With two outs in the seventh and runners on third and first, Jaeger made a pick-off throw to first baseman Brandon Russell, who applied the tag and ended the inning.
It proved a decisive play in a 1-0 Bulldogs victory Wednesday, May 8, as junior Braeden Oki led off the bottom of the inning with a hit, stole second and scored on a single from junior Aaron Denholm.
The win in the Bulldogs’ final game of the season at Monte Vista Middle School gives Tracy (16-11 overall, 12-3 San Joaquin Athletic Association) the league title over rival Lincoln High of Stockton.
“I came into this game knowing that we had to take first place, and not share it with Lincoln,” Jaeger said. “Instead of zero hits, I had to go for zero runs.”
Denholm, whose shot between third base and shortstop ended the game following a sacrifice bunt from Brett Curtis, kept his focus just as Jaeger did in the top of the inning.
“It was definitely some pressure,” Denholm said, “but I tried to get it in my head that it was another at-bat and tried to do my job.”
Tracy moves on to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the University of the Pacific.
Tracy also beat Bear Creek (15-12, 8-7 SJAA) on Tuesday, May 7, in Stockton by a score of 13-6.
The Bulldogs racked up 19 base hits in that game, including five for junior Anthony Nunez and four for Oki.
Tracy set the stage for its league-clinching victories this week by defeating Lincoln 4-2 on Friday, May 3.
Also on Friday, Lincoln beat Tracy 3-2 with a 14th-inning run in a game that started on April 3, was tied 2-2 after 12 innings and was postponed because of darkness.
Millennium 26, Stone Ridge Christian 0
The Falcons used five different pitchers to hold the Stone Ridge Christian Knights of Merced to one hit over five innings on May 2 at the Tracy Learning Center.
The Falcons had 18 hits, including four for senior Kyle Murawski, three hits and four RBIs for senior Gavin Compton, and four RBIs for senior Colin Miller.
The Falcons (14-10, 7-3 Central California Athletic Alliance) hold third place in their league and will head to the SJS Division VII playoffs starting Wednesday, May 15, against Valley Christian of Roseville
Delta Charter 19, Vanguard 7
The Dragons (5-5) finished the regular season in Hughson on Tuesday, May 7.
Junior Daniel Adams led the Dragons over Vanguard Academy with four hits and five RBIs, and freshman T.J. McIntyre pitched two no-hit innings to get the win.
Delta Charter won its last home game of the season on May 2, at Tracy Ballpark 6-5 against Excel Academy of Stockton. The Dragons had 11 hits, including a triple and a single for senior Jeremy Biehl and a double, single and two RBIs for sophomore Jonathan Palmer.
Delta Charter opens the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII playoffs on Wednesday, May 15, against Elliot Christian of Lodi.
Kimball 9, East Union 3
Kimball’s win Tuesday, May 7, at home put the Jaguars in a tie with Sierra for third place in the Valley Oak League behind Oakdale and Manteca, but a tiebreaker will keep the Jaguars out of the SJS Division IV playoffs.
Sierra has a one-run advantage over Kimball (18-7, 9-5 VOL) based on the first week of league play, when Sierra beat Kimball 9-7 on April 9 and Kimball answered with a 9-8 win on April 11.
Stagg 6, West 2
The West High baseball team finished its season with a loss at Stagg High on Tuesday, May 7.
West (4-19, 2-8 Tri-City Athletic League) scored two runs in the third inning on senior Kevin Oetken’s double.
Senior starting pitcher Jacob Thomassen allowed no hits over three innings. Junior reliever Mitch Cowles gave up six runs for the loss.
West’s last home game was an 8-1 loss to Stagg on Monday, May 6.
West sophomore Jack Kelley doubled in the bottom of the third and freshman Jacob Rebar drove him.
West took a 13-2 win in Stockton over the Edison Vikings on May 2. Oetken pitched four innings and allowed no hits. Rebar, Thomassen, senior Chase Martinez and sophomore Jack Kelley each had two hits.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.