Galena baseball wins tournament

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In the end, the Galena High baseball team that made the play that broke Modesto High's hearts.

An inning after Modesto rallied to tie the score with a three-run sixth inning, Grizzlies third baseman Cameron Davis lined a sharp single through the hole into left field to score Steve Lerud from second.

It gave Galena the go-ahead run and an eventual 4-3 victory in the championship game of the Windermuth Tournament in Modesto. Galena won the tournament for the second time in three years.

Modesto loaded the bases in both the second and fourth innings, and had runners on second and third in the third inning, but failed to score.

Meanwhile, Galena took a 3-0 lead thanks to Lerud, one of the top high school catchers in the nation. After errors put a Grizzly runner on base in the first and third innings, Lerud brought them both home with ringing doubles.

After Chuck Sindlinger tripled to lead off the fifth inning, Lerud singled into right field to give Galena what looked to be an insurmountable lead.

Galena first baseman Doug Gasca made a key play during Modesto's tying rally in the sixth. With runners on second and third, Modesto hit a short chopper to Gasca, who threw out the runner at third on a close play.

In the top of the seventh, Woodbridge walked Lerud and Gasca before Davis lined the game-winner.

Tommy Hoyle pitched a nine-inning complete game as Douglas High School defeated Moreau Catholic (Hayward, Calif.) 2-1 to capture fifth-place in the 43rd annual Atwater/Winton Lions Easter Baseball Tournament on Thursday in Atwater, Calif.

Matt Saylo led off the ninth with a double and later scored on an error for the game-winning run as the Tigers (11-7) finished with a 2-2 record for the tournament at Fireman's Memorial Ballpark.

"It was a good tournament for us," Douglas coach Hal Wheeler said. "We saw some pretty good ball clubs down there and we had a chance to win every game we played. We just didn't make the routine play in some critical situations and it came back to haunt us."

The Tigers lost twice during the round robin pool play, 3-1 against tournament host Atwater and 5-3 against perennial power De La Salle (Concord, Calif.).

"You don't get any better than De La Salle, but we could have won that game," Wheeler said. "We committed three errors and four runs in one inning. It was really disheartening because it would have been a real feather in the school's cap to beat a school like that.

"I was a little disappointed in the way we hit the ball and a little disappointed with the way we kicked the ball around, but I was ecstatic with the way our four pitchers threw."

Hoyle was impressive as he pitched all nine innings on Thursday, striking out 10 batters and giving up just one unearned run to pick up the victory. Hoyle also sent the game into extra innings with an RBI single in the seventh inning.

"He's a horse, a competitor" Wheeler said of Hoyle, a senior right-hander. "I tried to go get him in the seventh because he was at 88 pitches and I figured that was enough, but he said, 'no way, I'm finishing this game.' He was still throwing 85 (mph) in the ninth."

The Tigers return to action on Tuesday when they host Fernley in a 3:30 p.m. non-conference game.


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