WEST SACRAMENTO — Twice the Oak Ridge High baseball team had late chances to score Wednesday night against Bella Vista in the SureWest Easter Invitational championship game at Raley Field but each time the Trojans were denied.
In the end, the Broncos won by a 3-2 score to avenge a similar setback to Troy in the 2009 title game.
Oak Ridge stranded Alec de Watteville in the seventh inning after the Trojan shortstop had reached on a single. An inning before, Zach Mahon stood at second base after walking and moving up on Lance Berringer’s sacrifice bunt before Bella Vista southpaw Cody Haley struck out the next two Oak Ridge batters to end the frame.
“We had runners in scoring positions and we had our opportunities,” Oak Ridge head coach Todd Melton said. “Their pitcher (Haley) did a real nice job.”
Haley went the distance, allowing four hits, striking out four and walked three. The senior mixed his pitches and induced Trojan batters to ground out 10 times.
Oak Ridge led 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning when de Watteville doubled deep to left-center field and went to third on a Mason Watkins single. Cody Morris’ fielder’s choice plated de Watteville for the early advantage.
The Trojans scored their second run in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Cody Uharriet walked and advanced to second when Alex Fagaide attempted a sacrifice bunt. Ross Dwelley singled to left field to bring in Uharriet.
Bella Vista scored all of its runs in the top of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. Singles off the bats of Jordan Bachart, Jack Cronin and Ryan Locke provided the offensive punch for the Broncos, who had five hits in the game.
“They are a real good team,” Melton said of Bella Vista.
Melton felt the team’s preseason play including the spring invitational will make the Trojans more focused toward Delta River League play that starts Tuesday at Jesuit.
“We know why we are here; this is the tough part of our schedule,” Melton said. “We’re ready. I think we’ve been rolling along quite well. We didn’t win today but I thought we played pretty well.”
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.