Aug 2, 2015 2:58 AM by Ross Field
The Chico Nuts American Legion baseball team defeated Long Beach 14-4 in the state tournament Saturday from Yountville.
Chico advances to play Merced at 9 a.m. Sunday in the state championship game.
Chico was originally going to play San Mateo in the finals after they knocked off Merced 11-7 earlier in the day. But Merced protested the game citing an issue with San Mateo's insurance paperwork and the National American Legion office deemed San Mateo ineligible and gave Merced a spot in the championship.
Chico (39-9-1) is the lone remaining undefeated team in the double-elimination tournament and Merced will have to beat the Nuts twice to win the state title.
Needing just one win out of two potential games, Chico is in good position to capture their second straight title and third in five years.
In Saturday's victory over San Mateo, a couple Hamilton High graduates had big games. Pitcher Damian Diaz tossed eight strong innings with two strikeouts while Andrew Shippelhoute went 4-for-6 with a double and two runs batted in. As a team Chico totaled 22 hits.
Pleasant Valley product Ryan Steindorf was 2-for-5 with a two-run double. J.T. Morris added four hits and Tarren Dahlgren tallied three base-knocks.
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