A four-run deficit proved too large for the Los Angeles Easton Elite Dodgers 19-and-over summer collegiate baseball team, which dropped the opening game of the Stan Musial World Series, 6-2, to Canton, Ohio.
The defeat sends the Dodgers (26-10) into a second-chance bracket game against a team to be determined at 10 a.m. PDT Friday in Farmington, NY.
“This team has a lot of heart and fight and we’re ready to roll on Friday,” Dodgers Coach Rick Freire said. “To win at this level, you can’t make mistakes and we made too many.”
The Dodgers trimmed a one-time four-run deficit to 4-2 entering the top of the eighth when they committed an error and extended the inning for Canton.
The Ohio squad took advantage with a momentum-crushing two-run homer that cemented the scoring for both teams.
Previous to the eighth, Canton scored a run in the first and three runs in the third inning, with those runs being set up on two errors.
The defensive letdown marred what was a strong effort from Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Davallos, who struck out six in six innings and allowed four runs, only one of which was earned.
Despite going down, 4-0, after the third, the Dodgers rallied for single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Los Angeles left fielder Vincent Juarez reached on an error in the sixth and then scored on a one-out fielder’s choice from pinch-hitter Jacob Barajas.
An inning later, Elite third baseman Brandon Ortiz (three for four with a run) singled and eventually scored on a blooper from catcher Franz Jacinto.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the sixth and seventh were the only two innings the squad cashed in on its opportunities as the Elite squad stranded 13 runners.
Overall, Los Angeles finished with six hits, with the final two coming from Juarez and Shane Lidemann.