Warriors win fourth straight Section Championship

Courtesy Photo The Winters High School varsity baseball team holds up four fingers after winning their fourth consecutive Northern Section Championship on Saturday, May 19, at Shasta College. From left to right in the front row are assistant coach Robert Carrion, Gary Molina, Sammy Gonzales, Aaron Mendoza, Thomas Kakutani, Dalton Lowrie, Brandon Gomez and Jack Mariani. Back row l-r are coach Jeff Ingles, Jaime Garcia, Atlas Martinez, Jacob Roberts, Daniel Carrion, Anthony Carrion, unknown player, Ruben Valencia, assistant coach John Saragosa and assistant coach Phil Thompson.

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For the second time in school history under the direction of the coach with the most wins in the Northern Section Jeff Ingles, the Winters High School varsity baseball team has captured their fourth straight section championship. In 2010 I ran a story about The Team of The Decade which went to the 2004-05 varsity basketball team that won the Northern Section Championship with a school record 24-4 win loss record and if I am still around in 2020 I will cover the next decade. But I think I am going to go ahead and call it now and say that the 2018 varsity baseball team will hold that title as well. To knock them off of the top someone will have to go undefeated in their sport and have a schedule that matches the competition level of what this team had to face this year and that is going to be hard to do.
The Warriors traveled to Shasta College on Saturday, May 19, to take on Mt Shasta High School in the title game and came home with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Bears. Mt Shasta had a great team and a great season posting a 16-6 overall record and was 10-0 in the Shasta Cascade League. Unfortunately for the Bears their season started the same way it ended with a loss to the Warriors. Winters had defeated Mt Shasta on March 9, by a score of 19-1 but that didn’t scare off Bears as they came ready to play.

The Warriors threw both of their top pictures with Senior Anthony Carrion getting the start and throwing the first three innings using up all 10 innings allowable in a week after throwing a complete seven inning game on Tuesday, May 15. Sophomore Brandon Gomez threw the last four innings for the win improving his season record to 11-0. Carrion gave up one run on one hit with a walk and three strikeouts, while Gomez gave up no runs on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Typically Ingles would throw A Carrion in one game and Gomez in the next but this time he started his senior after just throwing seven innings. “That was the team’s decision,” Ingles said. “They wanted Anthony to start his last game and he responded with a strong performance. Overall we didn’t play very well. We had a lot of distractions going on with them relocating our game to Shasta College instead of Butte College and they had the prom that night. But Anthony and Brandon did a good job on the mound and the defense played pretty well. We just left a lot of runners on base that I thought we should have gotten in. Not to take anything away from Mt Shasta. They were a good ball club that came to battle and they had a good pitcher that kept us off-balance.“

At the plate the Warriors totaled just four hits with A Carrion batting 1 for 3 with a run scored. Jacob Roberts, Ruben Valencia and Daniel Carrion each went 1 for 3. Sammy Gonzales scored a run and Gary Molina had a RBI. Gonzales scored on a pass ball in the first inning and Carrion scored on a sacrifice fly from Molina in the sixth inning.
This season the Warriors posted a school record for wins and losses with an overall record of 30-1. They were undefeated in league play with an 8-0 record, were 10-0 at home, 9-0 on away games and 11-1 in tournaments. They had a team batting average of .361, an on base percentage of .469 and a slugging percentage of .526. Winters outscored their opponents 316 to 63 with 272 RBI, 53 doubles, 19 triples and between Gonzales, Anthony Carrion, Daniel Carrion, Valencia and Atlas Martinez put 16 home runs over the fence. The Carrion brothers each had a grand slam as well. To add to their offensive attack the Warriors totaled 103 stolen bases.

In the field Winters was just as dangerous or even more so with their defense and their pitching. Winters started their season with a 9-0 record before losing their only game to Liberty Ranch on March 26, by a score of 11-8 after leading 8-5 until the bottom of the sixth. Since then the Warriors won a school record 21 straight out scoring their opponents 241-40 while posting 11 shutouts. The team era is a coaches dream at 1.31 with just 35 earned runs and they totaled 177 strikeouts.

The Warriors ended the season ranked number one in the state according to CalHiSports in
division IV and were number one in the Northern Section over all divisions according to Maxpreps.com. “This was the best team I have coached,” Ingles said. “There was a high expectation of them and they stepped up. We had one of, if not the toughest preseason schedule ever and they still pulled off a 30-1 record.”

Winters will lose some seniors that they will miss just like every other year which gives the underclassmen a chance to step up. There is still a strong core that remains and a JV team that went 8-0 in league and they will have the chance to make history with a fifth straight section title in 2019.

For other stats not listed you can find them on Maxpreps.com as well as photos of the Warriors season.

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