It was just a matter of minor tweaking and shuffling in Tracy American’s 11-2 victory over Riverbank on Tuesday night at Monte Vista Field in the Babe Ruth Tournament.
After their opening-round loss to Tracy National that put the team’s collective back against a wall in the double-elimination tournament, Tracy American coach Steve Nahm made a lot of adjustments by playing 14 of 15 players on his roster.
“There was some strategy to the substitution,” Nahm explained. “In the last game that we played, we made a lot of defensive substitutions. In this game, we made a lot of offensive substitutions, and I think that made a significant difference in the way that we played. We are a very deep team, and we were able to use a lot of our better hitters late in the game.”
In the early part of the game, both teams’ defenses were able to keep the offenses in check. After two innings, the score was deadlocked at zero.
Tracy American’s Alec Barba slides in to home plate as he is tagged out by Riverbank catcher Markus Benson during their 11- and 12-year-olds game at the Monte Vista Field.
Tracy American came back in the top of the third when Kris Bartlett had a base hit to first, Dario Valdez walked and Alec Barba knocked a base hit up the middle to score Bartlett. Jake Guevara had a base hit up the middle and later scored Valdez to make it 2-0 at the end of three innings.
Tracy wasn’t done doing damage. In the top of the fourth, Lorenzo Hotel beat out a pickle play between third and home to make the score 3-0. This was followed by a Barba sacrifice fly to right field that scored Jose Avila to put American out in front, 4-0.
Tracy American’s Blake Cichella swings at a pitch during Tuesday’s Babe Ruth Tournament at Monte Vista Field against Riverbank. The 11- and 12-year-old team beat Riverbank, 11-2.
Riverdale charged back in the bottom of the fourth when Edgar Felix was hit by a pitch that scored Markus Benson with the bases loaded. Tracy got out of the inning with a double play. However, another run crossed the plate before the second out on the play was made, making the score 4-2 at the bottom of the fourth.
In the fifth inning, Tracy did more damage with an Eric Augustine triple that turned into a run because of the dead ball rule when the ball struck the home team’s dugout to make the score 5-2.
Tracy American’s Jacob Guevara throws a heater to a Riverbank batter.
Tracy finished up the scoring in the sixth inning. Avila, Conner Martinez and Barba started the inning by loading the bases with three consecutive singles. Avila scored on a wild pitch. Wesley Thompson’s triple scored Martinez and Barber, making the score 8-2. Augustine’s triple scored Thompson and Bowman to make the score 10-2, and Brandon Nahm drove in Augustine to end the scoring for the game and cement the victory, 11-2.
“Our kids really hit well at the plate,” coach Nahm said. “My hat’s off to the other team. They played a great ball game, but we were able to wear them down with our depth and consistency.”
Tracy will host Oakdale at Monte Vista Field at 5:30 p.m. today.
Top hitters for Tracy American were Bartlett, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI; Barba, who went 2-for-3; and Avila, who went 2-for-4, with a double and two RBIs.
To reach interm Sports Editor Jason Blasco, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.