With a trip to the Central Section Division II semifinals on the line, Redwood coach Dave Thornburg gave the ball to sophomore pitcher Rickie Garcia.
On Wednesday, Thornburg said he was considering going with senior Austin Orisio or Garcia to start on the mound.
The decision to go with Garcia worked out because Thornburg said his sophomore “flat out dealt.”
Garcia tossed six strong innings and the No. 5-seeded Rangers defeated No. 4 Fresno 7-2 on Friday in Fresno.
Garcia gave up one earned run on five hits and struck out four.
The Rangers advanced to the Division II semifinals where they will play at No. 1 San Joaquin Memorial.
The win was the fifth straight for the Rangers, who opened the season with eight straight losses.
Redwood blew the game open with a six-run fifth inning, breaking a 1-1 tie.
The Rangers got a little bit of help up and down the lineup.
Corey Davis went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored, Eric Charles was 2-for-4 with one RBI, Austin Orisio was 1-for-3 with one RBI, Chris Viscarra went 1-for-4 with one RBI, Chase Proctor went 2-for-4 with one RBI and Hayden Vargas went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored.
Exeter 2, Shafter 1: Cody Tilley hit a two-out, walk-off single to score Tristan Kittinger as the No. 3 Monarchs beat the No. 6 Generals in the Central Section Division V quarterfinals in Exeter.
Tilley nearly fouled out before driving in the winning run, but the ball was dropped to give him a second chance.
Kittinger gave Exeter (13-13) a 1-0 lead in the third with a double to drive in Garrett Pendergast from first. Shafter tied the game with an unearned run in the sixth.
Alex Farias only allowed two hits with seven strikeouts over six innings as Exeter’s starting pitcher. Pendergast earned the win with one strikeout in the seventh.
The Monarchs advance to play No. 2 Firebaugh in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Firebaugh. The Eagles beat Exeter 6-1 in the first game of the season, but Monarch coach Steve Garver expects a different game because he did not have some players from the basketball team for that opener.
Madera South 6, Dinuba 4: The No. 13 Stallions beat the No. 12 Emperors in the Central Section Division III quarterfinals in Dinuba.
Dinuba took a 2-0 lead in the first, but Madera South answered with three 2-out runs in the second after an error. Three more runs in the sixth put the Stallions up 6-2 before the Emperors rallied with one in the sixth and one in the seventh. A 2-out rally in the seventh put the tying run in scoring position, but a deep fly ball out ended the threat.
Gene Cachu batted 3-for-4 for Dinuba. Josh Valenzuela, Adam Rivera and Marco Quiroz each batted 2-for-4.
CIF Central Section Division II Championships: Tulare Western freshman Mallory Korenwinder came within a half-second of earning automatic High School All-America honors with her performance in the girls’ 100-yard breaststroke during the Division II preliminaries Friday at Tulare Union.
Korenwinder shattered the previous Division II meet record with a time of 1 minute, 4.35 seconds, which also set a new school record. The automatic All-America time for the girls’ 100 breaststroke is 1:03.94. All-America consideration is given to those with a time of 1:05.20 or better.
Even if Korenwinder doesn’t lower her time during Saturday’s Division II finals, she appears to be in good shape to become a High School All-American. The top 100 swimmers in an event earn All-America honors, and Korenwinder’s time on Friday ranked No. 71 on the 2012 All-America list.
While Korenwinder dominated the 100 breaststroke, she is going to have some serious competition in the girls’ 200 individual medley.
Korenwinder broke her school record during the 200 IM preliminaries with a time of 2:09.41. Her previous best this season was a a 2:11.24. Korenwinder’s time was faster than the previous Division II meet record. But she wasn’t the fastest in the event.
San Jose State-bound Taylor Solorio of Highland turned in a top qualifying time of 2:08.83. Solorio and Korenwinder will face off in Saturday’s finals. The girls’ 200 IM final is scheduled to be the fifth event.
Saturday’s finals are slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Tulare Union pool.
CIF Central Section Singles Tournament: Top seeded Central Valley Christian’s Andrew Gong, a senior, advanced to the Valley semifinals with wins over No. 16 Alex Wu (Sanger) and No. 8 Zain Amro (Buchanan) Friday in Wasco.
Gong only lost four games over four total sets. He will face No. 4 Sammy Ramirez (East) in the semifinals at 9 a.m. today in Wasco. A win advances him to the Valley championship at Noon against the winner of No. 2 Viran Batth (Bullard) and Allen Wang (Buchanan).
Batth defeated Gong’s younger brother Bailey Gong, a freshman, 7-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. No. 10 Bailey Gong defeated No. 7 Chris Robles (Garces) 6-4, 6-2 in the first round.
Redwood’s No. 12 Evan Morritse lost to No. 5 Anthony Busacca (Liberty) 6-2, 6-0.