It was the first home run for a Millennium player at the Falcons’ home field in the six-year history of the baseball program at the charter school. All the team’s previous homers, including three others this year, have been during away games.
“It’s been a battle all four years that I’ve been here,” Carroll said. “Since I was a freshman, it’s been, ‘Nobody has hit a home run.’ I finally did it my senior year.”
What mattered most to Carroll, though, was that he could put a spark in the Falcons offense in the bottom of the seventh inning to start the comeback against the Lions (9-6 overall, 2-5 Central California Athletic Alliance).
Following Carroll’s homer, the Falcons loaded the bases and, with no outs, senior Joe Bains blasted a three-run triple to deep right-center to send the game into extra innings.
“At first I thought (the right fielder) was going to catch it, but when it went over his head I started looking toward third base,” Bains said. “The way we came back, we didn’t give up. That gives us a lot of confidence.”
Millennium won it in the bottom of the eighth when Spencer Blackwell singled and then scored the winning run on junior Kyle Murawski’s triple to the right-field corner with two outs.
The win sets up a showdown between Millennium and Elliot Christian of Lodi, the two undefeated teams in the CCAA, for the league title.
They play Tuesday, May 1, at the Tracy Learning Center, and in Lodi on Friday, May 4.
“We wanted to be undefeated when we got to Jim Elliot, because Jim Elliot has always been our rival in baseball,” Murawski said. “We needed the best record we could possibly get. We’re ready for them.”
Jose Avila went three innings and gave up five runs, one of them earned, on three hits as starting pitcher for the Falcons. Relief pitchers Tanner Carroll gave up three hits and one run over two innings and Austin Larson got the win after he pitched three innings at the end and gave up no runs and one hit.
Avila also ended Big Valley’s eighth inning with a diving catch on a line drive.
Murawski had three hits for the day; Larson, Drew Carroll and Blackwell had two hits each; and Avila also had a hit.
Tracy 2, Lincoln 0
Jonah Wesely threw a no-hitter, his second of the year, in Tracy’s 2-0 win at home Thursday, April 27.
He struck out seven batters, and only three Lincoln runners reached base.
A runner who reached base on a walk in the second inning was stranded. Another batter who reached on a walk in the third was thrown out at second, and a batter who reached on a fielder’s choice was picked off trying to steal second by Tracy catcher Jake Shull.
“My defense really helped me out today,” Westley said. “It’s good to know you have a good defense to rely on.”
His first no-hitter was a five-inning, 13-0 win over Chavez on April 10.
“This is definitely a great year for us as a team,” he added. “We’re working hard at practice, and it’s showing at game time.”
One who stepped up on offense was John Jaeger, who batted in both of Tracy’s runs. The first was on an RBI single in the first inning after Matt Loscavio reached base on a fielder’s choice, advanced on a fly-out and stole third.
The other was Jaeger’s solo home run over the right field fence.
“I put a good swing on it, and the wind helped me take it over the fence,” he said.
It was role reversal for the Tracy batter and pitcher. On March 29, it was Wesley providing the offense, as Jaeger toed the rubber.
“It was my first game against Lincoln, and he gave me that game-winning home run. It’s a team sport. We help each other out here,” Jaeger said.
Now that Tracy has beat Lincoln three times and Lodi twice, the Bulldogs are positioned to claim the league title. Tracy is 18-4 for the season, 10-1 in the San Joaquin Athletic Association. Lincoln is in second at 11-9 overall, 6-4 in league.
“They were the only ones who had a chance. If they had swept us they would have gotten it, but we swept them,” Tracy coach Vic Alkire said.
West 7, Stagg 6
Garrett Speckmann came through with several clutch hits that boosted West over Stagg’s Delta Kings, 7-6, in Stockton on Thursday, April 26, the day before a strange twist on the field led to a forfeit in West’s favor.
While Thursday’s game featured a Wolf Pack comeback and late-inning heroics, Friday’s turned out to be a showdown between an umpire and a coach.
The outcome was that teams played only one inning of baseball, with West ahead 3-0 and ready to come to bat in the second inning, before Stagg forfeited.
Umpires would not comment, but Stagg coach Henry Sanchez said that the umpires ejected him after he refused to tell a fan to stop heckling the game officials. Sanchez then pulled his team from the field in protest.
The forfeit puts the Wolf Pack at 5-8 overall and 4-2 in the Tri-City Athletic League, and Stagg at 6-12 and 2-4.
Thanks to Speckmann and timely hitting, West didn’t need a forfeit to win Thursday.
Stagg had a 3-0 lead going into the fourth inning, and West cut it to a 3-2 lead with Speckmann’s two-RBI double.
West took the lead in the top of the fifth after Johnny Gori led off with a single and Jalen Ransome was hit by a pitch. Rafael Tijero then crushed a two-RBI double to give West a 4-3 lead.
West scored two more in the sixth when Chase Martinez doubled to the left-center gap to bring in Speckmann and Gori.
Stagg tied it with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but West came back in the top of the seventh as Steven Gonsalves walked, Jack Kelley singled and Speckmann singled for his third RBI of the day.
Pitcher Kevin Oetken picked up the win for West.
Sophomores: Lincoln 7, Tracy 3
Tracy starting pitcher Anthony Nunez shut Lincoln out the first four innings as Tracy took a 2-0 lead Thursday, April 26, at Monte Vista Middle School. He allowed two runs, six hits, nine strikeouts and two walks in five innings, and Josh Brakkee came in for relief.
Brakkee shut down Lincoln in the sixth, but got the loss after the Bulldogs were unable to hold back Lincoln in the Trojans’ five-run seventh inning.
Offensively Ryan Vares and Nunez tried to get the Bulldogs going, but careless base running kept Tracy from reaching home.
“Our defense was playing good, not committing any errors through the first six innings. But Lincoln proved to be the team that wanted it more again as they fought back and stole a victory from us,” Tracy coach Ryan Hern said, adding that a win would have put Tracy in first place in the San Joaquin Athletic Association. Instead the Bulldogs will drop to third or fourth.
“This is a very tight competitive league, and if you let go of multiple wins, it makes it very hard to take league.”
Freshmen: Tracy 3, Lincoln 1
Robbie Ramirez pitched a complete game against Lincoln on Friday, April 27, at Tracy High.
He gave up one unearned run on three hits. Tracy also had just three hits for the day, including a double for Ramirez in the first inning and Brandon Russell’s single to score Ramirez.
Corey Forth also had a base hit, but it was a series of five walks in the second inning that scored two more runs for Tracy. It puts the Bulldogs at 14-3 for the season.
Sophomores: Kimball 14, Sonora 8
The Jaguars overcame Sonora’s 5-0 lead with a run in the second inning and seven in the third to make it an 8-5 game Wednesday, April 25, at Kimball High.
Sonora tied it at 8-8 in the top of the fifth, but Kimball came back with two in the bottom of the fifth and four in the seventh.
Winning pitcher Trevor Trew threw two complete innings and started the third, allowing five runs on five hits. Matt Rodriguez pitched two innings and gave up two runs on three hits, and Ryan King finished the game, giving up one run on two hits.
Sammy Duran singled and tripled, Zach Orr doubled twice, Trew tripled, and Dylan Davis and Brennan Bowman both singled.