With Central Catholic’s Dalton Durossette in the on-deck circle, Raiders senior Orlando Leon had a quick message for his teammate:
“Hit one out,” Leon said.
Moments later after settling into the batter’s box, Durossette did.
The juniors saw a fastball come right down the middle and hit a three-run home run to left field to end the game as Central Catholic beat Casa Roble, 12-1 in five innings at Zupo Field in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Semifinals on Thursday.
“I knew right after it went off the bat, it was going out,” Durossette said. “It was the hardest ball I have hit all year.”
The Raiders (18-12) advanced to Monday’s championship, where they will face No. 1 seed Los Banos at 1 p.m. at Zupo Field. Central Catholic will have to win both games for a title having already lost to the Tigers on Monday.
Central Catholic scored four runs in the bottom of the second to take an early lead. After an RBI single by Aiden Taylor, the freshman outfielder and junior Matt Akulow scored on an error by the Rams catcher. Both Akulow and Taylor were caught in a rundown but a bad throw by the catcher allowed both to score.
The Raiders added one in the third and four in the fourth before Durossette ended the game in the fifth.
“(Durossette) has been having a great year,” Raiders coach Danny Ayala said. “I have watched his BP (batting practice) sessions all year and they have looked like that (hits out of the park).
Ripon 16, Calavaras 6: Freshman Caitlynn Campbell had a three-run home run in the win for the Indians (23-2), who advanced to Friday’s Div. IV Championship where they will face the winner of Calavaras/Liberty Ranch at 5 p.m. at the Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton.