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California in Congress

These Californians made decisive plays in the Congressional Baseball Game

Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel) slides in safe at home as GOP catcher Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) tries to apply the tag during the the annual Congressional Baseball Game (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel) slides in safe at home as GOP catcher Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) tries to apply the tag during the the annual Congressional Baseball Game (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eight California Democrats scored runs or made decisive plays that contributed to the Democrats 11-2 win at the Congressional Baseball Game Thursday night.

The event, played annually at Nationals Park, sold a record 25,000 tickets and raised $1 million for charity the day after a gunman who appeared to be targeting Republicans unleashed a spray of bullets on a practice field in Alexandria, Va. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and three others were shot.

Freelance politics and baseball writer Nathaniel Rakich keeps unofficial statistics for the game, and shared highlights from the California delegation with The Times. In all, lawmakers from this state scored 6 of the 11 runs.

Second baseman Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) was the lead off hitter for the Democrats. He scored a run, stole a base and made a double play.

Ruiz spent a lot of time in the batting cages getting ready for the game this year "and learned how to be patient with my self out there on the plate, and just waited for it to come across the plate, and bam," he said after the game. "That's what the lead off hitter needs to do, is get the momentum going early on so we can take the lead."

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) tags out Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) at second base as Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) watches during the annual Congressional Baseball Game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) tags out Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Mich.) at second base as Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) watches during the annual Congressional Baseball Game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The only two women who played in the game represent Southern California districts  — Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-San Pedro) and Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier). Both seemed to be fan favorites, with the Democratic side of the stadium screaming and standing whenever they came to bat.

Barragán batted in a runner in the sixth inning.

“Every kid who plays in Little League, including me, dreams of the opportunity to play ball on a big league field,” Barragán said in a statement.

Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-San Pedro) crosses first base for a single. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-San Pedro) crosses first base for a single. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Other highlights included:

  • Third baseman Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) walked once, struck out once and scored a run.
  • Pinch runner Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Los Angeles) scored a run.
  • Pinch runner Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) stole three bases and scored two runs.
  • Right fielder Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel)  walked once, was hit by a pitch and scored one run.
  • Center fielder Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands) hit a double and batted three runs in.

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