STOCKTON—The Summerville Bears suffered a 6-1 loss Wednesday against the Orestimba Warriors in the first round of the 2013 Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Baseball Championships at Billy Hebert Field.
Bear hurler Logen Foster (above) delivers Wednesday against Orestimba at Billy Hebert Field in Stockton. Jason Buck / Union Democrat.
The Bears finished their 2013 varsity season with a loss Summerville head coach Larry Gold described as a “tough way to say goodbye to a great group of seniors.”
“I thought they all played with a lot of heart and passion,” Gold said of his Bears.
Summerville senior pitcher Logen Foster held Orestimba, from Newman, scoreless through the first two innings while the Bear bats began threatening the Warriors in the second.
As the lead-off hitter in the second inning, Foster stepped up and blasted the second pitch thrown by Warrior starter Tanner Pruett into deep left field for a triple.
Bear senior Connor Morningstar was next up and reached on an error, but three quick outs later and Summerville wasn’t able to push a run across.
“Logen starts out the inning with a triple and we leave him there — that hurts,” Gold said.
Summerville went on to leave runners stranded in each of the remaining five innings, including three at third base.
“It shows we kept battling, but we just have to get those guys across,” Gold said. “We just made some mental mistakes and it cost us.”
Then, Orestimba’s bats started heating up in the third frame.
Orestimba sophomore Adrian Perez hit a low liner up the middle for a single that drove in Warrior baserunner Ivan Luna from second for the game’s first run.
Warrior freshman Austin Martins hit a single before senior Aaron Mota drove in Perez on a base hit. Cameron Mar was next up and hit an RBI-single to plate Martins and give Orestimba 3-0.
“They (the Warriors) were a solid, fundamental team,” said Bear sophomore Bryce Farrell. “I thought our defense and Logen played well, but they’re good hitters and simply outhit us.”
The Warriors ended with nine total hits to Summerville’s seven. Orestimba scored another run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth after Bear senior Joey Brocchini had been brought in to close out the game for Foster.
Gold said he thought both pitchers did well but they lacked production on offense.
“My hats off to Logen because he threw a great game, but we just didn’t give him enough run support,” Gold said. “And it was special to be able to give Joey the ball at the end there because he’s been our guy these past three years.”
Brocchini helped his team at the plate as well, smacking a single in the fifth inning that plated Johnathan Olsen from third.
Farrell said playing at the all-turf field in Stockton made for a different atmosphere; however, it was nothing the Bears hadn’t seen before.
“At our core, we’re an experienced team with a lot of seniors who have already been here,” he said. “We just left too many baserunners on today, it truly was the thing that got us.”
While the Summerville seniors say goodbye, younger players are getting ready to make the move to varsity next season including Bear freshman Sam Burns, who pinch hit during the sixth inning and came up with a single in his first varsity at-bat — in the playoffs, no less.
“I thought that was great,” Farrell said of Burns’ hit. “He saw a couple of curveballs and I was wondering how he would handle it. I knew if he saw a fastball he would have a good chance.”
Gold said the performance of Burns, who was also a member of the JV squad that recently earned a share of the Mother Lode League title for the first time since 1961, and other younger players in the program bodes well for Summerville baseball into the future.
“They’re chomping at the bit,” Gold said of the up-and-coming underclassmen. “We’ve got a lot of guys coming back and a good group that shared the JV title with Bret Harte who will be coming up. Our goal is always the playoffs and hopefully next year we can get past the first round.”