By Eric Terrazas, www.411whittier.com
FULLERTON – The Murphy Ranch Little League All-Stars started quickly and didn’t look back in its opening game June 23, 2013 at the District 56 major division (ages 11-12) tournament.
Jacob Garcia, Brett Shryne and Alex Flores paced a balanced offensive attack that helped spark Murphy Ranch to a 10-5 victory over the West Yorba Linda All-Stars.
Eight players drove in at least a run for Murphy Ranch, which raced out to a early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Garcia collected a team-high three hits, which included a run-scoring triple. Flores’ two-run homer and Shryne’s two-hit performance also lifted Murphy Ranch.
Murphy Ranch starting pitcher Austin Rosario earned the win by scattering six hits and striking out five in 4 1/3 innings.
Murphy Ranch advanced to a winner’s bracket game against East Fullerton, which is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Fullerton Sports Complex.
“Our goal number one is completed,” Murphy Ranch manager Brent Anderson said of his team’s triumph. “Jacob Garcia and Alex Flores led our team on offense. We’re going to take it easy and get some rest, regroup and get back at it.”
Anderson added on West Yorba Linda, “They played us tough and they had their share of hits. The difference was pitching – we outpitched them.”
Garcia started the game’s scoring when he delivered an RBI triple to center field, which drove in Shryne.
After Garcia scored on Bennett Thurman’s bunt single, Flores cleared the bases by blasting a two-run homer to right.
Leading 4-1 after two innings, Murphy Ranch took control by scoring five unanswered runs during the next three innings.
Andrew Maguire’s third-inning double set the stage for Justin Gomez’s one-run single.
Colin Mercado and Shryne each added to Murphy Ranch’s lead by producing back-to-back run-scoring hits in the fourth inning.
Evan Sipple’s lead-off single set the table for Rosario, who drove home Sipple with his base hit to right. Rosario then scored when Luke Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice.
Sipple completed Murphy Ranch’s scoring when he came through with an RBI single during the sixth.
West Yorba Linda showed some fight during its last at-bat in the sixth, scoring three runs. Spencer Vossman collected two RBIs to pace West Yorba Linda’s offense.
Ten Murphy Ranch players combined for 14 hits.
Hacienda Heights 7, Whittier 6
The Whittier All-Stars came up on the short end of a roller coaster opening-round game June 22, 2013 at the District 56 major division tournament.
Matthew Raffety played the heroic role for the Hacienda Heights All-Stars as he delivered a walk-off three-run homer in the sixth.
Chris Perez and Gabriel Gandara each delivered a base hit to set the stage for Raffety, who finished with five RBIs.
“It felt good,” Raffety said of his game-winning hit. “I knew people were on base. I tried to hit a home run and I did it for my team.”
Hacienda Heights manager Claudio Contreras added, “It’s a good win to start. It was the best win this year.”
After falling behind 4-0 after two innings, Whittier regrouped and scored six unanswered runs.
Joseph Ramirez started Whittier’s rally by hitting a three-run homer during the third inning.
Whittier then took a 5-4 lead on Trevor McNary’s fourth-inning run-scoring bunt single.
Jason Flock then increased Whittier’s advantage with an RBI bunt single during the sixth.
“The kids did not lay down,” Whittier manager Bob Small said. “I’m really proud of them. They gave 110 percent.”
Whittier will next play against West Fullerton in an elimination game scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at the Fullerton Sports Complex.