The Oakdale based Cen-Cal 11-year-old baseball team made the long trek to Sunnyvale outside of San Jose and returned with runner-up honors in the Twin Creeks Tournament Aug. 29 and 30.
Cen-Cal rolled through its competition, winning its first three games before running out of gas in the tournament championship 4-3. The team made the most noise in the tournament by using wood bats while the opposition swung metal bats.
The 11’s got things under way quickly, handling their first opponent 9-2 behind solid pitching from Thor Rodoni. Rodoni also helped his cause, going 2-for-2 at the plate while going three innings on the mound and striking out three.
Josh Snow drove in a pair in the second inning, pushing the game out of reach with a 4-1 cushion. Oakdale stayed hot, smashing their next opponent 11-4 to remain unbeaten in tournament play. Wesley Allen kicked off the action with a clutch two RBI double, plating Cen-Cal’s first runs. Kyle Zapien gave the squad three solid innings of pitching, striking out three in his time on the mound.
Cen-Cal stayed hot in game three behind the clutch pitching effort of Ben Lescano. Lescano was masterful in his effort, throwing a complete game and striking out 11 batters, ushering Cen-Cal into the tournament championship.
The 11’s came close but could not finish the job as an early let down in the championship left the Oakdale squad on the short end of a 4-3 title game.
“We gave up three early runs and couldn’t quite overcome the deficit,” head coach Nate Gregory said. “The kids competed and made adjustments throughout the game, but we couldn’t grab the championship.”
The squad will get another shot at a title when they make the long trek north to Nevada for more tournament action in Reno on Sept. 5 and 6.