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Gustins hot bat goes for naught in loss
Francisco Gustin makes a leaping grab of a chopper Friday at Ripon High where the Indians fell to Modesto Christian, 7-2. - photo by HIME ROMERO
RIPON — Coming off a blowout loss to Modesto Christian Wednesday, Ripon was looking to turn the tables at home Friday afternoon against the Crusaders.

Although the Indians played well on both sides of the ball, save for a few scattered errors that led to two unearned MC runs, the Crusaders had too much poke at the plate to be denied in a 7-2 win.

Michael Mannix got the start for Ripon and was impressive early on with an off speed repertoire that kept MC guessing through the first three.

Mannix allowed just one hit and a walk to the first 12 batters he faced, forcing eight to groundout, and six of those by way of third baseman Francisco Gustin.

MC finally broke loose in the fourth off Mannix. After Patrick White walked and Ryan McConnell hit a double, Johnny Olmos drilled a shot up the middle to make it 2-0.

“(Modesto Christian) is a pretty good team,” Ripon head coach Mark Whelan said. “We battled. We had the wind to battle, but both sides had to contend with it.

“McConnell pitched a good game.”
McConnell went the distance, scattering eight hits and striking out four.

Ripon responded in the home half of the fourth after Zach Evans hit a one-out single to right.

Two batters later, Kory Parks trotted home on Jared Macedo’s double to the corner in right.

Alex Gustin (3B) scored Ripon’s final run in the seventh on a Camden Dowhower single.

Francisco Gustin was nearly unstoppable at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a ground rule double.

Gustin could have done even more damage had a blustering wind not knocked down a rocket to deep left in the fifth.

“That’s not the place to hit it at Ripon,” Whelan said.

Both Modesto Christian and Ripon had an adventure with the umpiring crew, adding a bizarre flavor to an otherwise routine contest.

“I think the game got away from the umpires a little,” Whelan said. “But you have to deal with what you have. We did the best we could.”

With the loss, Ripon slipped to 3-4 in Trans Valley League play.

“We lost a couple of guys to grades, and that hurt us,” Whelan said. “But this is high school baseball. It’s all important to get those grades out of the way. Some of these guys have to put the focus on the class room first.”

Up next is a home-and-home with Ripon Christian starting Wednesday.