Lompoc’s Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Stars will now have to go through the elimination bracket of the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament after falling to Oahu, Hawaii, 15-5 at South Lake Tahoe on Tuesday night in a game that was interrupted for about 30 minutes due to stadium lighting issues.
The lights in the outfield went out at approximately 8:15 p.m., causing the umpires to halt the game in the bottom of the fifth inning so stadium officials could fix the electrical issues.
Once the lights came back on at 8:45 p.m., Oahu tacked on one more run in the top of the sixth to help seal the victory.
"They were extremely talented," Lompoc manager Tommy Silva said. "They were very fast, had great hitters, just a good fundamentally sound team. Plus everything we threw, they hit."
The loss now puts Lompoc in a position where it must win at least six straight games to clinch the tournament title. A loss ends the 15-year-old's baseball season.
Right away, Oahu lit the scoreboard up on a partly cloudy, 72 degree evening.
Oahu loaded the bases in the first inning and took advantage — scoring its first two runs off an RBI single toward right field then the next two on a sacrifice bunt.
Then, Oahu — which had a first round bye in the nine-team tournament — tacked on four more runs to take the commanding 11-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Lompoc's biggest smash came from Kalub Ramirez, who blasted a 390 foot solo home run that Silva said hit the trees in the left center field area.
Lompoc managed to prevent the game from ending in five innings due to the 10-run rule, as the trio of Ramirez, Anthony Lopez and Cesar Frausto each pounded RBI singles, cutting the Oahu lead to 13-5 in the bottom of the fifth.
But the game ended in seven innings and Oahu moves on in the winner's bracket. Silva said despite the loss, his team is still upbeat.
"It was a good eye-opener," Silva said. "But they're not down on themselves. I see them coming back."
Lompoc will aim to redeem itself and keep its baseball season alive by returning to South Lake Tahoe at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against Milford-Southern Utah.
Lompoc opened the tournament Monday with a 4-0 wins over the host South Lake Tahoe team.
—Torrance 13, Yuma 0. Torrance faces Tri-Valley/Oahu winner on Thursday.
—South Lake Tahoe 10, Northern Utah 0, South Lake Tahoe takes on Sparks-Nevada at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.