Cody Woolsey is quickly building a postseason resume for the Chowchilla High baseball team.
The sophomore hit a walk-off double, scoring teammate Hunter Stonier with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to help the No. 8 Tribe (14-15) defeat No. 9 Delano 5-4 in the first round of the Central Section Division IV playoffs on Wednesday afternoon at John Mato Field.
Woolsey also ended Delano’s season last year in the playoffs with a game-winning RBI in the seventh inning. At that time, Woolsey was called up from the junior varsity team for the playoffs and taking his first varsity at-bat.
This time, Woolsey came up with Stonier on first base with one out in the seventh. He lifted a two-two fastball to left field where it bounced just inside the line and rolled into the corner, allowing Stonier to race home and set off a wild celebration.
“I knew it was going to be fair,” Woolsey said. “I could see it dropping and I could see the left fielder was playing a little too far back. I wasn’t really thinking about last year. I just went up there looking to drive a fastball and adjust to offspeed.”
It was a wild finish to a game that went back and forth the last couple innings.
The Tribe jumped out to a 2-0 lead early after Daniel Beaird hit a wind-blown double to deep center to score two runs in the first inning against Delano starter Gabe Ulloa.
The game stayed that way until the fifth inning when Daniel Murillo hit a two-run, two-out double to tie the game at 2-2 against Chowchilla starter Peyton Kragie.
Kragie and Ulloa both went the distance and pitched well for their respective teams. Kragie surrendered just six hits and Ulloa gave up eight.
The Tigers (12-16-1) then took the lead in the sixth inning when Guadalupe Leyva doubled in Brandon Perez with two outs to give Delano a 3-2 lead.
“It was back and forth,” said Chowchilla coach Shawn Grissom. “The thing about this team is these guys don’t give up. All year they’ve battled until the end. We’ve just come up on the short end a lot this season.”
The Tigers’ lead didn’t last long.
Logan Gomes led off the sixth with a high pop up on the infield that fell for a single when Ulloa stumbled over the mound while attempting to catch it.
Beaird then launched a two-run home run over the left-center field fence to put the Tribe back in front at 4-3.
“I’ve hit balls this year that I thought were gone and they end up hitting the fence,” said Beaird, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs. “When I hit that one I told myself I’m getting two on this. I didn’t think it was high enough to get over the fence.
“When I figured out it was a home run there was this huge adrenaline rush. This is the playoffs. This is what you work for, it gets your heart pumping.”
The Tigers didn’t go quietly as Jesse Perigo hit a one-out single in the seventh inning. With two outs and Perigo on first, Grissom decided to intentionally walk Murillo even though it put the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on base.
The extra 90 feet played a factor, as Perigo moved up to third on a wild pitch and came around to score to tie the game when Gomes’ throw from behind the plate got by Austin Hickman at third.
Kragie was able to get Perez to fly out to center field to end the seventh.
“(Murillo) was the one guy I did not want to beat us in this game,” said Grissom on the decision to walk Murrillo. “He didn’t hurt us the first two times. He doubled the third time. I decided to put him on and pitch to the guy behind him. You don’t foresee the passed ball or the overthrow to third.”
The Tribe were able to get the job done in the seventh inning, finding a way not to come up short this time.
“Our team is a comeback team,” Woolsey said. “One thing our team has is heart.
“I think this game everybody was willing to do whatever it takes for us to pull it out,” Beaird said. “We fought for all seven innings until the last out.”
|Chowchilla News Day
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