Patience paid off for the Lodi Babe Ruth 14s All-Star baseball team.
Taking on the San Benito all-star squad in a best-of-three series in the District 1 Tournament at Kofu Park on Friday, Lodi left many baserunners on the bases in the first four innings. But the last three led to a 5-1 victory.
“To me, it’s to be patient,” said Lodi manager Ralph Bain about the team’s strategy at the plate. “Get a good pitch to hit; that’s the No. 1 rule in hitting. We finally got some pitches to hit.”
in the nightcap, Lodi posted a 4-3 win to seal the best-of-three series. Next stop for Lodi is the Babe Ruth State Tournament at Madera High. The first game for Lodi will be against Five Cities on Friday, July 5 at 1 p.m.
Lodi saw its offensive output pick up in the top of the fifth inning, with San Benito leading 1-0. Dylan Evans smacked a curve ball that flew over the infield and bounced into left field for a single. After he stole second base, Evans moved to third on a passed ball.
Then Lodi teammate Matt Alagna was the plate, as he ducked on a high-inside pitch that the San Benito catcher missed and allowed Evans to touch home plate for a 1-1 score.
Alagna also walked and moved around the bases thanks to a ground out and stolen third base. He gave Lodi a 2-1 lead by scoring on another passed ball.
The last two innings of the game was about Lodi’s pitching and defense.
On the mound, Joshua Anderson went the distance, striking out five San Benito batters that included three in the last two innings. Lodi’s infielders in shortstop Brayden Stout and first baseman Cooper Rostomily recorded two more outs via grounders.
Bain notes that all of his all-star players are more than capable of taking the ball on the bump if they are called to do so.
“They get some innings, eventually,” Bain said.
Lodi took a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth with one out. Josh Casey was hit by a pitch, advanced to second when Evans was walked for a second time, and to third on Alagna’s single up the middle. Now with the bases loaded, Casey trotted home when Aiden Ramos walked.
In the top of the seventh inning, Lodi tacked on two more runs for what would be the final score. Rostomily and Anderson had back-to-back singles. Both scored on Stout’s single to left field.
Lodi had 10 runners stranded on the bases that included four in scoring position in the first four innings of the game.
“We were putting pressure on them,” said Bain, referring to San Benito. “Eventually, we were going to break through. I think we had an explosive offense.”
San Benito’s only run came in the second inning came when Jonathan Laib was hit by a pitch and moved to second when Mateo Pelaiz reached first base on a Lodi fielding error. Laib went to third after Sam Gomez took first base on a catcher’s interference call. Laib scored on Ethan Salcedo’s fielders choice.
Lodi finished with seven hits in the game, which three came in the final inning. San Benito only had one; in the bottom of the fourth when Nathan Martinez singled.
Lodi 4, San Benito 3
Bartlett, along with Austin Schmierer, Rostomily, Casey and Matt Oliver, each had a hit in the nightcap. Rostomily, plus Casey and Oliver, each had an RBI. Lodi finished with five hits. Lodi also had five stolen bases.
On the hill, Oliver and Stout combined to give up seven hits. Oliver struck out three batters.
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.