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Richter cards round-low 75 to lead Ripons runner-up finish
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LODI — Josh Richter and the Ripon High golf team are going into the rest of spring break and the final week of Trans Valley League play with a huge shot of confidence.
Richter earned medalist honors with an impressive 3-over-par 75 at Lockeford Springs Golf Course in the Al Croce Memorial Tournament Monday, and teammate Daniel Cardoza finished a stroke behind the leader to lead Ripon’s second-place team finish.
Bret Harte, the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V favorite, won the team title handily with a 406. The Indians’ 421 was two shots better than TVL rival and frontrunner Escalon.
“Daniel and Josh finally scored the way I know they can,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “They didn’t have a whole lot of bogeys or a whole lot of birdies; it was just solid golf throughout for them.
“For us to have a chance to beat Escalon a week from Thursday (at Spring Creek Golf Course in Ripon), they’re going to have to shoot like that. I think as a team this tournament did a lot to our confidence, because now they believe they can beat Escalon, they just know they have to play well to do so.”
Matty Gay also had a big round after missing a few league matches, including the TVL Midseason Tournament, to science camp. He turned in a rock-solid 85, and freshmen Jake Ratto and Mark Bigelow penciled in a 91 and 94, respectively.
“I’m really happy with Matty Gay,” Musseman said. “That’s a score we’ve been waiting for him to shoot. He’s been real close and has such a nice swing, but it finally all came together for him today.”
Ripon closes the regular season next Tuesday, April 21 against Riverbank at Jack Tone Golf Course in Ripon, then with the finale against Escalon two days later.
Ceres 5, East Union 0
At East Union, the visiting Bulldogs (6-3) clinched the victory early with wins coming from Luis Ochoa (6-0, 6-0), Wilson Liang (6-1, 6-1) and No. 1 doubles partners Raul Massie and Edward Lopez (6-3, 6-1).
But the remaining Lancers on the court put up good fights. At No. 3 singles, Steve Shepherd dropped a heartbreaking tiebreaker to Harman Bains in a 3-6, 6-7 (4-7) defeat.
And the No. 2 doubles team of Matt Eichsteadt and Chris Garcia jumped ahead 6-3 before falling 3-6, 5-7 to Edgar Cabrera and Jesus Cisneros.
EU (0-9) takes on defending Valley Oak League champion Manteca on the road today.
Lathrop 14, Weston Ranch 9
In Lathrop, the host Spartans overcame an early five-run deficit to knock off their neighboring Manteca Unified rivals. Winning pitcher Ernie Garcia pitched three hitless innings in relief, striking out five and walking one.
Leading the offensive onslaught were Rene Zuniga (3 for 4, two runs, two RBIs), Jamie Christopherson (2 for 5, 3B, two runs, two RBIs) and Alex Moreno (3 for 5, two runs, RBI).

— Jonamar Jacinto