The Lodi 14-year-old all-star baseball team scored a huge upset on Thursday, knocking out the host Five Cities squad from the Babe Ruth Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament.
The Lodi squad shut out Five Cities, the defending Babe Ruth 13U World Series, with a 2-0 score.
Five Cities had an 18-game winning streak going until Iolani, the Hawaii Babe Ruth champion, knocked them out of the winners’ bracket with a 2-0 victory on Wednesday.
Five Cities won the Central California championship earlier this month, defeating Lodi 13-2. Five Cities also defeated Lodi 18-5 in the first round of that tournament.
“Our boys came ready to play today and they would not be denied,” said Lodi manager Ralph Bain via email. “Gianni Casazza was brilliant mixing his pitches and keeping the ball down.”
Bain added that Five Cities has been Lodi’s “kryptonite” after outscoring Lodi 57-10 across the last four meetings.
Gianni Casazza went most of the way in Thursday’s 2-0 victory, with 98 pitches across 6 2/3 innings. He allowed five hits, two walks and no runs while striking out five. Bubba Stout got the final out with one pitch to record the save.
At the plate, Lodi had three hits, but racked up 10 walks, with two each to Dylan Bartlett and Casazza. J.T. Anderson, Dylan Evans and Casazza had singles, with Bartlett and Auston Schmierer scoring runs.
Five Cities had five hits and two walks. Mikey Afzali went 2-for-3, and Josiah Cabreros, Marc Byrum and Adam Lerma had one hit each.
Today Lodi will play Westchester, the No. 2 team from the Southern California section, which beat SoCal No. 1 Torrance 8-4 on Thursday. Meanwhile, Iolani and Chandler, the winner of the Arizona section, played late Thursday to see which will play the winner of the Lodi-Westchester game.