At playoff time, it’s all about surviving and advancing.
Both the Biggs and Gridley baseball teams did just that at home last Friday afternoon.
At Gridley, the Bulldogs had to sweep both games of a CIF Northern Section Division 3 doubleheader in order to avoid hitting the road for a Game 3 at Corning early this week.
The Bulldogs improved to 26-3-1 on the 2018 season, taking both semifinal games from the Cardinals in run-rule fashion. Gridley won the first game, 12-2 in five innings and took the nightcap, 15-5 in six innings.
With the victories, the Bulldogs advanced to the section title game for the second time in the past three seasons. No. 1 Gridley will take on No. 2 Lassen Saturday at 3:45 p.m. at either Butte College or Shasta College.
Meanwhile, up in Biggs, the No. 4 Wolverines advanced to the CIF Northern Section semifinals with a 7-2 win over No. 5 Fall River.
Biggs traveled to Alturas on Tuesday to take on No. 1 Modoc.
Last Friday at Gridley, it was a matter of the Bulldogs getting the same combination of great pitching and timely hitting that has served the Bulldogs well all season, according to coach Dan Crabtree.
Junior Lance Santerre handcuffed the Cardinals, giving up just four hits and striking out 11.
The Bulldogs pounded out 11 hits in the opener. Ty Cota was 4-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBIs. Triston Platter was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.
In the second game, it was Kellen Brothers pitching the Bulldogs into the title tilt, gutting out a six-inning win. He struck out six.
Brothers said having Santerre pitch the Bulldogs to the win in the opener took pressure off him.
“I still wanted to win and get us to the finals, though,” Brothers said.
In Game 2, it was Jace Villapania leading the way for Gridley, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Santerre was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs.
Up at Biggs, Brian Caro got the win, with six innings of work. Caro struck out five and gave up just four hits and one earned run. Hunter Roles came on in a non-save situation in the top of the seventh to close out Fall River.
The Wolverines improved to 15-5 on the season. Kameron Smith was the star at the plate for Biggs, going 4-for-4 with a run scored and three RBIs. Roles was 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Caro helped himself with the stick, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.