Luke Eicher’s two-run single capped a five-run third and a two-run single from Alec De Watteville came during a four-run fourth as host Oak Ridge defeated Yuba City 10-6 Monday afternoon in Surewest-Woodcreek Invitational Tournament play.
The offense, including three RBIs from catcher Cody Morris, supported the pitching of Austin Ales who received last-out help from Lance Berringer. Earlier, errors cost the Trojans (2-1) a chance to remain undefeated in the bracket in a 6-2 setback to Casa Roble. In that game, Chris Muse-Fisher allowed just two hits through six innings. The Rams broke a 2-2 tie with four in the seventh. All their runs were unearned.
“We kicked it around — it was bad — and the kids were pretty ticked off,” Trojan coach Todd Melton said about the morning loss. “There’s no way we should have lost to Casa. If we don’t come ready we can be ordinary, so the key is to keep our focus.”
In the late game, the Honkers managed 16 hits off Ales but with a big lead the senior right-hander didn’t surrender a big inning. Yuba City simply chipped away with single runs in the last four innings. He departed with two on and Berringer nailed down the win on a fly-out to right field.
Oak Ridge took the early lead as Morris (2-for-3) singled in Bobby Gatta in the bottom of the second inning but the Honkers went ahead 2-1 before the Trojans scored five and never looked back. Zach Mahon ripped the first of his two doubles — aided by an outfielder’s slip — to plate Mason Watkins and after Jake Wehr (2-for-3) singled to right, Berringer’s ground-out scored Mahon.
Ales reached on an error and De Watteville walked to load the bases for Morris, who bunted in Berringer and made it safely to first on the fielder’s choice. Eicher grounded a single through the right side for two more and poised to score more, Yuba pitcher Zach Oakley induced a double play to get to the dugout.
RBI singles from Berringer, Morris and De Watteville’s two-run single enabled Oak Ridge to increase its lead to 10-3 after four but Honker reliever Ryan Pope shut the door the rest of the way.
In the day’s middle game, the Honkers outlasted Union Mine 17-12. The Diamondbacks amassed 13 hits, including six for extra bases, but it wasn’t enough. Jon Wong led the Union Mine offense on a 4-for-5 day with a double; Taylor Ward had a single and two doubles; Tyler Leal was 2-for 3 with a double; Chris Beck tripled and Walker Neville doubled.
In Roseville, Ponderosa avenged a season-opening loss with a 14-11 victory over the Tigers to win the bracket. Ponderosa scored the game’s final seven runs to win. Jerrod Bravo went 3-for-3 with a double for the Bruins; Reed Omohundro was 2-for-4 with a double and Tyler Evanoff doubled.
And at the Atascadero Tournament, El Dorado suffered its second loss of the season, 10-4, to Templeton but bounced back to blank Lynbrook 6-0. Against Templeton, Roger Gadow was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs but the Cougars lost due to six errors in the field. In the shutout, Joey Smith went 4-for-4 with a home run while James Frost had three hits including a double. Today the Cougars face Morro Bay at 2 p.m.
Both Oak Ridge and the Diamondbacks are back in action in El Dorado Hills with a single game today. Troy plays Oakmont at 11 a.m. and Union Mine takes on Inderkum at 2 p.m. The tournament concludes Wednesday. Ponderosa is at Bella Vista at 2 p.m. today against the host Broncos.