BH denied berth in section finals

archive_import

By DAN GOLDMAN

LODI A pitch here or a hit there and the Bret Harte High School baseball team would be happily rearranging its Memorial Day plans to play for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship on Monday.

But the Bullfrogs, who entered yesterday's doubleheader at Zupo Field with a 1-0 lead in their best-of-3 semifinal series against Escalon, will be barbequing instead of baseballing after dropping a pair of nailbiters to the Cougars, including a 2-1 decision in the winner-take-all Game 3.

Bret Harte (18-10) made a strong bid for its first Section final since falling to LeGrand in 1975's Division III championship game. In Game 2 of the series, the first of yesterday's twinbill, the Frogs grabbed early leads of 3-0 and 4-2 before Trans-Valley League runner-up Escalon (21-8) avoided elimination by hanging a four-run fourth inning on the scoreboard en route to a 7-4 win.

That set up the deciding Game 3, in which Bret Harte struggled at the plate, but made up for it with stellar pitching performances from Ryan Carter and Anthony Bennett, and outstanding defense from third baseman Matt Muller and left fielder Kenny Baptista.

However, Escalon pitchers James Coyle and Zach Swass matched the Frogs' hurlers pitch-for-pitch, and with center fielder K.J. VanderGriff making one big defensive play after another, the Cougars managed to take a 2-1 lead into the top of the seventh.

With three outs remaining in their season and trailing by one run, the Frogs sent the meat of their order to the plate Bennett, Travis Emerson and Baptista to face none other than Swass, called on to pitch one inning of relief after throwing seven full innings in the first game of the day.

"I couldn't ask for anything more than having 2-3-4 coming up in that situation," Bret Harte coach Heath Lane said.

Once again, Swass had the Frogs' number, striking out all three hitters to end Bret Harte's season and send Escalon into the title game against TVL champion Patterson (21-7).

11504665
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Wednesday September 28, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Calaveras believes time is now to beat Sonora

09/22/2016

Calaveras practice had a different feel Wednesday and Thursday. Pads were popping ... more

Sonora rallies past Calaveras in MLL opener

09/24/2016

Sonora’s Nate Gookin stood on the decaying turf at Frank Meyer Field ... more

Wildcats try to stay unbeaten in 2016 season

09/22/2016

The Sonora coaching staff was huddled together at the start of Wednesday’s ... more

Bullfrog golfers keep on winning, top Bears

09/20/2016

The Bret Harte Bullfrogs girls’ golf team took the momentum gained from ... more