After the first six games of the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division season, the Live Oak High baseball team was 2-4 and in seventh place out of 10 teams.
A league championship—and a three-peat—seemed a distant reality. Somehow, someway, the Acorns came all the way back to earn a share of the title after they beat Leigh High 10-2 on Thursday. Live Oak, Leigh and Branham finished in a three-way tie for the championship, all with 12-6 records in the rugged Mount Hamilton.
The fact the Acorns (17-9) vaulted four teams to earn a share of the title is a testament to their determination and talent. They had to win both games against Leigh in the final week of the regular-season to complete an improbable comeback, and the initial step was fulfilled when they won the first game 8-3 on Tuesday.
Landon Stump earned the win on the mound with six solid innings and Aidan Keenan started Thursday’s contest and allowed just one earned run while striking out six in five innings. In the league-finale, Stump had a huge day at the plate, hitting a three-run home run as part of Live Oak’s four-run first inning.
He also had a double, single and finished with five RBIs. Ethan Lopez went 2-for-4 with a bases-clearing double in the fourth inning. Keenan helped his own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3, including a run-scoring single.
Ryan Roberts also had two singles as Live Oak outhit Leigh, 11-5. The Acorns didn’t have their best day defensively, committing five errors. However, their pitching and offense was plenty good enough as they outscored the Longhorns 18-5 in the two-game set.
Live Oak will find out its postseason fate when the Central Coast Section playoff brackets are announced Monday night. The Acorns are likely to be either a Nos. 6-8 seed in Division I or a Nos. 1-2 seed in Division II. All of the opening-round/quarterfinal games are set to be played on May 20.