GALT – When the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V Baseball Championships come rolling around once a season there is usually little room for mistakes.
And for six innings Ripon High starter Justin Scott did not make any, guiding Ripon to a 6-2 win over Capital Christian Friday.
The win sets Ripon in place for a best two-out-of-three series with the winner of the Summerville-Hilmar matchup beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. Scott was in cruise control from the onset, opening the contest with six shutout innings in a tightly contested 1-0 battle. The Ripon hurler struck out six and only surrendered five hits.
“I can’t say enough about what Justin has meant to us all season,” Ripon head coach Mitchell Evans said. “He keeps the ball down, he’s throwing from a good downward angle and he’s hitting his locations.
“When a guy is throwing like that, you’re going to be in the game.”
Ripon landed the first blow in its half of the first, when Alex Gustin reached on an infield single he hammered down off home plate. Gustin promptly swiped second and came around to score moments later on a two-out base hit from Hayden Koch.
The games would sit a 1-0 for the better part of six innings, deviating from the norm in the bottom of the sixth when Ripon strung together five straight batters to reach base, four of which came around to score.
Offensively, Gustin’s havoc on the base paths proved beneficial, getting himself in scoring position both times he got on base. Dante Machado made solid contributions form the designated hitter spot, reaching base three times and collecting two hits.
Ripon (14-9-1) will need that kind of productivity from up and down the lineup if they plan on extending their season long enough to get a section banner.
“Anytime you’re in a tournament it’s about momentum,” Evans said. “And anytime you have momentum it’s a good feeling. We’re going to take the momentum from this and hope it carries over into tomorrow.
“Baseball is a game of streaks, if we can ride a streak, who knows.”