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Seniors shine as Colusa caps 27-1 season

Colusa senior Daniel O’Sullivan makes a head-long dive into home plate to finish off his inside-the-park home run against Live Oak on June 4.

An extraordinary season that began back on March 12 came to an end last week for the RedHawk baseball team as they completed the season with a series sweep of winless Live Oak.

Despite the lopsided 13-0 and 13-1 victories, the games allowed Colusa’s seniors some extra time in a RedHawk uniform, and they didn’t disappoint.

In Live Oak on June 1, seniors accounted for nine of Colusa’s 16 hits as Drew Bradbury delivered a first inning inside-the-park home run as part of a 2 for 2, three RBI day. Daniel O’Sullivan went 3 for 4 with three RBI while Blake Kalfsbeek and Edgar Garcia each finished 2 for 4.

On the mound, freshman Luke Kalfsbeek got the start and went three innings, yielding just one hit while striking out six before giving way to junior Tyler Oliver, who closed out the final two frames.

Facing the Lions at home the following day in their final game for the RedHawks, the seniors were again the focus of the action.

Blake Kalfsbeek closed out his career going 3 for 3 with a first inning inside-the-park home run. O’Sullivan also had another big day with the bat recording an inside-the-park home run of his own, a triple, and five RBI, while Bradbury doubled.

Also driving in a pair of runs was junior Emanuel Frias who smashed a double as well.

Bradbury, who is headed to Lassen College next year to play for the Cougars, got the start, going two innings and striking out three, while allowing just a single hit.

The workhorse in the RedHawk rotation this year, Bradbury concluded his senior season with a .88 ERA and 73 strikeouts over 63 innings.

Also taking the hill for Colusa, in its second win over the Lions, was in turn Mason Saso, Blake Kalfsbeek, and O’Sullivan, who registered a combined seven strikeouts as each tossed an inning in relief.

While unfortunately there was no section title at stake this year, it was abundantly clear that the RedHawks were a force to be reckoned with, as they went 12-0 against Sacramento Valley League opponents, and dropped just one game all season long, which came at the hands of Woodland Christian.

Colusa’s 19 game win streak was the longest in the county since Coach Eric Lay’s Maxwell team went 30-0 a decade ago. And while it’s difficult to compare the two squads, Lay had nothing but praise for his group of RedHawks.

“Simply an amazing team. These guys showed up to work and improved each and every day. Completely selfless as a group and they made each day we spent together amazing,” Lay said. “I can’t thank them enough for their efforts, their competitiveness, and the way they handled themselves during a very difficult situation.”

Without question, Colusa will miss the contributions of its seniors, but look for the RedHawks to pick up where they left off as they return Frias, Ethan Lay, and along with a strong supporting cast.

Frias, Colusa’s top hitter with a .464 average, six home runs, 1.382 OPS and 46 RBI, will lead the RedHawks at the plate, while Lay will take over as the staff’s ace after finishing with a .32 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 43 innings as a junior. 

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