Clutch hits put Bulldogs in first place in SJAA
Win against Lodi comes down to seventh inning
By Bob Brownne
The Bulldogs pounded out 14 base hits Wednesday against Lodi High at Monte Vista Middle School, but their 10-9 win came down to two hits in the bottom of the seventh inning.
One was senior Braeden Oki’s one-out triple to the left-field fence. It looked like it would be enough to score junior Robbie Ramirez, who had walked, but Lodi made the play from the outfield to home plate in time to catch Ramirez.
Then it was up to junior Jacob Alvarado, who liked the first pitch he saw, a fastball down the middle, and hit the ball to right field for an RBI single that ended the game.
The win affirmed Tracy’s (18-6, 10-2 San Joaquin Athletic Association) hold on first place in the SJAA and a place in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, but a lock on the league title will depend on today’s outcome in Lodi and games against Lincoln on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Now we’ve got to come through at least one time against Lincoln, hopefully twice,” Alvarado said.
Lodi (14-10, 9-3 SJAA) scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but Tracy tied it up in the bottom of the first and had a 9-5 lead at the end of four. Lodi, with 15 hits for the day, tied it up in the top of the seventh inning.
Tracy coach Vic Alkire said that Lodi is always a contender for the SJAA title, so games are always close.
“We do this every year,” Alkire said. “We play (Lodi) three times, and I can’t remember a game on either side where one team blew out the other one.”
Tracy collected 14 hits. Oki was Tracy’s leading batter, going 4-for-5. Alvarado and junior Jacob George had two hits each, and sophomore Brett Mansell singled and had three RBIs.
Tracy senior starting pitcher Anthony Nunez gave up seven runs and 12 hits over five innings, and senior Brett Curtis gave up a hit and two runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Mansell got the win after he came in with no outs and two runners on base in the seventh and retired three batters in a row.
Tracy’s sophomores beat Lodi 5-2. Starting pitcher Kevin Saenz got the win, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out nine batters over seven innings.
West 13, Edison 6
West senior Mitch Cowles got the win Tuesday at Edison High in Stockton after he pitched 5-1/3 innings and allowed five runs.
The Wolf Pack (7-13, 3-4 Tri-City Athletic League) collected 12 base hits, including two triples and three RBIs by sophomore Jacob Rebar, three hits and three RBIs by junior Carter Nott and two hits each by juniors Jack Kelley and Ryan Wagner.
The Edison Vikings are winless against league opponents (0-7) and 5-10 overall.
West’s JV team beat Edison 10-0 as Greg Guillen threw a no-hitter, allowing three walks over five innings. Ben Seagrave led West’s batters with three hits.
Bear Creek 6, West 5
The Wolf Pack were unable to hold onto an early lead Saturday in their non-league contest against Bear Creek High of Stockton.
West senior Brian Noble opened the bottom of the first inning with a single and scored on senior Garrett Speckman’s double. Noble and senior A.J. Lowe singled in the second inning, and West exploited a Bear Creek error, making it a 3-0 game.
Bear Creek got five base hits in the sixth inning and charged ahead 6-3. The team’s record as of Wednesday was 16-7 overall, 8-4 SJAA.
West scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh as the Pack benefited from two walks, junior Daryn Higaki reached on an infield error and Speckman got another base hit. But the game ended with Higaki — the tying run — stranded on third base.
Contact Bob Brownne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4227.