SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Lompoc’s 15-year-old All-Star Babe Ruth baseball team started its Pacific Southwest title pursuit with a 4-0 shutout against the host team South Lake Tahoe on Monday night.
The victory pits Lompoc against the all-star sluggers from Oahu, Hawaii, which had a first round bye in the tournament. Manager Tommy Silva said it wasn’t the most nail-biting contest like the ones his team had gotten used to during the Central California tournament in Reedley.
“It wasn’t very exciting the whole game, but we won,” Silva said while laughing during a telephone interview after the game.
The manager added that South Lake Tahoe’s pitching gave Lompoc fits throughout the night near the Nevada border.
“From the first to the third inning, we left too many runners stranded on base — which was unfortunate,” Silva said.
But it wasn’t until the fourth inning when the tide started shifting in Lompoc’s direction as the sun fell behind the Tahoe trees.
Vincente Concholla got the inning going with a walk. Nicholas Ahedo followed with a double. Then, Oscar Rojas drove both runners home on his two-run RBI. Kalub Ramirez ended the inning with an RBI single.
Rojas took the victory on the hill for Lompoc, pitching six innings and striking out 11 South Lake Tahoe batters.
Lompoc, which didn’t lose a single game in the Reedley tournament two weeks ago, will take on Oahu in the 7 p.m. contest on Tuesday of the double elimination tournament featuring the top 15-year-old baseball players from California, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona and Utah. The game was not over by press time.
The winner of that contest will face the victor of the Tri-Valley and Milford-Southern Utah contest that was played later on Monday. That Wednesday contest is slated for 7 p.m.
The championship game of the tournament is scheduled for Saturday, July 29 at 10 a.m.