It's rare when a baseball game comes down to the final minutes. But that's exactly what happened Friday in Ridgecrest's, 2-1, win over Vacaville, Calif., at the USABA World Series in Carson City, Nev.
USABA rules state that if a game is tied after seven innings, then the two teams play until the two hour, ten minute time limit expires. And if the game is tied after that, each team receives half a point.
With two outs in the bottom of ninth, and three minutes left on the game clock, Roberto Saenz hit a game winning single to score Dwayne Clark. The win gave the High Desert Dawgs a full point, instead of settling for half a point.
"I just wanted the game to end," said Saenz, who had a chance to win the game in the seventh but struck out. "I had my chance in the seventh but came up short. I just wanted to help our team get the win," Saenz said.
In the fifth, Vacaville's Kevin Waddell hit a run-scoring single to score Jordan Brown, making the score 1-1. Then David Colip grounded out to shortstop Casey Groves for the inning's first out.
Mitch Lamar then hit a double that put runners on first and second. But as he did all game, pitcher J.D. Martin struck out the next two hitters to end the inning.
Martin, who had a perfect game until the fifth, finished with 16 strikeouts.
"I didn't really have my fastball today, so I was just trying to hit my spots," said Martin, who struck out several hitters with his wicked curveball. "It's definitely good to get the first win since we really didn't hit the ball that well today."
In the bottom of the fifth, Ridgecrest tied the game at 1-1 after Jon Foisy's sacrifice fly that scored Carter.
In the sixth and seventh innings, Ridgecrest had several runners thrown out by Vacaville catcher Kevin Waddell, who were trying to get into scoring position.
"I want my guys to be aggressive on the bases and they were," said Bradley, who thought his players were a little nervous for their first game. "I want them to try and take that extra base because nine times out of 10, they're going to get it.
Ridgecrest plays at noon today in the first game of a doubleheader against Arlington, Texas. They play again at 2:30 p.m. against four-time USABA champs Triple Play, Wash.