Raiders find a way to win late against Dana Hills
by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
Through six innings of its Anaheim Lions Tournament game against Dana Hills, it appeared the Sonora baseball team would suffer the same fate it had dealt with through the first three games of the five-day event.
The Raiders scored a run in the top of the second inning, but committed a trio of costly mistakes, which allowed the Dolphins to take a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh inning.
However, in final inning, the Raiders executed a gameplan at the plate and finished the job against the Dolphins top pitcher, scoring four runs and taking a 5-2 win at home, Tuesday afternoon.
“We just battled going down to our last out and we put the ball in play,” said Pat Tellers, Sonora head coach. “[Jake] Rosander has been swinging the bat better than he had been and he just put it in the right spot to tie it up.”
Down 2-1, Maricio Guadaramma led off the seventh inning with a base hit, Evan Sonny sacrificed him to second base and Gavin Blodgett’s groundout allowed him to reach third base with two outs.
After Dana Hills starting pitcher Marrick Crouse walked Andrew Piraino to put runners on the corners, the Dolphins turned to ace Louis Raymond to record the final out.
However, Jake Rosander, who finished 3-for-4, drove in the game-tying run with a groundball single to left field. Later in the inning, pinch-runner Dillon Meyer scored the go-ahead run on a bad toss back to the mound by Dolphins’ catcher Luke Williams.
“I think they got down a little bit with that miscue, that kind of hurt them,” Tellers said.
Jose Gomez then followed with the big hit, a line-drive single to right field that scored two runs, leading to the game’s final score.
Up until that point, it appeared to be another frustrating outing for the Raiders, who ran themselves out of the fifth inning when Caleb Choe rounded third base too wide and was tagged out trying to get back.
In the bottom half of the inning, Guadaramma committed an error that loaded the bases. Jay Schuyler broke a 1-1 tie with a sacrifice fly to center field.
“It’s the same thing, we’re leaving guys on base again, we’re not doing what we need to do,” Tellers said. “Then we go out and have a miscue on a ball and its costing us the game because of how close they’ve been. I think we try to do a little too much.”
Sonora (6-6-1) scored its first run with an RBI-single by Guadaramma in the second inning.
The Dolphins (13-3) responded in the third inning when Williams’ RBI-single drove Shawn Kany home from third base.
Andrew Piraino earned the win, pitching six innings in which he gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out four batters and walking none.
“This was the best outing we’ve seen out of him this year,” Tellers said. “His breaking ball was working really well, he had good velocity in his fastball and he was spotting it. He did what he needed to do to keep us in the ball game.”
Crouse was charged with the loss, giving up three runs in six-and-two-thirds innings, while allowing six hits, striking out four batters and walking three.
Sonora will play one final game in the Anaheim Lions Tournament tomorrow afternoon against a team and at a site to be determined.
“We posted a few things on the board for guys to read about turning this around,” Tellers said. “We’re all in this together as a group, we can’t be separated by what happens, we’ve got to fight through this and fight through the adversity. Hopefully we can continue to build and get ready for league.”