Falcons outlast Zebras, 15-10; clinch tie for PVL crown

Colfax secures 1st baseball league title since 2000
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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COLFAX - For the Colfax Falcons’ baseball team it was one to remember. For the Lincoln Zebras, well, it is one they would rather forget, at least until Wednesday.
Playing for a chance to clinch at least a piece of the Pioneer Valley League championship here Friday afternoon, Colfax and Lincoln went at it tooth and nail for seven innings in a game that included an incredible fifth inning that took one hour to play and saw 18 runs cross the plate.
With an overflow crowd filling every nook and cranny of  Quigley Field to watch the key PVL contest, fans witnessed the Falcons and Zebras hit five home runs, see five batsmen get plunked, make numerous standout defensive plays and a rally for the ages.
When the dust had cleared ending the three-hour plus marathon, Colfax’s wild 15-10 win snared the Falcons their first league baseball championship in 13 years and the PVL’s No. 1 seed to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III playoffs, which begin on May 16.
“It’s a tribute to our kids for hanging in there and battling back,” said Colfax coach Tim Day. “To be able to get a league pennant for the kids, especially the ones that have been here for three years, is great.”
Colfax, 13-1 in the PVL and 17-5 overall, will play at Lincoln Wednesday, where the Zebras, who have lost twice to the Falcons this season, will try and rally to share the league title with Colfax. Regardless of the outcome of that game, the Zebras will be the PVL’s No. 2 representative to the playoffs.
In Friday’s game, the Falcons were cruising along with a 3-0 lead through four innings behind the strength of Devon Loomis’ pitching and back-to-back home runs in the first inning from Loomis and Dave Campbell, the latter’s a two-run shot.
But if anyone could have predicted what would transpire in the fifth inning, they need to head to Reno and place a wager on who is going to win this year’s World Series.
In the top of the fifth, Lincoln finally got to Loomis with a two-run double from Jake Sola and a three-run home run by Miles Coffee, pushing the Zebras out to a 5-3 lead. With two outs in the inning, Lincoln stayed on the gas pedal with a walk preceding a two-run homer by Kody Kencke.
When the top of the fifth had ended, Lincoln had paraded 12 men to the plate and banged out six hits and two homers on the way to grabbing an 8-3 lead.          
But the fun was just beginning.
The Falcons started off their half of the fifth with Ryan Glazner and Matt Paskey drawing consecutive walks before Campbell was hit by a pitch to load the bags. Loomis then rifled a two-run single that trimmed the lead to 8-5 before James Dean and Kyle Bryant extended the frame with two more bases on balls.
Chas Reisinger  then laid down a perfectly executed suicide squeeze that scored Loomis. With two outs, Glazner followed with a key two-run single that tied the game. Another two walks, two Zebra errors and a single by Bryant capped the remarkable 10-run frame that boosted Colfax into a 13-8 advantage.
“Before the inning, I told the kids that we needed a big pick-me-up,” Day said. “I was hoping for a few runs but to get 10 was huge.”
Colfax added two more runs in the sixth when Reisinger and sophomore Ray Henry stroked back-to-back doubles before Campbell drilled a RBI single to make it 15-8.
Lincoln went down swinging though as Kencke unloaded his second home run of the game, a two-run shot in the seventh.
Ryan Glazner was the winning pitcher, as he set down the first five Zebras he faced in the sixth and seventh before Kencke’s homer. He then fanned the Zebras’ last batter to end the game.
“It was a huge team win,” Campbell said. “Before the fifth we knew we had our work cut out for us but we were able to pull it off.”