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Ripon all-stars survive slugfest

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Ripon all-stars survive slugfest

Players and coaches from the Ripon Cal Ripken 9-under All-Star team celebrate their Central California District 1 Tournament championship Monday at Veteran’s Park.


POSTED June 24, 2014 12:08 a.m.

RIPON — No lead was safe in Monday’s Cal Ripken Central California District 1 Tournament championship for the 9-under division.

The Ripon All-Stars held off Lodi 19-18 to narrowly avoid the late-night “if” game at Veteran’s Park and punched its ticket to the Central California State Tournament.

Ethan Day struck out two of the final three batters of the game, leaving the tying run at first base. Day was the winning pitcher after starting for the first two innings. Orion Hoover tossed 3 1/3 innings in relief. Day and Hoover were named co-MVPs, as they got the job done from the hill with Ripon’s ace hurler, Nick Televede, out with an elbow injury.

This was otherwise a big night for two opportunistic offenses that took advantage of walks, errors and passed balls. Lodi outhit the host team 14-9 and was walked five times with three hit batters. Ripon had 10 walks and three hit batsmen, and its aggression on the base paths helped get the home team over the hump.

Lodi charged out the gate with seven runs in the top of the first inning, getting two-run knocks from Brett Graddy (2 for 4, three RBIs) and Nate Brookins (2 for 4). Ripon returned fire with an eight-run second inning highlighted by Dylan Pena’s two-run single to center. 

Ripon built a 16-8 cushion in the bottom of the fourth when it needed just one hit to scratch across seven runs. Three players drove in runs on consecutive walks before Kyle Naranjo drilled a two-score double to deep left.

Lodi would not go out quietly. Matt Scheiss (3 for 4, three runs) legged out a two-run double as Lodi closed in, 16-14. Ripon plated three much-needed insurance runs in the bottom half before making its final stand. 

In the top of the sixth, Cade Campbell doubled and Dante Cecchini singled each drove in two runs on back-to-back at-bats.

Day (2 for 4, RBI, run) and Roman Villalovoz (2 for 3, RBI) were the only Ripon players to dole out multiple hits, though every Ripon player reached base at least once. Villalovoz also plated four runs, while Zack Adolphson scored three.

The Central California Tournament begins July 1 at Figarden Elementary School in Fresno. Ripon opens with Clovis at 4 p.m. that day.

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