In six hours and 36 minutes on Saturday, the Lodi Babe Ruth 13s All-Star baseball team scored a combined 30 runs against the San Benito squad in the District 1 Tournament.
Most of the runs came in their second game at Kofu Park that reflected more of a football score. In the end, Lodi posted a 21-10 win over San Benito for the district crown.
“I’m very proud of the boys,” said Lodi head coach Jake Diede. “They just kept hitting the ball, putting it into play.”
Both Lodi and San Benito advance to the Babe Ruth State Tournament, which will start toward the end of this week in Taft. Lodi enters as the No. 1 seed and San Benito at No. 2.
In the second game, San Benito led 5-2 entering the top of the fourth inning. For almost 45 minutes, Lodi produced nine hits, six walks and a hit batter to score 14 runs.
Two of the 20 batters who went to the plate batted three times; Andrew Wright and Logan Edwards. Wright grounded out, singled and reached first base on a San Benito fielding error. Edwards walked, hit by a pitch and struck out that gave San Benito the final out.
After Wright grounded out and Edwards walked, Gavin Mora and Gianni Brassesco each walked to load the bases. The first of the 14 runs touched home plate when Wright scored on a bases-loaded walk to Lodi teammate Ryan Gaea to make it 5-3.
Then after a fly out that gave San Benito its second out, Lodi started its scoring parade. Jaxon Diede, Preston Plath and Nico Lombardi each singled. Diede and Plath each singled twice in the fourth.
“We felt that if could put a few runs on the board after coming back on them in the first game,” said Jake Diede. “Going into the second game, my big thing is not to get too comfortable with ourselves, keep up the intensity. It’s not over until the umpire calls the last out.”
Wright singled up the middle of the infield in his second trip to the plate. Brassesco, Mora and Gaea each singled, along with Carson Devine. Lodi also benefited from four passed balls in which three players scored.
Celso Perez singled to get some offense going for San Benito in the bottom of the fourth with one out. But Lodi recorded the next two outs to end the threat.
Brassesco singled in the top of the fifth inning. After moving to second and third bases on a fielder’s choice, Brassesco scored on Devine’s sacrifice fly that gave Lodi a 16-5 lead.
Lodi was three outs away from the game ending by mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth. But San Benito cranked out three hits, one being a double from Diego Santos, which led to five runs to spoil Lodi’s bid to end the game early and cutting the score to 16-10.
“They did not keep up their intensity level,” said Jake Diede. “They went down to about a 75 percent play instead of keeping the 100.”
Both teams went scoreless in the sixth inning. Then Lodi plated five more runs in the top of the seventh for the final score. Gaea doubled to the right field fence and Brassesco, Devine and Lombardi singled that tallied to four hits.
“They didn’t give up,” Diede said.
Lodi finished with 18 hits in the contest. San Benito had 10.
Lodi 9, San Benito 5
In the first game on Saturday, Lodi scored three runs each in the third and fourth inning that led to a 5-5 tie. San Benito led 4-0 after the top of the third inning.
After a scoreless fifth inning, Lodi scored four times in the sixth inning. Lombardi and Gaea each singled and scored in the inning.