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Photo by Rodney Kitchen
Barstow's Alano Ochoa bats in the District 49 Tournament at Lillian Park. Ochoa got two hits in Monday's Section 8 tourney win.

Barstow 9-10s seek Section 8 title

SAN BERNARDINO • The Barstow 9-10s are two wins away.

The young baseball boys from Barstow got off to a tough start in the Section 8 All-Star Tournament last Saturday. After previously going undefeated to grab the title in the District 49 tourney, the team suffered its first loss, falling to Fontana Community. It recovered with a win on Sunday, which set up the loser’s bracket final.

On Monday, Barstow went up against Ken Hubbs Little League of Colton, with the victor earning the chance to take on the winner’s bracket champ. There was no doubt this time around, as Barstow scored twice in the first inning, then effectively put the game away with a seven-run second, and went on to mercy rule its opponent, 13-3.

There wasn’t much hitting in the loss to Fontana, which was unusual for a team that swung big bats in Districts. On Monday, Barstow was back in form, pounding out 16 hits, including five doubles.

“In the second inning, our bats really came alive,” said manager Steven Richardson. “On Saturday, maybe we were just overexcited and we weren’t seeing the ball very well. I think the week layoff hurt us, too. Since then, we’ve looked more like ourselves.”

After scoring twice in the first inning, Barstow staged that big second and held a 9-0 lead going into the third. Hubbs got all three of its runs in the top half, staving off being mercied for a bit. The home team went on to put two more on the board in the bottom half, was held scoreless in the fourth, then in the fifth, when the second run of the frame crossed the plate, the 10-run rule kicked in, giving Barstow the victory.

Marcus Sanchez went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, with three singles, a double, and four runs scored. Jason Richardson was 3-for-4 with two singles, a double, two RBI and three runs scored, while Alano Ochoa was 2-for-3 with two singles, a hit by pitch, two RBI and three runs scored. Dawson Pitsor hit two singles, walked, and drove in two, while Brandon Wood, Travis McCall and Caden Brogan all doubled.

“Their second pitcher was probably the hardest thrower we’ve seen in all seven games,” said Richardson. “He had great spin on his ball, but we still got four hits off him.”

Jason Richardson started on the mound, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out two. Mike Vasquez finished up, fanning one.

“Jason had most of his pitches working effectively. They got the bat on the ball, but only two balls left the infield. He did a good job, and then Mike shut it down the rest of the way,” said manager Richardson. “Defensively, we played great, no errors. I hope we keep that going.”

The win leaves Barstow, the loser’s bracket champ, and Fontana Community, the winner’s bracket champ, as the only two 9-10s teams left. For Barstow to win the Sectional championship, it would have to beat Fontana twice; a win on Tuesday night would lead to a winner-take-all match on Wednesday.

Richardson likes how his team looks right now.

“We’ll have to beat the only team we’ve lost to in seven games, but I expect a much better outcome tonight,” said Richardson on Tuesday afternoon. “The kids are excited. After a big comeback win on Sunday and then to mercy rule on Monday, I’m looking for something explosive tonight. That would give us great momentum going into Wednesday.

“I have to thank my coaches, James Ochoa, Roger Ramey and Bill McCall, they’ve been excellent teachers. They’ve all been great, as have the kids. It’s an outstanding group of guys and kids. Everyone is having a great time. I hope we keep it up, it’s been a long time since a Barstow baseball team made it to Division play.”

The sub-division bracket of the Division III Tournament begins Saturday at Chollas Park in San Diego.

*Update*: The 9-10s won their Tuesday game by a score of 4-3 over Fontana. The two squads will meet up tonight at 7 p.m. at Newmark Stadium in San Bernardino to determine the champion.

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