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Spartans outlast Cougars

Lathrop amasses 11 runs in third inning of high-scoring affair

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Spartans outlast Cougars

Miguel Castellanos of Lathrop is tagged out at second by Weston Ranch’s C.J. Drain in an 18-15 win for host Lathrop on Tuesday.


POSTED April 9, 2014 12:52 a.m.

LATHROP — Weston Ranch scored the game’s first four runs on Wednesday, but four runs were not going to get it done.

By the time the dust settled – and there was a lot of dust to settle – Lathrop battled back to take a thrilling 18-15 Valley Oak League baseball game that saw 34 combined hits and six combined errors.

“Our kids didn’t quit,” Spartans coach Randy Baltazar said. “They got a quick 4-0 lead and we had plenty of opportunities to let it go and then we put up a 10 spot – but then we got complacent.

“It was like a great boxing match by both teams. We were hitting each other and it just happened to end that we came out with the ‘W.’ It was exhausting.”

Trailing 4-0 entering its half of the third inning, Lathrop (1-4 VOL, 2-12 overall) scored 11 runs and sent 14 players to the plate and rapped out nine hits, including a bases-clearing double by Richard Chavez. Keenan Donatelli had an RBI single in the frame and finished 4 for 5 with a double and two RBI. 

“I stood up to every at-bat despite the way the game was going back and forth,” Donatelli said. “I just didn’t want to lose.”

“We were in a hole and we kept our heads high and battled out of it.”

Teammate Richie Juarez was 4 for 5 with a double.

“We have been struggling as a team and finally came together today,” Donatelli said. “We kept our heads up and played together.

“I have been in a slump and I wanted to help out the team and get some good hits. With those guys in scoring position I wanted to get them home.”

After falling behind 11-4 the Cougars (0-5, 2-13) wasted little time climbing back into the game, scoring seven runs in a five-hit fourth with all five being singles.

“We were willing to compete the whole game,” Weston Ranch coach David Hager said. “Despite the adversity we continued to fight and play all the way.

“We are young and while we compete we need to do the little things to be successful. Give Lathrop credit. In that 11-run inning they laid down three or four great bunts along with the little things to win the game.”

Josh Dilg had an RBI triple for the Cougars and reached base four times, going 2 for 4 with three runs and an RBI. Teammate C.J. Drain was 2 for 2 with a walk, double and an RBI.

“In addition to his quality bat and his pitching, Dilg stood out to me today as a leader,” Hager said. “He got behind his team and took a leadership role. He has an opportunity to become a leader in anything he does.”

Dilg reached on a fielder’s choice in the seventh, stole second and scored on an error to draw Weston Ranch within three runs with a runner on first and one out, but the game ended on a 6-4-3 double play.

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