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Modesto Babe Ruth looks to make strong run at regionals
Mod Babe Ruth pic1
Modesto Babe Ruth coach Bobby Swedberg, of Pitman High, takes his squad to this week’s regional tournament at Wastonville High to compete for a World Series spot. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
MODESTO — Garrett Roberts might have said it best. Right before his 16-to-18-year-old Modesto Babe Ruth baseball team started practicing earlier this week at Davis Park, he said that his teammates make up the most talented group he’s ever been a part of. This comes from a guy who has played baseball for most of his life.But even he knew talent wasn’t enough last week, when Modesto was stunned by Hanford late in the semifinal game of the winners’ bracket in the Central California State Tournament. But with talent comes confidence, and Roberts and his teammates showed that in the two rematch contests against Hanford, including one that captured the tournament title with a 10-run mercy rule win.In other words, this has prepared them for what’s next.And what’s next is crucial. Modesto, which is coached by Bobby Swedberg of Pitman High’s junior varsity baseball, will strive for a World Series spot during this week’s Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament at Wastonville High. The team’s first game is against Northern Utah at 8 p.m. on Thursday.Last season, Modesto was one win away from earning back-to-back World Series appearances.The team is determined to make another run, trying to match its 2008 season that saw the team land a spot in the World Series. This season’s squad has the talent. Other than boasting Denair High graduate and Modesto Junior College pitcher Dylan Werner, who had an impressive four-inning outing in the state opener, Modesto’s roster is filled with college players, as well as Davis High graduate Jake Sisco, who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft.“We gotta get the job done and get to the World Series,” said Roberts, who graduated from Beyer High in Modesto and earned the MVP award at the state tournament.“The team’s approach is we can’t make any easy mistakes,” Sisco said. “We have to make the routine plays.”Swedberg, who’s in his third year with the Babe Ruth team, agrees it’s the little things that matter, as he said, “We gotta execute when we’re in the situation to execute.”To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.