By Bill Tamburrino
The Bulldog baseball team played well in the Lions Tournament but lost some close games and ended up going 1-3 in the tourney.
The Dawgs lost to Scripps Ranch, Madison and La Jolla Country Day on the road and got their only victory at home against South Hills of West Covina.
Ramona committed four errors at Madison High School against Scripps Ranch (8-6) and squandered a good pitching performance by Beau Sulser. Sulser went six innings and limited the Falcons to four hits and two earned runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out one.
Only three Bulldogs hit safely in the game. Gage Canning and Jackson Willeford both stroked two hits and both ripped extra base hits. Kevin Hagan also singled for the Dawgs.
Ramona’s only runs came in the fifth inning. Brandon Fitzpatrick reached on an error. Willeford drove him in with a triple and Canning drove in Willeford with a sacrifice fly. Canning also had a double in the game.
On day two of the tourney, Ramona got a home game against South Hills High School (9-6), and the confines of Rocky Lawler Field brought Ramona’s bats back to life.
Canning led off the game with a home run over the right field fence. Jordan Farhat singled, Willeford singled. Sulser tried to put down a sacrifice bunt but beat it out for a single.
Christian Drews drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Hagan reached first on an error and drove in a run. Fitzpatrick laid down a suicide squeeze bunt for an RBI single.
Taylor Burger ended the scoring by driving in two runs with a single. Ramona scored five runs and never trailed as they cruised to a 12-3 win.
Harrison McGhee got the start and went the distance for the win. McGhee only gave up one earned run on three hits and struck out five. Sulser led the offense with a 4-for-4 day at the plate with a double and two RBIs.
Canning, Farhat, Willeford, Fitzpatrick and Burger had two hits apiece. Drews contributed a single as Ramona had a season high 14 hits.
The Dawgs wasted another good pitching performance in a 4-3 loss to Madison High School (12-3) on the road.
Rhett Williams pitched five strong innings but ran out of gas in the sixth inning. Ramona rallied from a 1-0 deficit to score three runs and lead 3-1 going into the sixth inning.
Williams left the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth in a position to win, lose, or have nothing to do with the outcome. Hunter McHargue could not hold the lead and the three base runners he inherited scored on walks. Kyle Wilson got the final out, but the damage had been done and Ramona trailed 4-3.
Ramona’s offense made the most of three hits in the game. The Bulldogs faced Madison’s 6’4 right-handed prospect Corey Oswalt. The scouts were on hand and they were not disappointed as Oswalt fanned nine Bulldogs before leaving the game. Willeford had an RBI single and Hagan had a two RBI triple. Wilson also singled in the game.
The Dawgs ended the tournament against La Jolla Country Day High School (10-4). In an earlier game, Ramona opened the season with a 6-5 win over the Torreys.
The Bulldog offense started slowly but came alive in the fourth inning. La Jolla Country Day led 2-0 going into the fourth inning, but the Dawgs cut the lead in half with a Jackson Willeford home run.
Willeford went 3-for-4, scored three runs, drove in four runs, and hit two home runs. The Torreys then scored five runs in the bottom of the frame.
Ramona kept on chipping at the lead but could not overtake LJCD.
Farhat got the start and pitched three innings and gave up one earned run on two hits and struck out two. Wilson pitched two innings and gave up five runs on five hits and fanned two. CJ Broussard went the final inning and gave up two runs on three hits and struck out two.
Canning, Hagan, Farhat, Fitzpatrick, and Wilson all stroked singles for the Dawgs. Fitzpatrick and Wilson had RBIs.
“We are 7-7 and are going into league play,” said Coach Dean Welch. “We have gotten some quality outings from our pitching staff and are still trying to put it all together. We have some hot bats and we are capable of scoring runs.
“We open league with Westview and they are very hot. They won their division of the Lions Tournament and threw a no-hitter in the tourney. We are still improving and we hope to make a run at the playoffs.”