In the long storied history of Yuba City High School baseball, Chandler Eden can stand alone with an effort for the ages.
The senior delivered one of the great pitching efforts in Sac-Joaquin Section postseason history, a 14-strikeout, no-hitter to beat Colfax 2-0 in the Division III championship game on Monday afternoon at Sacramento City College.
Relying on a fastball that hit 92 mph and a curve that kept the Falcons guessing and swinging, Eden powered the Honkers to the program's fifth title since 2007. Poised in play and hardly believing his good fortune afterward in a moment of humility, the 6-foot-2 Eden said he couldn't fathom doing this in his final prep outing. A teammate in the dugout blurted, "We're going to Disneyland!" after it was over. In truth, Eden and his senior classmates won't head to Southern California until after their June 7 graduation.
The Oregon State-bound ace also expects to be drafted next month. All in all, it's some senior swan song.
"I'll take it," Eden said, offering a shy grin of his first lifetime no-hitter, moments after striking out the side to end it. "I felt great, just a lot of fun."
Eden also produced the go-ahead run with with a screeching double down the right-field line in the top of the seventh inning to score Rocky Moreno, who pinch ran for Hayden Mejia. Mejia singled. Damon Bugarin drove in Sam Byers for a 2-0 lead. Byers pinch ran for Eden, who doubled.
"Great game for Chandler," Yuba City coach David Rodriguez said. "He's our horse. He showed that he's the best pitcher in the area."
Eden offset a superb showing by Devon Loomis. The Colfax senior tossed a five hitter with five strikeouts. He and Eden have known each other for years, including four seasons as teammates on travel teams.
"He pitched a great game and he's a great pitcher," Eden said. "I know how good he is."
Yuba City (21-11) thrives on pressure. The Honkers won eight times in walk-off fashion this season, including beating Lincoln twice in extra innings to take Games 2 and 3 of a best-of-three series to get here.
To that end, Rodriguez instructed his team to tip their caps and acknowledge the large crowd that packed into Union Stadium. Fans stood and cheered the post-game scene. Baseball remains a social happening in Yuba City. Rodriguez was a shortstop for the Honkers in 1985, competing for coach Joe Graben.
Rodriguez last decade coached with Jim Stassi, who win four successive titles, the last in 2010. Stassi's sons Brock, Max and Jake Stassi were all-time program greats, with Max a two-time Bee Player of the Year in 2008 and '09. Stassi, a former Honkers star, stepped down to watch his sons compete at the next level.
"Stassi is here, and I talk to him every day," Rodriguez said. "Joe Graben was big for me. Glad to have him here today, too."
Graben is the father of Jimmy Graben, the fine sports writer for the Marysville Appeal Democrat.
And proof that the cross-generation era is still in play for Yuba City, the Honkers feature first baseman Justin Noreen, son of 1978 Bee Player of the Year Bob Noreen from his Yuba City days.
"The community always supports us, always behind us," Rodriguez said. "People sent us 25 e-mails, and we posted some up in the dugout wall."
Colfax (20-8) was in its second section title game and first since 1999, a loss to Vanden. The Falcons got here by sweeping Games 2 and 3 over then one-loss Whitney in that best-of-three series.
- Joe Davidson
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