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Young guns lift Knights to SL win

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POSTED March 19, 2014 1:03 a.m.


Three underclassmen were instrumental in Ripon Christian winning its Southern League opener and snapping a four-game losing streak.

Sophomore pitcher Connor McGovern struck out 13 in a combined two-hitter, and freshman Brian Thomas broke a scoreless tie with a pinch-hit, bases-loaded single in a 3-1 win over visiting Waterford.

“Thomas is a freshman who can swing the stick and we’re just trying to find a spot for him,” said Ripon Christian coach John De Visser, who has 10 underclassmen on his 15-man roster. “We found one for him today with the bases loaded and one out.”

Thomas drove in two with his knock, and sophomore Daniel Hannick followed suit with an RBI single. Waterford (0-1 SL, 1-5 overall) answered with an unearned run in the top of the sixth. Danny Vander Molen pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the save. He was also 4 for 4 from the plate.

It was yet another stellar outing for McGovern, who now has 31 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

“For a third outing in a row he threw very well,” De Visser said. “He’s a tone setter.”

 De Visser added that Waterford is better than its record shows. The same could be said about his Knights (1-0, 2-5), who played a pre-league schedule littered with competitive and larger small-school clubs.

“It can be tough for a young team like ours, but it was good to play the bigger schools,” De Visser said. “It gives someone like Connor confidence. Waterford is good — they have some dudes and are very much improved. Connor shut them down and we just executed.”

Nonleague

Edison 8, Weston Ranch 7

The Cougars (2-7) had a chance to at least tie it in the bottom of the seventh with runners in scoring position and one out, but the final batter lined into a double play.

Three errors ultimately did Weston Ranch in, as freshmen Manuel Rubio (3 1/3 innings) and C.J. Drain (3 2/3 innings) otherwise fared well in sharing pitching duties.

Kyle Ostertag drove in a pair of runs to lead the offense. Parker Hardy hit a triple, and Cody Simerley and Rubio each contributed a double.

Weston Ranch wraps up its pre-league schedule at Edison on Thursday.

Manteca 11, Pitman 3

The Buffaloes (7-1) rebounded nicely from their first loss of the season. They put together an eight-run fifth inning to race past the 2013 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South finalist.

Joe Menzel led the charge with a 2-for-3 effort that included three RBIs. William Reeder and Michael Garibay each belted a triple and drove in a pair of runs. Dominick Pisano chipped in two runs and two hits. Manteca totaled 16 knocks for the day.

Winning pitcher Lucas Vaughn struck out eight and yielded three runs (two earned) on six hits in six innings. He was also 2 for 4 at the plate.

Manteca heads to Rio Americano today in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.

Chavez 11, Lathrop 7

Visiting Lathrop (1-7) let an early 4-1 lead slip away. Chavez busted out with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and another five in the sixth.

Averey Kolomvotos was 3 for 3 with a triple for the Titans (3-2), while Jorge Camarillo scored three times while finishing 2 for 4. The Spartans were led by Carlos Estrada and Andrew Tapken, who each plated two runs and rapped out a hit.

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