Solano Mudcats Win 2018 Bay Area Collegiate League Title 7-6 with Walk-Off, Hit By Pitch.
It came down to the wire on Monday, with the Solano Mudcats winning the 2018 BACL Championship on a dramatic ninth inning walk-off that sealed their victory over Palo Alto Oaks. The game was tied at six with Solano batting when Peter Torres was struck by the first pitch of the at bat in his left hand, driving in the game winning run. Although the game’s deciding play came down to a hit by pitch, hits were not hard to come by in the championship game as Solano collected ten hits and Palo Alto Oaks tallied seven in the high-scoring affair. Solano opened up an early lead in the first inning when Mike Driscoll’s sac fly scored one run for the Mudcats. Jack Gamba pitched Solano to victory. He went one inning, allowing one unearned run on one hit, striking out one and walking zero. Nick Roach started the game on the bump for Solano and registered a quality start, leaving after 6 innings with a 5-4 lead. Chris Bruner entered the game out of the bullpen and held the one run lead for Solano into the ninth despite surrendering one run as Solano added one run of their own after Roach’s departure. Gray Goodman took the loss for Palo Alto. He went three innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out five. Matt Eastman started the game for Palo Alto. He surrendered five runs on seven hits over five innings, striking out two. Joey Dodson and Wesley Galloway managed multiple hits for Solano with Dodson going three for four on the evening and Galloway adding a two-run dinger in the fourth. Solano claimed the inaugural BACL League title, their first league title since leaving the Sacramento Rural League in 2014 to play as an independent. With the win Solano finished a successful 2018 campaign with a 22-14 record.
By Thomas Gase, Vallejo Times-Herald
POSTED: 06/06/18, 4:06 PM PDT
Solano Community College catcher Jared Denning fields a relay throw as Marin’s Dominic Burke slides in for their fourth run of the game in the fourth inning of the Falcons’ 4-0 loss to the Mariners at Yarbrough Stadium at Solano College.Joel Rosenbaum — Vacaville, The Reporter File
The phone call Jared Denning got around noon Wednesday from his baseball coach at Southeastern Louisiana wasn’t one he was expecting. That being said, the catcher was thrilled to get it.
Turns out Denning had been drafted Wednesday in the 29th round with the 865th pick in the Major League Baseball Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
“I found out from my college coach, Mark Riser, who told me congratulations,” Denning said. “I was kind of confused and then he made a picture of a screen shot from the draft tracker of me being taken by Baltimore. I was kind of expecting to get drafted, but I wasn’t trying to get my hopes up either. It feels good though. It feels that all the hard work paid off.”
The catcher had a stellar season with Solano College in 2018, hitting .358 with three home runs and 38 RBIs. Denning, who signed a letter of intent in November to play baseball and study at Southeastern Louisiana, graduated high school from American Canyon in 2015. He is the Wolves’ first player in their program history to be drafted.
“It’s pretty exciting to be the first from American Canyon to be drafted. It hopefully gives other players there hope,” Denning said.
After Riser talked with Denning, the Orioles called soon after to say they would get together to discuss a contract. Denning said the first person he called after that was his dad, Chad.
“He was pretty calm about it but he thought it was cool,” Denning said. “I’ll have to go home and discuss this with my parents and look for the right offer, but I also really want to go to school at Southeastern Louisiana.”
During Denning’s senior year at American Canyon, he batted .500 in 26 games and hit one home run while driving in 26 runs. He went to college soon after at the University of Utah, and in the summer of 2015 he played a lot with the Utah Bucks, an invitation-only summer developmental team. When he didn’t play much with the Pac-12 team, Denning decided to come back to Solano, where he hit .360 with three home runs in his first year with the Falcons.
“I felt while I was at Solano I got a lot stronger, and that helped me be able to drive the ball better,” Denning said.
Alvaro Rubalcaba, a graduate of Vanden High School, has signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels. While at Vanden, he was named to the all-Solano County Athletic Conference baseball team before playing at Solano Community College and leading the Falcons to a Bay Valley Conference title.
Holding down the starting spot at second base for Cal State Northridge, Rubalcaba led the Matadors in runs (41), walks (32), stolen bases (16), on-base percentage (.425) and assists (153) as he was named to the Big West Conference second team in 2017.