The Sierra Foothill League's stellar baseball reputation continues to hover over the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
Roseville became the second SFL team in two days to advance from the single-elimination opening round when the Tigers rallied today to beat Rosemont 8-6 at Sacramento City College.
The win advances the SFL runners-up to Saturday's 3 p.m. best of three series against the winner of tonight's in progress game between Woodcreek and Casa Roble.
A Woodcreek win would give the SFL three semifinalists for the second straight year. Defending section champion Rocklin defeated Bella Vista 7-3 Thursday to also move into Saturday's semifinal round.
For awhile today, it appeared it would be Roseville (19-9) packing up the gear and going home and Rosemont (19-9), the Metro Conference runners-up, heading to the next round.
Rosemont's small-ball, hustling offense, highlighted by the bunting of lead-off hitter Anthony Enriquez, gave the Tigers all kinds of problems in producing a 6-2 lead through the first five innings.
Meanwhile, Roseville's hitters weren't having much luck against Rosemont ace Dylan Malone, who had held the Tigers in check with four hits through five innings.
Then it all unraveled for coach Paul Martinez' Wolverines.
In the bottom of the sixth, Roseville sent 12 batters to the plate to score six runs on five hits. There also were three walks and a hit batter.
Garrett Nunally had the big blow, a three-run double over the center fielder's head that cut Rosemont's lead to 6-5. Beau Smith tied it with a monster double of his own to left center.
The game produced a rarely seen defensive gem to open the game.
Roseville's Smith led off the bottom of the first with a walk, then stole second.
But as Smith scampered toward the bag, Rosemont catcher Parish Chavez tossed the ball to third baseman Andre Contreras. Chavez turned and ran toward the back stop as if there had been a wild pitch.
Smith started toward third before realizing Contreras had the ball. After a brief rundown, Smith was tagged out by Contreras.
- Bill Paterson