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Golden Eagles baseball is tickin'

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For the Del Oro Golden Eagles baseball team it’s a simple formula: Win and they’re in. In what has turned into an 11th-hour battle for the Sierra Foothill League’s second and final playoff berth to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II playoffs, the Golden Eagles basically put their season on the line May 5 in the SFL season finale at Rocklin. Anchored by a huge victory Monday, Del Oro stayed alive in the playoff hunt by defeating league champion Rocklin, 1-0, in a thrilling game that was decided by Trevor Thomas’ walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning. The win for the Golden Eagles left Del Oro with a 11-6 SFL mark, one game in back of Roseville (12-6),which has completed its SFL schedule, and one game ahead of Granite Bay’s 10-7 record. Granite Bay was handed an 8-5 upset loss by Woodcreek on Monday. If Del Oro was able to get past Rocklin on Wednesday, the Golden Eagles would tie Roseville for the SFL’s second spot. However, the Black and Gold hold the tie-breaker over the Tigers by virtue of taking two of three games from Roseville this season. If Del Oro did qualify for the post season, it would be the Golden Eagles’ first trip to the playoffs since 1991. However, a Del Oro loss on Wednesday will have ended the Golden Eagles’ season. In Monday’s tight pitchers’ duel, the Golden Eagles finally broke through in the seventh when Brian Rowe drew a one-out walk preceded by Thomas’ game-winning two-bagger. Ironically, the hit by Thomas was the first of the day off Rocklin hurler Chris Garrison. Winning pitcher Cole Saunders scattered four hits, walked two and struck out seven in a complete game for the Eagles (11-6 SFL). On defense, Mike Schnell made an impressive play at third base to help Saunders escape a first-and-third jam in the top of the seventh.