TRACY — After taking an early lead Friday, Weston Ranch committed five errors in the last two innings – including a throwing error that led to the walk-off run for Kimball in the bottom of the seventh – as the Jaguars came away with an 11-10 come-from-behind win in Valley Oak League baseball action played in blustery conditions on an arid field at Kimball High School.
“This is what happens if you are not mentally into a game,” Cougars coach David Hager said. “You take at-bats back into the field and you let the elements and the facilities control what is taking place.
“We are a good team and today we did not play like it.”
The Cougars (4-6 VOL, 9-13 overall) took a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning when the error bug took its first bite. Two costly errors helped lead to four runs for Kimball (4-6, 7-12). Weston Ranch worked its league back up to 10-4 in the sixth inning, but in the bottom of the frame three more errors led to five Jaguars runs and the Cougars lead was reduced to 10-9.
After holding Weston Ranch scoreless in the top of the seventh, Kimball used a combination of errors, walks, passed balls and wild pitches to get two runs in the bottom of the frame for the win.
“We played a great game,” Jaguars coach Scott Anderson said. “But you have to hand it to Weston Ranch. They came out and put the pressure on us but our guys stayed with it and didn’t give up.”
The Cougars scored in every inning but the seventh. Manuel Rubio had a pair of singles and knocked in four runs for the Weston Ranch, Larry Martinez had a two-RBI double, Jordan Severin was 2 for 3 with a double and a run and leadoff batter C.J. Drain doubled, scored two runs and was hit by a pitch twice.
“We came out in the beginning of the game and we competed, we banged and we got up but then we took it for granted,” Hager said. “We thought, ‘Hey, we got this, not a problem,’ and you can’t do that with any team.
“Kimball did not give up, they fought – first pitch to last pitch. We did not fight for the whole game. For whatever reason we thought we had the game won.”
With four games left and four teams going to the playoffs, Weston Ranch and Kimball are now tied for fifth, two games behind Central Catholic and Manteca.