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Wheatland Sun

Honkers Squeeze Safely into Playoffs, Travel to Granite Bay for D-II Opener

May 12, 2023 12:00AM ● By Story and photos by Steven Bryla 

Yuba City senior pitcher Cole Barrie (12) throws a curve ball in the Honkers 4-1 win over River Valley on Thursday, May 4.

Honkers Squeeze Safely into Playoffs, Travel to Granite Bay for D-II Opener [2 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

YUBA CITY, CA (MPG) - The Yuba City Honkers baseball team clinched their first playoff berth since the spring of 2019 when they defeated their cross-town rival River Valley Falcons on Thursday, May 4 in a 4-1 Capital Valley Conference win.

The importance of Yuba City being back in the playoffs reinserts itself with the historic years of traditions as teams made it a staple to be in the postseason year after year.

Honkers head coach Maury Castaneda expressed to the Dispatch it’s going to be great for this group of seniors to experience a taste of the postseason.

“For these kids to join the ranks of those that have gone before them just falls in line,” Castaneda said.

Yuba City (17-10, 12-6 CVC) finished second in the CVC as they swept River Valley on May 5, which gave them five series won out of the possible six in CVC play.

Through previous conversations with the Dispatch, Castaneda exclaimed the importance of winning a series and how crucial it could come later in the season like it did. 

Besides Woodcreek (won six CVC series), the Honkers were the only team to win five or more series in CVC play.

Yuba City trailed River Valley until the bottom of the third when senior first baseman Peyton Fredieu laid down a safety squeeze bunt to the first base side to score two runners and give the Honkers a 2-1 lead.

Fredieu expressed to the Dispatch that he had an idea he was going to get asked to lay down a bunt when he got to the plate.

“We work on bunting a lot and I’ve been successful with it. If  the situation presented itself to where I could lay one down, I felt good about it,” Fredieu said.

Fredieu went two-for-three in the game with the two runs-batted-in (RBI). Honkers senior third baseman later followed up with an RBI single later in the inning and Fredieu came around third and scored on a throwing error to first to give Yuba City the 4-1 lead and all of their runs for the night. 

Fredieu and fellow senior outfielder CJ Hopper both led the Honkers on the night with two hits a piece as Hopper singled in the first and fourth inning.

Hopper is the team leader in hits for the regular season (34) as he narrowly edged out fellow senior outfielder Brent Gallegos with 33.

Hopper told the Dispatch postgame of the May 4 victory that to get good momentum into the playoffs, they needed to keep the foot on the gas pedal and keep pushing.

As seniors were recognized postgame on May 4, family and friends shared the field with the Yuba City players and as Hopper came out with family, his favorite memory as a Honker was a 14-inning game they won 8-6 against Roseville on April 29, 2022 because it was a long game and they came out the victor.

Yuba City was announced as the 10th seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division II bracket on Saturday, May 6. They were scheduled to play this past Tuesday at Granite Bay.

Castaneda is not worried about traveling as he has full confidence in his team to play anywhere and anytime. 

The Honkers were 6-6 on the road this season.