Chieftains down Tigers 9-3 in annual tournament
By Patrick Dillon
woodlake – The Woodlake Tigers (10-8; 4-3) were in position to take the title in their own Ron Robinson Baseball Tournament on April 12 against the Sierra Chieftains (10-6; 3-4). But an error in the fifth inning by the Tigers allowed the Chieftains to win 9-3. That was after the Tigers had put up a total of 33 runs in their first two games of the tournament. Beginning with Summit Charter Collegiate Academy Bears (3-9; 1-5) on April 11 by a score of 22-1 and one day earlier 11-1 over the Kennedy Thunderbirds (6-11-1; 1-5).
“I thought we played well overall,” said Woodlake head coach Raul Quintero. “We scored quite a few runs against Summit Charter and Kennedy. But even in the loss to Sierra, I thought we played well.”
The error that crushed the Tigers came in the fifth inning. The Chieftains had already extended their lead to 3-1 with a run earlier in the inning. But the Tigers had two outs when a routine ground ball came to Alijiah Thorn at second base. When Thorn could not make the play cleanly, it allowed the Chieftains to remain in the inning. And from then on the Tigers committed two more errors and allowed six unearned runs the rest of the game.
While three runs were all the Tigers could bring across in their final game, it was a hitter’s dream in the first two games of the tournament. That dream was enjoyed most by Robby Stevenson. Over the course of the Tigers’ wins over the Bears and Thunderbirds, Stevenson went six for six at the plate while driving in five RBIs. Five of Stevenson’s hits went for extra bases and included his first homerun of the season during the Tigers’ game against Kennedy.
“It was good to see him swing the bat like he did,” said Coach Quintero.
The Tigers started off with the Lindsay Cardinals (12-8; 6-1), who sit in second place in the East Sequoia League standings, on April 18, which went final after press time. The two teams will face off again on April 20 in Lindsay. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.