter Jr. said. "He's here. He's doing great. No idea how much he means to me. I was not in the same place mentally at this time last year. Very happy now. Talk about special. Dad's in the stands, and my son is on the field."

Capital Christian 3, Escalon 1 – Ben Ritchey tossed a three-hitter and received some stellar defensive help to lift the Cougars to the D-V title at Billy Hebert Field in Stockton.

Follow on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD and on podcast: ESPN1320.net

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