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Ripon unravels late in loss

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Ripon unravels late in loss

Ripon starter Trent Murphy fires a pitch against Hughson during Friday’s 7-1 loss against the visiting Huskies.

JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS/The Bulletin/


POSTED April 5, 2014 12:39 a.m.

RIPON – Hughson pitcher Bobby Etcheverry earned a complete-game victory and scattered four hits against Ripon Friday afternoon.

Etcheverry tossed seven strikeouts with five walks and his only run was unearned in a 7-1 Trans Valley League victory.

“Hughson played a great game, all the credit to them,” Ripon head coach Jon Manrique said. “That’s a tough lineup to face, but I thought (Trent) Murphy did a great job for 6 2/3 innings. We had them to only three runs, but they kind of exploded there at the end.”

Murphy battled well and kept Ripon (2-2 TVL, 5-6-1 overall) in the ball game, but after giving up his third run in the top of the seventh inning and issuing a pair of two-out walks, he was pulled down 3-1.

Hughson (4-0,9-2) scored its last three in the final frame and Michael Ysit (2 for 4) singled for his second hit, but Ripon wasn’t able to muster a seventh-inning rally.

“Ripon is a good ball club,” Hughson head coach Mike Bava said. “They swing the bat really well and they’re well coached. Watch out for them, they’re just going to get better and better.”

Ripon’s lone run was scored in the bottom of the first by Luke Robison, who got on with a walk and cut the Indians’ deficit in half after crossing the plate on a Caleb Rogers fielder’s-choice RBI.

Ripon’s Nick Price (1 for 3) singled in the first inning, and Josh Clark collected the Indians’ fourth hit in the bottom of the second (1 for 3).

Etcheverry was accurate with his location and retired the Ripon order in the fifth and sixth innings and only faced four batters in the second, third, fourth and seventh innings.

Behind Etcheverry was a stout defense that made nearly every single routine play because Ripon did put the ball in play with consistence. But in front of Etcheverry was his catcher Lane Cobb, a junior with the type of talent behind the plate rarely seen at the high school ranks.

“(Cobb) is probably the best catcher in our district,” Manrique said. “Even second is hard to (steal) on him. He got us twice. I can’t believe he’s a junior and we still have to see him next year.”

In the bottom of the second, Clark -- arguably Ripon’s fastest base runner – attempted to steal second and was gunned down by Cobb. In the bottom of the third frame, Ripon senior Caleb Rogers attempted to steal third and was not even close.

Ripon didn’t attempt to steal another bag for the rest of the game.

“Anyone who has tried to run on him has been shut down,” Bava said. “His pop times are great…I’ve even seen him pick off runners at second base with the bases loaded. He makes this train run.”

Last year, Hughson made it to the playoffs and lost against eventual section-champion Capital Christian-Sacramento.

And it appears the Huskies will be headed back to the Sac-Joaquin Section tournament, but it also looks like the Indians have themselves a good shot at earning a post-season bid as well considering the top three teams from the TVL advance.

Ripon played solid defensively for the first six innings. Murphy tossed three strikeouts and gave up six hits, three runs and five walks.

In the top of the third inning, Ripon’s defense kept the score at 3-1 by helping Murphy escape the inning with a 5-4-3 double play. Jarrod Andrews flipped the ball to Robison, who tagged the bag and flipped to Rogers at first base.

Well executed.

In the fourth inning, Murphy struck Hughson’s Dylan Horner out looking to end the inning and left runners stranded at second and third for a second straight frame.

Ripon had a 1-2-3 fifth inning and in the sixth Murphy ended the frame by displaying his baseball IQ and covering first on a ground ball to the right side of the field to escape the frame.

Ripon will face Modesto Christian next week at home on Wednesday and in Salida on Friday.

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