The Modesto Babe Ruth baseball team is two wins away from claiming the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament and reaching the Babe Ruth World Series for a second consecutive year after defeating Vallejo, 10-2, and Riverton, 23-3.
In all three games of the Regional Tournament Modesto has outscored opponents, 48-8.
“The kids are having great approaches during their at-bats and, obviously, putting up a lot of runs,” Modesto’s head coach Bobby Swedberg said. “We have done damage with two strikes and that is hard to do.”
In Saturday’s game against Vallejo, Modesto’s bats came alive early after scoring the first three runs in the first. After the fifth, Vallejo tacked on a run, but Modesto retaliated with a solo home run from Connor Torres followed by a Jordan Gonzalez RBI single to make it 5-1. In the seventh, Austin Thomas, a 2012 Turlock High graduate, blasted a three-run hit to extend the lead to 8-1. Two more runs were tacked on the following inning. Vallejo scored their second and final run in the eighth.
Tyler Murphy started the game and went five innings, allowed one run on three walks, and struck out six. Offensively, Murphy added a 3-for-4 day with a run scored and one RBI. Thomas was 1-for-1 with a home run and 3 RBIs.
“The homers gave us a lot of momentum. These kids seem extremely relaxed and we need that moving on further into the tournament,” Swedberg said. “We need to capitalize on errors and continue to play hard.”
In Monday’s game, the Modesto offense was on fire as they destroyed the Riverton squad, 23-3, in a five inning mercy-rule victory.
By the third inning, Modesto had scored 23 runs after a magical inning that saw 16 runs scored on 13 hits.
Two runs for Riverton came in the third and one in the fourth. Brennan Hauser, a recent Pitman High graduate, was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, a home run and 4 RBIs. Murphy went 4-for-4 three runs scored, two doubles and 5 RBIs. Austin Thomas was 3-for-3 with two runs scored, a walk and an RBI.
James Pernetti started the game and threw three innings, gave up three hits, two runs, and struck out two. Nico Delgaldo threw one inning in the fourth and Connor Torres closed the fifth inning with one strikeout and no runs.
“We like to talk about getting the next guy up and put them up. If we can get the next guy, we get momentum and if everybody is doing their job we will be ok. We live by that. Everyone does their job and if we keep that up we will be fine,” Swedberg said.
Modesto played Roosevelt on Tuesday; scores were not available by press time.