Bulldog Baseball knocks Falcons out of 1st place in league
By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High School’s baseball team beat Torrey Pines High School (21-7-1, 9-5) in the final series of the Palomar League season and knocked the Falcons out of first place in the league.
The series had it all — great pitching, big plays on defense, clutch hitting and a dramatic finish. The Dawgs have one more league game left. A win would leave them third place in the league. The Dawgs are 14-14 and 7-7.
Ramona opened the three-game series with a 4-3 win over Torrey Pines. The Dawgs scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning and then held on to beat the Falcons and knock them out of first place in the Palomar League.
Gage Canning started the rally with one out in the first inning when he reached on an error. With two down, Sulser singled. Kevin Hagan worked the count for a base on balls. Brandon Fitzpatrick delivered a two run double. Christian Drews walked and Hank Flecker stroked a two run single. The Bulldog offense only delivered three more hits on the afternoon when Sulser doubled in the sixth inning and Hagan singled but the Dawgs could not score a run as the inning ended with a “strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play.“ Flecker singled in the seventh but was left stranded as Cory Rodriguez struck out the side.
Sulser went the distance and picked up his fifth win of the campaign. He struck out nine Falcons and pitched his way out of jams in six of the seven innings. The senior right- hander took a shutout into the sixth inning. The Falcons scored two runs in the frame on three hits and two walks.
Torrey rallied in the seventh inning, scored a run and had the go-ahead runs on base when Sulser reached and struck out the final Falcon hitter to preserve the victory.
Rhett Williams continued to pitch well in the second game of the series but the Bulldogs could only manage two hits off of Torrey Pines’ Brock Larson as the Dawgs lost a 2-1 decision on the road.
Hagan provided all of the Bulldog offense in the fourth inning when he hit a solo home run to lead off the frame.
Torrey Pines scored both of its runs in the first inning when the team put together four singles for two runs. Williams then shut out the Falcons for the rest of the game as he scattered nine hits and struck out one. Williams let his defense make plays as he threw 11 ground ball outs.
The final game of the series was a classic in every sense of the word. The Bulldogs took an early lead, fell behind in the last inning, and made a dramatic walk off victory. Ramona pounded out 10 hits in the game and blasted two clutch home runs. Eight Bulldogs contributed hits in the win.
Ramona got off to a four run lead in the bottom of the first inning. The Falcons answered with three runs to make it a 4-3 contest when the Dawgs scored an insurance run in the fifth inning. The Falcons scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take a one run lead into the final frame.
Freshman centerfielder Gage Canning led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo shot to left field. Jackson Willeford then came to the plate. The Falcons had been pitching around Willeford for the entire series and had held the senior slugger hitless in five at bats. With the score tied, Torrey Pines decided to pitch to Willeford. Jackson made them pay. He hit the first pitch over the right field fence for a walk off home run.
“There was no doubt about it. As soon as he made contact we all knew the game was over. They had a left-hander in the bullpen that had given us trouble on Monday and we thought that with Gage and Jackson both being left handers that they would bring him in. They elected to bring in a tall right- hander who had a side-arm delivery and Gage and Jackson made them pay,” explained first base coach Tom Jamison.
Farhat and Flecker both had two hit outings while Sulser, Hagan, Fitzpatrick and Drews all had one hit apiece.
Harrison McGhee got the start on the hill and went four innings giving up three runs on three hits as he walked five and struck out five.
Sulser pitched the final three frames. In the seventh, Torrey got to him for three runs and had the bases loaded with one out. Sulser then registered two of his three strikeouts to get out of the jam and give the Dawgs a chance to win. Sulser picked up the win, his sixth of the season.
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