San Benito passed Lompoc in the third inning Friday and kept on rolling.
The designated home team spotted Lompoc an unearned first-inning run. An error and two well-placed bunts set up three San Benito runs in the third. San Benito pulled away from there for a 10-1 win in the first game of the Central California Babe Ruth 15-year-old State Tournament at Elks Field.
San Benito will play Tulare at 4 p.m. today in a winner's bracket game of the double elimination tournament. Lompoc will play Kerman West at 10 a.m. today in an elimination game. The entire tournament is taking place at Elks Field.
Lompoc left fielder Vincent Michel could not quite hold on to the ball after a long run in with one out in the bottom of the third. Marco Gaitan singled home the tying run.
Tyler Triano neatly dropped a bunt near the third base line. Base runner Mason Marquez and the ball arrived at home plate just about simultaneously on the throw. Lompoc catcher Cameron Binebose could not quite hang on to the ball.
Nick Christian placed a bunt at nearly the same spot Triano had put his. Gaitan beat the throw home.
"Our catcher couldn't hold the ball on a bang-bang play," that resulted in San Benito's second run, said Lompoc manager Jeff Ray.
"More importantly, there was a dropped ball in left field on a hit-and-run. If the ball's caught, the throw goes to first (before the runner can get back) for the third out. Suddenly, there's three runs."
Jeffrey Ray, Jeff Ray's son, scored on an error in the first inning for Lompoc's lone run. San Benito second baseman Marquez couldn't quite handle a sharply hit, potentially inning-ending double play ball.
San Benito scored three runs on just one hit in the fourth. One scored on an error, Marquez doubled home another and another run scored on a wild pitch.
Four of San Benito's six hits came in a four-run sixth. Christian singled in two runs, Isaiah Bueno singled home another and Christian scored on Garrett Bourdett's sacrifice fly. Meanwhile, Lompoc finished with just three hits.
San Benito starter Jake Ho gave up two hits during his five innings of work. Reliever Eugene McBride allowed a lead-off single to Izzy Hernandez in the sixth. He did not allow another hit in his two-inning stint. McBride struck out four.
"We didn't hit today," said Jeff Ray. "Getting three hits isn't going to cut it. They didn't have overpowering pitching. We didn't get it done."
San Benito made five errors, but Lompoc only capitalized on one. Hernandez, Lompoc's starter, gave up only two hits in his 3 1/3 innings on the mound, but he walked five batters.
Triano, San Benito's catcher, kept Lompoc from doing more damage in the first inning. He threw out one base runner who was trying to steal second base and picked off another one at first for the third out.
Marquez finished with two hits.
Tulare 5, Kerman West 4
Down 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Tulare scored three runs without getting a hit.
One scored on an errant throw to first base after a dropped potentially game-ending swinging third strike. Another run scored on a hit batsman. Another came home on an error.
Brian Lopez tripled home a run in Kerman West's two-run first inning. Isaiah Baez singled in a run for Kerman West in the second.
Tulare reliever Will Thompson kept his team in range after coming in with two two outs in the top of the sixth. He retired all four batters he faced.
Lodi 20, Buchanan 8
Lodi moved into the winner's bracket, rolling to victory in a game that lasted nearly three hours.
Lodi turned a triple play in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Lodi second baseman Zach Trull speared a line drive, stepped on second base for the second out and threw to first for out number three.
Hugo Velasquez had three hits for Lodi. Trull, Jacob Griffin and Victor Muno all had two. Griffin tripled in a run in Lodi's four-run fifth inning.
Ryan Spain and Justin Levene had two hits each for Clovis-based Buchanan.
Lodi will play the Santa Maria-Corcoran winner at 7 p.m. tonight. Buchanan will face the loser of that game at 1 p.m. today in an elimination game.
Santa Maria and Corcoran faced each other in the late game Friday night. At press time, Santa Maria, the designated visitor, led 22-0 in the top of the third inning. No other details were available.
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