South Tahoe gains momentum in Fourth of July Tournament
South Tahoe didn’t come away with its Fourth of July Senior Babe Ruth Tournament championship, but it gained some more confidence and momentum for next week’s state tournament in Reno.
After pounding Belmont 14-6 in its holiday tournament opener Thursday, South Tahoe lost a 15-14 slugfest to San Mateo on Friday before bouncing back to defeat Redwood City 9-5 Saturday at Todd Fields.
“Since I’ve been here, this is the most fired up I’ve seen any baseball team in Tahoe. It reminded me of some teams I’ve coached in Washington,” said South Tahoe coach David Santee. “These guys were definitely fired up and the crowd was intense.”
A 10-run sixth inning rally stirred the crowd into a frenzy against San Mateo. San Mateo led 10-4, but South Tahoe reeled off nine hits in the inning to take the lead, 14-10.
Chris Barna stroked two doubles and Dusty Gooch delivered a double and single during the comeback.
Barna led off the inning with a double and scored on Gooch’s double. After a walk to Matt Solbrig and a Jared Hackler single, Carson Triggs walked to force in South Tahoe’s sixth run. RBI singles by Danny Schwab, Adam Heggen and Eddie McDonnell trimmed San Mateo’s lead to one, 10-9. Barna put Tahoe ahead with a two-run double, and run-scoring singles by Gooch, Solbrig and Thrace Ramsey gave Tahoe a 14-10 edge.
The 150-minute time limit came into play after the sixth inning, but Tahoe elected to play on with its 14-12 lead. San Mateo capitalized, scoring two in the seventh to tie and one in the eighth to win.
“These guys were on such an emotional high, they had all the confidence in the world they’d win,” Santee said. “But that’s OK, our goal is to win the state tournament, and I see us winning it.”
Gooch finished 4 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Heggen was 3 for 5, while Barna, McDonnell and Schwab contributed two hits.
Behind Bret Uppendahl’s six shutout innings South Tahoe handled Redwood City on Saturday.
Uppendahl lost his shutout in the seventh as four errors helped Redwood City score five runs.
“He was hitting his spots and his changeup was just freezing them,” Santee said.
Jeff Jensen led Tahoe with two hits and three RBIs. Gooch and Andy Shaw also contributed two hits.
San Mateo topped North Oakland 15-8 to win the championship on Sunday.
South Tahoe, 13-8, plays Douglas on Tuesday.
“We had great support for the tournament and I hope they can come out Tuesday night,” Santee said.
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