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DAVIS Ñ Yountville, here they come.
The El Dorado Senior American Legion Post 119 baseball team made history Sunday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium on UC Davis campus, defeating Chico 4-1 in the Area 1 championship game.
The victory sealed its place among the greats and ensured a ticket up to Yountville for the California state championship tournament.
This will be the first time in more than 20 years that an El Dorado Legion team has advanced this far, and the first time ever that an El Dorado squad won the Area 1 championship with a perfect 4-0 record.
While the win was a collaborative effort from every member of the squad, it was led by two tournament standouts in Brandon Flynton and Tommy Massa. Flynton, one of Post 119Õs aces, threw a complete nine-inning game against Chico Sunday, allowing just one run on six hits while fanning four in a poised and powerful performance on the mound.
With varying speeds and pinpoint accuracy, Flynton forced Chico, an offensive powerhouse, to face him on his own terms.
Chico responded with a plethera of line drives and thatÕs where Massa came in. Roaming center field as if he invented the position, Massa was an enigma in the outfield, preserving Post 119Õs victory with dives, sprints, lunges and slides Ñ and making each and every catch. His arm was strong, his wits sharp Ñ nothing got by Massa.
The scoreboard was barren through four innings as both teams were held in gridlock. But after Chico broke through with a run in the fifth inning, El Dorado immediately answered.
Kyle Buchanan reached on a fielderÕs choice, advanced on Kevin DanielÕs single, and was drivin in on MassaÕs single.
Daniels and teammate Joey Smith each scored on hits by Marc Fackrell and Jeff McKenzie for a total of three runs in the inning and pushing the momentum meter to max capacity in favor of Post 119.
Daniels singled to get on base in the ninth and scored on SmithÕs second RBI single of the day,
All in all, Post 119 roped 10 hits on the day, double what Chico was able to salvage during Hurricane Flynton and Tropical Storm Massa.
ÒEverybody had a great game today,Ó Post 119 coach Rusty MacDonald said. ÒTommy put on an incredible display of how to play center field. He had a great tournament for us. He was incredible defensively, and offensively came through in the clutch for us all tournament.Ó
MacDonald and his staff were grateful for FlyntonÕs performance perfomance.
ÒThat was BrandonÕs second complete game for us. HeÕs thrown two back-to-back and had another great day out there,Ó MacDonald said.
For MacDonald and the coaching staff, the trophy had sentimental value. It was won in the wake of losing a loyal American Legion supporter, Jim Voelker Sr., who passed away just before the weekend.
ÒIÕve been doing this for 10 years now,Ó MacDonald said. ÒWhen I first started, Jim was always there to help us out, and the Voelker family was a huge part in growing this program. They were in our thoughts today.Ó
Post 119 heads to Yountsville this weekend for the for the American Legion California State Championship Tournament.