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Salida All-Stars cruise by Lathrop

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Salida All-Stars cruise by Lathrop

Jaden Mitchell of the Lathrop 9-10 year old All-Star team tries to get down on a ball that made it through the infield during a 10-0 loss against the Salida Blue squad on Sunday morning.


POSTED July 1, 2013 12:48 a.m.

SALIDA – After a three-and-a-half hour marathon that saw 33 runs plated during the first round of the District 67 Little League All-Star Tournament for 9-10 year olds Friday evening, the Lathrop 9-10 year old All-Star squad came out somewhat lackadaisical on Sunday against the Salida Blue All-Star team.

The Salida Blue squad, which featured standout 10-year old Manteca resident Austin Kovacs, cruised past Lathrop in a shortened four-inning contest, 10-0.

“We could have done a lot better,” Lathrop’s 9-10 year old All-Star head coach Rudy Cruz said. “Our bats didn’t come out today, but that was a good effort from (Kovacs). He was very good and he was wheeling and dealing.

“We just didn’t come out swinging today. Maybe they needed some time to wake up?”

The Salida Blue squad opened its tournament fully awake.

Not only did Kovacs throw a no-hitter, but Salida’s offense came out hot and scored seven runs in the first inning alone.

Salida tallied up nine of its 14 total hits in the opening frame, including doubles by Narlin Lainez and Tory Davis, the team’s lead-off hitter who batted twice in the first inning.

Lathrop, who dropped to 1-1 in the tournament after defeating Salida’s Red 9-10 year old All-Star team to open up the brackets Friday night, only got three runners on base in four innings of baseball Sunday.

Lathrop’s second baseman Jaden Mitchell got on base by drawing a walk in the first inning. However, Kovacs threw two of his 10 total strikeouts to close out the first frame and retired the side in two of the game’s four innings. Kovacs also hit Mitchell with a pitch to put him on base for a second time in the fourth inning. Lathrop’s shortstop Jaydin Cruz got on base via a fielder’s choice when the Salida Blue defense made a force out that sent Mitchell back to the dugout.

“We got out to a big first inning,” said Lapon Chanthamany, the Salida Blue 9-10 year old All-Star head coach. “Not only that, but we had great pitching from Austin. He held it down.

“The bats came alive. In the second inning, we went kind of quiet and then came back alive in the third to close out the game. (Kovacs) was the man that was called upon, and he stepped up and did his job.

“Lathrop played a strong game, but we were just able to hit the ball and put it in play.”

Salida’s Blue squad moved on to the quarterfinals, which will be played on Friday at 5 p.m. in Salida. Lathrop was sent to the consolation bracket with the loss and will face elimination on Wednesday at 5 p.m. against the winner of Tracy National 1 and Tracy National 2, who will play today at 5 p.m. at the Salida Little League field.

“They already know what they have to do,” Cruz concluded. “We have to get back to our basics. It was a good pitcher we faced (Sunday), but they came back from 9-0 to win (on Friday).

“So we’re going to come back. We were a little sluggish. We have to have that good, team effort. When my kids are up tempo and not down on themselves, we tend to play a lot better. It just went downhill because they were a little down on themselves.”

To contact John-Joel Griffiths, e-mail

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