The Modesto Babe Ruth baseball team reached the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament championship on Wednesday after winning five consecutive games, only to be defeated by the San Benito squad from Hollister in a tight 12-11 game.
“Overall, our team played great baseball all week. We hit 15 home runs in this tournament and everyone was hitting a lot, especially the middle of the lineup,” said Modesto’s head coach, Bobby Swedberg. “We made adjustments early and put pressure on everyone.”
San Benito and Modesto were neck and neck all game, starting with the first inning where they were tied at three apiece. The hot bats from Hollister never slowed down as there were four lead changes from the second through the eighth innings.
Modesto was unable to capitalize on an eighth inning bases loaded resurgence that would eventually end with a phenomenal third base play to force the runner out at home to end the threat.
“We had never scored a run on the pitcher for Hollister in 14 innings. They responded after every run. We lost focus at the end, but overall played good ball,” Swedberg said. “The kids were focused, but kind of let it go towards the end.”
Recent Pitman High graduate Brennan Hauser was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a double. Connor Torres was 2-for-3 with three runs scored, a home run and 3 RBIs. Breck Smith went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a solo homer.
Modesto won their fourth game on Tuesday night after defeating Roosevelt 13-3 in a fifth inning mercy-rule victory.
It was 13-0 going into the top of the fifth when Roosevelt put up three runs to end the game.
Starter Drake Lerno started the game and threw four innings, allowed four hits and struck out one. Tyler Coffee finished the game tossing one inning and struck out one.
Offensively, Hauser went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a triple. Austin Thomas was 1-for-2 with a home-run.
In Wednesday’s semifinal game before the finale, Modesto faced Riverton and won 15-0, in a five inning mercy-rule victory.
Tyler Murphy started the game and threw three shutout innings, gave up two hits and struck out six. James Pernetti threw two innings and came away with two strikeouts.
Hauser went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and Connor Torres was 1-for-1 with the game.
“We couldn’t be more proud of how the kids did and how well they played down the stretch. The team came together well. We showed how we can play as a team,” Swedberg said. “We came up short, but that is baseball. One game and one inning away was close, I couldn’t be happier for the kids.”