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09/03/2007 8:11 PM ET
Cupps pitches Oaks to division title
Complete-game shutout garners Cal League North Division crown
Anthony Cupps scattered six hits and fanned four without a walk for his second win in 16 starts. (Ken's Photos)


The Visalia Oaks aren't just going to the California League playoffs. They're going in as North Division second-half champions thanks to Anthony Cupps.

The 24-year-old right-hander picked the right time to toss his first shutout of the season as the visiting Oaks secured the division crown with a 5-0 blanking of Stockton on Monday.

Cupps (4-13) scattered six hits and struck out four without walking a batter for just his second victory in 16 starts since June 2.

Derek Bruce and John Hester belted solo homers, and Brandon Burgess, Frank Curreri and Leyson Septimo drove in runs for the Oaks (43-27), who entered the regular-season finale locked in a first-place tie with Modesto. The Nuts lost to Rancho Cucamonga, 5-4.

Stockton's Patrick Currin (4-7) suffered his fourth loss in five decisions. He yielded a run on three hits with five strikeouts over four innings in his first start of the year.

Jose Pineda went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles for the Ports (29-41).

Michael Avallone is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.