Babe Ruthers ready for Connie Mack tourney
For some it’ll be their last series of games. For others, it’ll be a serious furthering of their baseball educations.
Above all, the South Tahoe Senior Babe Ruth team knows it’s time to “state” its case – the team begins play in the Connie Mack Nevada State Tournament today at 2 p.m. in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
“This is our last hurrah of the year. And this is it for some of these guys,” said Tahoe coach David Santee, whose team finished 14-10-1 this summer. “Our chances are as good as anybody else in the tournament. The key is these guys have to be ready to play solid baseball and stay intense throughout. I don’t see anybody better than us. We just have to make the routine plays and a few great ones.”
Tahoe will rely on pitcher Greg Bruso, who has decided to attend U.C. Davis, in the tournament opener vs. Fernley. But Tahoe’s bats will also need to be cracking in order to move on in the double-elimination format.
“Offensively we’re doing well. And it’s just in time for state,” Santee said.
Prior to 14-0 loss vs. Santa Rosa last Friday, a defeat Santee attributed to “just one of those days,” Tahoe showed some stick pop in an 18-11, 25-hit win over Quincy on July 10. Leading the attack was Thrace Ramsey, who was 5 for 5 including his first home run since Little League. Eddie McDonnell added a dinger in a 6 for 6 performance.
“Thrace had been frustrated coming off a broken right wrist because he didn’t feel like he could do everything to his full potential. But he’s coming on,” said Santee, who said Ramsey’s shot cleared the scoreboard in center field. “(Quincy) just couldn’t throw anything by him. And there was no question where that ball was going when he hit it. It was crushed.”
But Ramsey and McDonnell, who displayed some newly-found power this summer, will need contributions from everybody at the state tournament, according to Santee.
“Some guys who haven’t been called on much are going to have to step up and do the job. The pitching will have to hold up along with scoring a lot of runs,” Santee said. “We just want to get to the championship game. We’re not going to save anybody. If we get there, it won’t matter if all nine guys on the field have to pitch.”
Joining Tahoe and Fernley in the nine-team tournament are Douglas, Sparks Tribe No. 1 and No. 2, Mammoth, Quincy, Bishop and Las Vegas. If Tahoe wins Wednesday, it’ll play on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. If it loses, game time is Thursday at 2 p.m.
Notes: Tahoe had originally planned to also play in last week’s Nevada Senior Babe Ruth State Tournament, but Santee said a lack of solid planning on the organizers’ part made playing a scheduling impossibility. Douglas went on to win over Tribe No. 2 in a two-team, best-of-three series … Connie Mack is an 18-under format, which gives Tahoe a bit more player leeway as opposed to traditional Senior Babe Ruth … Bruso had been considering Sacramento City College instead of Davis and even made a trip there last week. According to Santee, Sac City had expressed serious interest but Bruso opted for the four-year experience.
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