By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
FRESNO -- Frontier became the first Kern County baseball team in 29 years to win the Fresno Easter Classic when the Titans beat Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial 8-1 in the tournament championship Wednesday night at Clovis West.
The Titans won five games over three days in the 32-team tournament, outscoring opponents 38-6. That margin became important early Wednesday, when Frontier beat Davis 3-0 and won a tiebreaker with three other 4-0 teams because it had allowed the fewest runs.
Memorial (13-5) took a 1-0 lead early in the championship, but Frontier (13-3-1) scored two runs in the third inning, two more in the fourth and four in the fifth inning to take command.
"We're on a little run right now where we're just sort of hitting on all cylinders," Titans coach John Moncier said. "We've had good, timely hitting and great defense, and we got great pitching up here. It feels good for Bakersfield guys to come up here and win the tournament."
The last Kern County team to turn that trick was North High in 1984 -- long before any of the current Titans were born.
Eddie Torres and Harrison Smith were two of the tournament's three Outstanding Players (there were also three Outstanding Pitchers). Torres lost a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh inning of the win over Davis; he also went 7-for-15 with three home runs and nine RBIs at the plate in the tournament.
Smith batted .353 for the weekend and pitched the championship, allowing one run on five hits in five innings. The Titans also had big weeks from Logan Gillespie, who was 3-for-3 in the championship, and Allan Winans, who struck out 12 in a 10-1 victory over Fresno-Edison on Tuesday.
Moncier also praised the Titans' defense, singling out three terrific plays in the sixth inning against Memorial.
"I mean, it looked like an ESPN highlight reel," Moncier said. "Right now, we're trying to convince these guys of how good they are. We have a young club, and they're starting to understand we have a decent team."
The Titans also beat Fresno-Hoover 9-3 and Madera South 8-1. Five Frontier pitchers won games in the tourney.
Bakersfield Christian won the lower division championship at the PRO-PT Tulare/Visalia Invitational, beating Exeter 5-3 in a semifinal and Tulare-Mission Oak 2-1 in the championship. Ricky Sottile earned the win and went 2-for-3 in the championship.
At the prestigious Scott Boras Classic in Sacramento, Stockdale lost its semifinal 3-0 to Elk Grove. The Mustangs had won twice in their final at-bat Tuesday. They'll play Sacramento-Rio Americano for third place in Northern California at noon today.