Joe Davidson

How Vacaville stunned Davis in a wild, improbable finish to cap the baseball season

Vacaville'ss Bryce Begell (24) is greeted by teammates after scoring in Game 1 of Sac-Joaquin Section Division I baseball championships Monday at Sacramento City College. Vacaville beat Davis 11-4 to force a second game for the title, then the Bulldogs scored three runs in the final inning to beat the Blue Devils 7-6 for their first section baseball title.
Vacaville'ss Bryce Begell (24) is greeted by teammates after scoring in Game 1 of Sac-Joaquin Section Division I baseball championships Monday at Sacramento City College. Vacaville beat Davis 11-4 to force a second game for the title, then the Bulldogs scored three runs in the final inning to beat the Blue Devils 7-6 for their first section baseball title. jvillegas@sacbee.com

The Delta League elimination tour was festive and fun, and now it's over.

And what a finish.

Competing in its first Sac-Joaquin Section championship game after so many crushing postseason losses, the Vacaville Bulldogs celebrated a wildly improbable finish in the final high school game of a long, exhaustive season.

T.J. Smith gave the upstart No. 7-seeded Bulldogs a blast of hope with a titanic two-run homer over the left-field fence to tie it 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh and a moment later, Hunter Dorraugh scored from from base on a bunt by George Christison.

Dorraugh was running on the bunt, and he kept running, racing toward home as a throwing error allowed as much. By the time Dorraugh got to home, the entire Vacaville bench roared onto the field, including spirited coach Stu Clary, who expertly managed this bunch throughout a gauntlet of the postseason, ignoring conventional thinking and pull all the stops.

The game-winner set off a celebration frenzy in the Vacaville stands, a stark contrast to the stunned Blue Devils faithful who could hardly comprehend what had just happened.

Vacaville plowed through Delta and regional heavies to make school history. It eliminated three-time defending section champion and second-seeded Elk Grove 14-8, lost to Davis 3-2, then in the double-elimination phase eliminated top-seeded Franklin 11-2, third-seeded Jesuit 10-4 and rolled Davis 11-4 earlier Monday to force this winner-take-all final.

The team's 25 wins is a school record. No one in Bulldogs orange and black is sure to forget this season anytime soon. Dorraugh had three hits and drove in two.

The loss overshadowed a great Davis moment in the fourth inning, when Ryan Holgate crushed a three-run shot over the right-field fence for a 6-4 lead. Holgate beat Jesuit 4-0 earlier in the playoffs by striking out 12.

Davis was seeking its fourth title since 2000, all under alumni coach Dan Ariola.

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