Trailing by four runs heading into its final at-bat, Heritage could have easily folded on a long road trip to Roseville on Thursday afternoon. Instead, the Patriots got a couple runners on base, which let the top of their line-up have one more opportunity, and they took advantage with a seven-run outburst to down the host Tigers, 8-6.
Roseville led 5-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning, behind a strong outing to that point from starting pitcher Dylan Ranallo. But Ranallo walked both Keith Jones and Casey Turturici to start the final inning. Ranallo got Jeff Heinrich to ground out to third base for the first out of the inning, with both runners advancing into scoring position, though their runs were inconsequential to a Roseville team that simply needed outs to secure the victory.
Arguably the most important at-bat of the game came next with Bryce Arana at the plate. Arana fell behind 0-2 with a pair of swinging strikes, and then began to battle. He fouled off three straight pitches, and Jones then scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2. Arana then watched as Ranallo missed the strike zone on the next three pitches as well, sending him to first base on a free pass and giving the Patriots runners on the corners with one out. Ryan Troye then promptly singled on the first pitch he saw to score Turturici and make it a two-run game.
“Bryce did a great job of hanging in there and giving us a shot in the arm at that point. Our dugout already believed we could come back, and he just helped really get that momentum going,” said Heritage coach Kevin Brannan.
Roseville seemed to settle down for a moment, when Gavin Tonkel’s pop-up to first base left the Tigers needing just one more out, but Nevada-commit Tom Rover lined a double to left field on the first pitch he saw, scoring pinch-runner Brayden Sample to cut the deficit to one run. Junior Chaz Myers then came through with his third hit of the game, a double to right field on an 0-2 count that scored both Troye and Rover to give the Patriots their first lead of the day.
Ryan Jackson kept the rally going with a single to put runners on the corners with two outs, and after Myers scored on a wild pitch, Jones singled to shallow left, with Jackson racing around to give Heritage a three-run lead heading to the bottom half of the inning. Roseville began its own rally in the bottom of the seventh, scoring on an error and a single, but Tonkel made a great catch in center field and doubled Josh Alger off second base to erase any real threat.
Myers led the Patriots’ lineup with three RBIs, while Santa Clara-commit Heinrich earned the save with a scoreless inning. Jackson struck out eight in four innings as the starting pitcher for Heritage, though he walked four and was lifted after throwing 74 pitches in those four innings.
Big third inning propels Pittsburg
A nine-run third inning carried Pittsburg past Athenian on Thursday, as the Pirates got three RBIs from Michael Weber during a 12-4 victory.
Weber singled twice during the big outburst, an inning which also featured a two-run triple off the bat of Jack Lacy III and another two-run triple from George Thompson, the latter having followed Weber’s two-run single and allowing Pittsburg to score four of its runs after two outs had been recorded.
Thompson led the Pirates with three hits while Kris Leffle went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks. AJ Gamboa struck out four batters in three innings to earn the win.
Around the horn
Michael Crews struck out six batters in six scoreless innings, as Campolindo hammered Concord on Thursday, 13-1. Lucas Allen went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and five RBIs, while Grant Harper also doubled and tripled to drive in a pair of runs.
Stacy Nelson tossed a masterful one-hit shutout for St. Helena on Thursday, as the Saints downed Healdsburg 4-0. Nelson struck out 10 and allowed just one hit in the victory, while also going 2-for-3 at the plate to help his own cause.
Bennett Flynn continued his amazing start to the season, striking out 13 and allowing just one hit as Tamalpais beat San Rafael, 6-1. Tucker Bougie struck the big blow for the Red-Tailed Hawks’ offense, with a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning.
Caleb Ruiz struck out 10 batters during five innings of one-hit ball and sophomore Bode Joyner did not allow a hit in relief, as St. Bernard’s blanked Middletown, 2-0. The performance of Ruiz and Joyner spoiled a strong outing from the Mustangs’ Keegan Cutting, who only allowed three hits and no earned runs himself.
Sebastian Camacho struck out nine and allowed just four hits in a complete game effort during Bishop O’Dowd’s 3-0 win over Mt. Eden. Matthias Haas, Liam Rizzo and Anand Mehta all had two hits each for the Dragons.
Kyle Bratset had a grand slam and drove in five runs, as Washington jumped out to an early lead and cruised past Granada, 9-1. Brandon Louie tossed three hitless innings in the win for the Huskies, while Damian Stone doubled and tripled at the plate.
Sean Latham drove in three runs and Sean Flowers allowed just one hit in four scoreless innings as Cardinal Newman routed Rancho Cotate, 12-1.
Hard-throwing Addison Berger struck out five batters in five innings, Jack Zimmerman had a bases-clearing triple and Marin Catholic scored in five different innings during a 13-1 win over Miramonte. Max Manning, Harry Mauterer and Brennan Paganini all had multi-hit games for the Wildcats.
Piedmont pounded out 15 hits and scored three runs in three successive innings to outlast Arroyo, 11-8. Jonah Sanders went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, while Owen Levinson and Kyle Spanier had three hits each in the win over the Dons. Devin Castro and Noah Amaral each drove in three runs during the losing effort for Arroyo.