Modesto Babe Ruth won the Central California State Championship in Hollister on Sunday, their fourth State Title in four years, defeating San Benito 11-2. The championship win advances Modesto to the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament, which will be held in Watsonville on Sunday.
“Things were rocky at the start of the tournament, but we turned things around in the second game,” Modesto’s head coach Bobby Swedberg said. “Once we got into the championship the guys played with a lot of confidence.”
Modesto seemed most comfortable at the plate, scoring three runs in the first inning as Matt Tyler hit an RBI and Cody Simar hit a two-run single to kick things off. Modesto scored a run in the second and third innings, building a five-point lead, as San Benito struggled to hone in on Thomas Longworth’s pitches.
San Benito scored its first run in the bottom of the third inning but Modesto answered back with a three-run double from Leonard Aue in the fourth, taking an 8-1 lead. Modesto scored twice more in the fifth inning and scored their final run in the seventh off a Longworth single.
Longworth finished with six strike outs from the hill and nine hits. Connor Torres was named an All-Tournament player and Simar earned MVP honors.
Modesto’s next opponent will be Mountain View in the eight-team, double elimination regional tournament. The game will be played at Watsonville High and will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday.
“When you go into these tournaments any team can be good,” Swedberg said. “It looks like it’s going to be a competitive tournament all the way around.”