By Bill Tamburrino
The Ramona Bulldogs lost three Palomar League games to Rancho Bernardo High School, which has a 12-4, 6-0 record, and will be playing in the Lions Tournament during Spring Break this week.
When the Dawgs return to league play, they will have a two-game series with Poway High School (13-3, 6-0).
Ramona is playing the toughest part of its Palomar schedule. They have a series with Mt. Carmel (0-15, 0-5) before taking on Torrey Pines (13-4, 2-3).
Poway, Torrey Pines and Rancho Bernardo have the second, third and fourth best records in Division I baseball. Ramona is a Division II school playing in a league with the best Division I schools. The Dawgs are 9-7 overall and are 2-4 in league action.
Ramona and Rancho Bernardo were locked in a pitchers’ duel when the Broncos scored four runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth inning to pull away for a 7-1 win on Tuesday, April 12.
Beau Sulser pitched well but didn’t get run support as the Bulldogs left the bases loaded three times and stranded 12 runners in the game.
Sulser pitched five innings and took the loss. He gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out six.
Curtis Sullivan pitched one inning and gave up three runs while striking out one. Blake Drake finished on the hill and did not allow a run. He fanned one Bronco.
Adam Taylor scored Ramona’s lone run in the seventh when Drake drove him in with a fielder’s choice.
RB starter Matt Homick limited Ramona to two hits in the first six innings. Ramona got three hits in the seventh inning off Patrick Upchurch. Jackson Willeford led Ramona with two hits in three trips to the plate. John James Battaglia, Taylor and Zack Adamos all singled in the game.
It was the same story line on Thursday at Rancho Bernardo. Ramona got off to an early lead in the first inning when Jackson Willeford hit a tape measure home run to lead off the game.
RB tied the score in the bottom of the frame. Ramona then took the lead in the top of the second inning and led until the Broncos scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good.
RB scored two more in the sixth inning. Ramona answered with a lone run in the seventh but it was not enough.
Jason Snodgrass got the start and took the loss. He pitched five innings and pitched well. He gave up four hits, one home run to Branden Berry, three earned runs and fanned four. Harrison McGhee finished on the mound and gave up two runs on three hits and struck out one.
Kevin Hagan scored two runs and was 1-for-2 on the day with an RBI. Tyler Sherman was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Zack Adamos was 1-for-1 and drove in a run. Blake T. Drake had a 1-for-3 outing.
The season series ended on Saturday, and again Ramona took an early lead. Willeford led off the game with the first of his two doubles. He advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and Beau Sulser drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
From then on it was all Rancho Bernardo as the Broncos scored 10 runs on nine hits and stole multiple bases as they took advantage of two Ramona errors and beat the Dawgs 10-2.
McGhee got the start and took the loss. McGhee gave up five runs on four hits and fanned three. Curtis Sullivan pitched two innings and gave up four runs, two earned, on four hits and had two strike outs.
Blake went one inning and retired the side in order and fanned one. Sulser finished the game and gave up one run on two hits and struck out two.
John James Battaglia and Hagan both contributed two hits to the Bulldog attack. Michael Scodellaro and Josh Benke also hit safely for the Dawgs.
Drake and Benke drove in one run apiece.