By DAN GOLDMAN
LODI The clock finally struck midnight on the Bret Harte High School baseball team's season in the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday against Vanden.
After playing the Golden Empire League-West champion Vikings to a 1-1 tie through four and-a-half frames in their second-round game of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs at Zupo Field, Bret Harte gave up four runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth and was eliminated from the postseason, 10-1.
"It was a great season," said fourth-year Bret Harte coach Heath Lane, who guided the Bullfrogs to their first playoff berth since 1988 and a first-round playoff win over Golden Sierra of Garden Valley last Saturday. "We're a young team and we talked about getting some experience out of these playoffs, which I think we did.
"That experience is going to give us a lot of confidence going into next season."
Although the Frogs (15-10) didn't look like they were quite ready to give up on this season when they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, a lack of offense and critical baserunning errors in the second and third innings prevented them from possibly putting Vanden (19-4-2) away early.
Bret Harte scored its only run in the second after Travis Emerson led off with a walk. J.T. Ulyatt followed with what was supposed to have been a sacrifice bunt, but instead turned into a fielder's choice when Vanden pitcher T.J. Christianson's throw to second was late, leaving runners on first and second.
With Judd Bales at bat, Vikings' catcher Chris Dornan's pickoff throw to first base sailed into right field, allowing Emerson to score from second and Ulyatt to advance to third.