The host Deer Valley High baseball team scored six runs in the first three innings to help beat Freedom 11-3 on Thursday as that result, and Heritage's 12-2 win over Liberty, gave the Wolverines a share of the Bay Valley Athletic League title.
Deer Valley, Heritage and Liberty all finished with 7-3 records in the BVAL, but because the Wolverines beat both Heritage and Liberty in the second half of the league season, they clinched the automatic berth into the North Coast Section Division I playoffs.
Jamal Chtaini and Marcus Wise each had three hits and combined to score five runs for the Wolverines (16-8). Joe Starick went 3 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI for Freedom (16-8, 6-4).
Heritage 12, Liberty 2: Catcher Steven Ochoa had two key hits, helping the host Patriots (16-8) surge into a three-way tie for first place in the BVAL.
The Lions (16-8) entered the game with a one-game lead over Freedom, Heritage and Deer Valley but still earned their first-ever BVAL baseball championship, according to Lions coach Seth Wheelock.
Ochoa was 2 for 2 with a triple and two runs scored. Heritage freshman Kevin Milam, the winning pitcher, was 2 for 3 with three runs scored, and senior Nick Perez was 3 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs.
"It's kind of been a struggle for me," Ochoa said. "In the beginning of the year I came out a little hot, and I cooled down a little bit. But I've been working hard, and I came through big with a couple of RBIs. Hard work pays off."
Patriots coach Kevin Brannan enjoying seeing his team put the pieces together on offense.
"It's a great time to get hot with bats because we've been pretty solid on the mound and defensively all year," Brannan said. "So it's a nice combination to have right now."
-- Matt Schwab