Weston Ranch knows how to rally.
Lathrop got its first five runners aboard in the bottom of the third inning Monday and plated all five to take a three-run lead in to the fourth inning. When the first two Cougars were retired in the fourth via a double play, things seemed bleak for Weston Ranch.
But not for long.
The next six Cougars reached and scored on the way to an 11-8 win for Weston Ranch in non-league baseball action at Lathrop High.
“It was a competitive game,” Spartans coach Charles Garcia said. “But it was very disappointing. These kids play so much better when we are at practice and then when we get here we are a little tight.
“It was a disappointing loss.”
Ayden Tinsley (2 for 3, RBI, double, three runs) and Christian Cortes (2 for 4, RBI, two doubles) each doubled in a run in the fourth for Weston Ranch (1-1) with Alejandro Piedra doubling in two runs and Dustin Tinsley (run) singling in a pair of runs in the frame.
The last time these two teams played was Friday, March 13, 2020, the final game allowed that year due to COVID.
“This felt good because they beat us by 10 two years ago,” Cortes said. “So it felt good to come out here and get a W.
“We were putting the ball in play and it felt good to get a win.”
With one across for Lathrop (0-1), no out and the bases loaded in the third, Andrew Montano took the mound for the Cougars. In the next three batters Omare Cross (run) and Luis Hernandez each knocked in a run and Jeremy Julien knocked in two to put the Spartans ahead 5-3.
Montano retired the next three batters in the inning – with Adrian Zuniga sacrificing in the sixth run. Montano then gave up a leadoff single in the fourth to Noah Martinez (two runs) before retiring eight in a row, including striking out the side in the fifth.
“I got into a zone,” Montano said. “I was just sticking to my mechanics. We lost to them two years ago in the COVID year and I wanted to get back at them.”
Montano came on in relief of Zyale Brown-Sanger.
“I am pleased with Zyale Brown-Sanger,” Weston Ranch coach David Hager said. “He hasn’t started a game on the mound since T-ball. He came out and he competed. There is some work to be done there, but he showed us he is capable of getting on the mound and competing. Andrew Montano came in and had some rough sledding at the beginning and then calmed down, got out eight in a row and punched out the side in the fifth.
“At the end of the game in our last at-bat Alejandro Piedra probably won’t get a lot of credit for it but he worked through seven pitches which led to a wild pitch that scored us an extra run which was a big deal. Overall I was pleased. We played good defense, took care of the baseball and had intermittent good at-bats. Now if we can do good at-bats for seven innings we will do better.”
Jeremiah Estante was 2 for 3 with a two RBI, a double and two runs for Lathrop. Jasper Tovar and Noah Martinez added two runs apiece.
Jesus Gonzales was 2 for 3 for the Cougars. Montano (2 for 2, RBI, double) and Steven Bustamante (two RBI) each scored a pair of runs.
Weston Ranch continues its four-game week today on the road against Chavez of Stockton at 3:30 p.m. The Spartans travel to Stockton on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. to face Stagg.