A day after an unfriendly welcome to the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament, the La Crescenta Babe Ruth 14-year-old baseball team improved in a double-header Tuesday.
Progress may have been made, but the result was the same for La Crescenta in a 4-1 loss to a team from Hawaii (K-Krew). Despite improving, La Crescenta was still hurt by three errors that led to three unearned runs in the loss.
La Crescenta did bounce back and got its first win in the tournament later Tuesday night over Nevada, 13-6. Gordon Ingebritson was the star of the game with a three-run home run and two-run triple in the victory.
La Crescenta finished runner-up in the Southern California State Tournament behind Westchester and was invited to compete in the regional tournament when another squad dropped out. It will wrap up pool play Wednesday against Westchester, which defeated the locals, 7-3 and 8-0, in state play.
The 10-team tournament will compress into a final four for single-elimination play Thursday.
“Hope is still alive, we need to beat Westchester tomorrow and that will tie us with them,” said La Crescenta Coach Marcel Martinez. “We need to beat Westchester tomorrow to have a shot. … We’re still in it, it’s unlikely, but if we don’t win we have no chance.”
La Crescenta took a 6-0 lead in the win over Nevada, which pulled back within a run, 7-6, before Ingebritson’s three-run blast made it 10-6. His two-run triple capped the locals’ scoring.
After Monday’s lopsided loss, La Crescenta brought the tying run to the plate, with runners at the corners, in the seventh inning against Hawaii. It couldn’t overcome its second rough start in a row, though.
“If I could get out of the first inning without a walk and an error, I think we’d be in front in this tournament,” said Martinez, whose team gave up two runs each in the first and second innings. “It was basically walks and errors that were key to scoring those runs.”
Orlando Diez logged a complete game on the mound for La Crescenta and “did a great job” by allowing just one earned run, Martinez said.
“Orlando also had a hit and really buckled down against some really good Hawaii hitters,” Martinez said. “It was a winning effort, but we couldn’t back him up.”
La Crescenta committed three errors and had just four hits in Tuesday’s loss.
Suh, the youngest member of the team, had a base hit and forced a Nevada error with a hard-hit ball in the seventh inning.
Garrett Solliday produced a pinch-hit single to start La Crescenta’s seventh inning. He came around to score on a Vince Mahoney fielder’s choice.
“I was really proud of the way they hung in and battled,” Martinez said of his team. “This Hawaii team is good, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went on to win the whole thing.”