A long, tough season for the Yosemite High baseball team (13-13, 5-10 NSL), came to an end on a potentially questionable call last week as the No. 11 Badgers lost to No. 6 Mission Oak Hawks of Tulare (14-14, 5-10 East Yosemite League) by a single run, 6-5, in the opening round of the Central Section D-IV playoffs.
Head Coach JD Burnett said the call came in the top of the fifth inning, when the Badgers attempted a squeeze play for two runs and the umpire called for interference.
“There was a misinterpretation of the rules,” Burnett said. “Our runner going home crossed the plate before interference was called and the run should have counted regardless. It was a tough way to end up in a loss when we have such a hard working, high character group of kids.”
Yosemite started the May 17 game with a three-run first inning, with the score tied by the end of three innings at 4-4 thanks to a three-run third for the Hawks.
In the fourth, the Badgers earned a run to take the lead, but in the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks scored two runs to make the game 6-5.
Despite the loss, Burnett said his team was young - with four seniors on a 13-player roster - and with a strong JV team, the future for Badger baseball was bright.
“The program made a lot of progress this season, and a lot of young players got varsity experience,” Burnett said. “The future of Yosemite baseball is on track for a tremendous amount of success in the near future.”
The Badgers JV team finished the season 16-7, and 9-6 in the NSL.
“It has been an exciting last two years coaching the team at Yosemite,” JV Head Coach Eric Mclane said, “and helping to get the baseball program moving in the right direction.”
Mission Oak went on to defeat No. 3 seed Fowler 6-3, to face No. 2 seed Wasco on May 24 (scores unavailable at press time). The winner of that game will face either No. 1 seed Firebaugh, who faced No. 5 seed Exter that same day, with the D-IV championship set for May 26.