San Leandro eliminates local Babe Ruth all-stars |

San Leandro eliminates local Babe Ruth all-stars

Dan Thomas

One extra run ended the season for the South Lake Tahoe Babe Ruth All-Stars Monday in Bakersfield, Calif.

“They’re pretty bummed out, but they know they’re still the Nevada state champions,” said All-Stars head coach Dan Hannum after a one-run loss eliminated his team.

Tahoe lost its second game in the four-team, double-elimination Babe Ruth All-Star 16 Western Regionals on Monday, as San Leandro rallied at the end of the game to win 5-4 and stay alive in the tournament. Tahoe scored in the top of the seventh inning to take a 4-3 lead into the last half of the inning, but San Leandro’s Marc Gonzales tied the score on an RBI single in the bottom of the inning. Tom Peters’ sacrifice fly to center scored the winning run and sent South Lake Tahoe home.

“We had them on the ropes,” Hannum said. “I think it was just bad luck. They were a more fine-tuned team … but we ran with them all the way.

“I think we did all we could do.”

Mike Hennessy led South Lake Tahoe from the plate, helping the local team build its lead with a two-run homer in the fifth inning to go along with his two singles. But errors cost Tahoe at the end, and pitcher Chris Hannum picked up the loss despite a strong outing.

The South Tahoe all-stars finished their season 4-2 in front of a vocal and surprisingly large group of South Tahoe fans after advancing farther in the postseason than any Babe Ruth team since 1989. The 1989 team advanced to the same tournament as this year’s squad, but didn’t have to go through this year’s mini-regional. The club lost for the first time in the tournament, 7-1, to San Gabriel Valley on Sunday night to drop into the losers’ bracket. San Leandro takes on the winner of Monday’s late game between San Gabriel and Southwest Bakersfield for a chance to stay alive in the tournament and challenge for the championship. San Leandro, the Northern California champion, already has one loss in the tournament, 3-2 to Bakersfield in Sunday’s late game, while both Bakersfield and San Gabriel entered Monday’s winners’-bracket game with 1-0 marks.

While South Tahoe was disappointed to go home early, the program may reap the rewards of this year’s team’s experience against bigger opponents.

“Next year, when they get into varsity and the seniors play, they’ll be able to not be as nervous, possibly,” Hannum said. “This is something that will set a goal for the next team that goes through.”

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