By DAVE CAMPBELL
STOCKTON – Missed opportunities.
Kimball of Tracy held on to defeat Ripon 5-4 in non-league baseball action Saturday at Banner Island Ballpark, but it was easily a game that could have ended much differently as both teams combined to strand 19 runners, 10 in scoring position.
“We just couldn’t get the hit at the right time,” Indians coach Jacob Rodriguez said. “Both teams could not get the hit at the right time.”
A walk and two hit batters coupled with a pair of singles helped the Jaguars (10-5) put up four runs in the first inning. They got their fifth run for a 5-0 lead in the third when John Sarmiento doubled in Eddie Hurtado (2 for 4, two RBI, run).
“We just want to play consistent, competitive baseball,” Kimball coach Bob Mueller said. “Whether it is four runs in the first or one, we will take it on the board.
“We left a lot of guys on and really it’s just about playing baseball the way it is supposed to be played – it’s simple stuff that we talks about all the time like having a good two-strike approach and not over thinking it and not trying to do too much. Those little things are the difference for us right now.”
Ripon got on board in the fifth when Gerald Nix reached on a two-out error, scoring Sean McCann from third. Four walks and a hit batter coupled with a pair of wild pitches allowed the Indians to score three and come within 5-4 in the sixth with no out, but Ripon could not get anyone else across and went down in order in the seventh.