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Down by nine, Lathrop battles back to win slugfest
Lathrops Mateo Guevara makes a highlight-reel catch that kept Salida Red runner Isaiah Alstatt on second Friday in the District 67 9-10 Year Old All-Star Tournament opener in Salida. - photo by Dave Campbell

SALIDA — The Lathrop Little League minor all-star coaches told their players as they were coming up to bat for the first time Friday night that there was a lot of baseball left, and they were not kidding.

Lathrop gave up nine runs to Salida Red in the top of the first inning but held the tournament co-host to just four runs the rest of the way. Lathrop battled back for a 20-13 win in the opening round of the District 67 All-Star Tournament.

Lathrop not only battled back from a big deficit, it did so with its back repeatedly against the wall. Of the 14 runs Lathrop scored in the third and fourth innings, 11 came with two outs.

Lathrop’s biggest inning was the fourth, and its biggest bat in the frame belonged to Christian Nuon who led the inning off with a single and came up to bat again and belted a two-RBI double. Nuon was 3 for 5 with three runs.

Zak Nunes went 2 for 3 and scored three runs for Lathrop. He came in to pitch the sixth inning and had a hand in all three outs, getting the first on a line drive, the second when he fielded a grounder and tagged out the batter and the third when he ended the game on a strikeout.

Both teams had control problems, yielding a total of 16 walks as opposed to just 13 hits. Lathrop struck out just three times while striking out nine Salida Red batters.

Lathrop leadoff batter Jaden Mitchell hit the ball as hard as anyone, but unfortunately he hit line drives right at the Salida Red fielders, going 0 for 3 with a pair of walks and two runs. Teammate Mateo Guevara singled, walked and reached on an error twice, scoring three times. 

Lathrop will take on the other tournament host Salida Blue on Sunday morning at 9.