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Modesto Babe Ruth comes up short against New York, finishes 3rd
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Modesto Babe Ruths Thomas Longworth heaves a pitch during the Babe Ruth World Series in Texas. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Babe Ruth World Series was a tight tournament for the Modesto Babe Ruth All-Stars. Not tight cool, but tight close as the majority of the team’s wins and losses were determined by a single run.

After dropping the first two pool games of the tournament, Modesto battled back; winning the next two pool games and earning the number three seed. On Thursday, Modesto faced the Mid County All-Stars of Texas and again won by a run, 3-2, setting up a Friday afternoon semi-final game against New York Babe Ruth.

Modesto trailed as the game entered the final inning and began to mount a comeback but when it was all said and done they came up a run short, losing 8-9.

“A lot of people counted us out,” head coach Bobby Swedberg said. “We battled and left it all on the field. We came up short, but I couldn’t be more proud of the team.”

Modesto jumped out to a two run lead in the first inning but New York quickly tied and then took the lead. After six innings, New York led 9-3. Modesto responded to the pressure with five seventh-inning runs but with two outs and runners on first and second base they couldn’t seal the comeback.

“We were very confident beforehand,” Swedberg said. “Unfortunately, we play better when we’re down and in the last inning. You can’t play for the last inning every game and expect to win.”

Modesto will return home with a third place World Series finish.

Local players on the Modesto Babe Ruth team include: Pitman High graduate A.J. Derr, Turlock Christian High graduate John Westberg, Hilmar High graduate Matt Tyler, Cal State Stanislaus athlete Clayton Miller and Merced Junior College athlete Tyler Herd.