McNair holds off We­ston Ranch for 1st win

Ripon Bulletin - - Sports - By DAVE CAMP­BELL

STOCK­TON — We­ston Ranch’s Amier Bowen took to the mound in the sixth in­ning Tues­day and stopped the McNair on­slaught dead in its tracks. Un­for­tu­nately, the Cougars could not quite dig them­selves out of a hole and lost 11-10 non­league base­ball con­test at We­ston Ranch.

“I just went out there and threw strikes,” Bowen said. “That’s what I’m sup­posed to do.

“And my team was there for me on de­fense when I needed them.”

Bowen stepped onto the bump with no outs in the top of the sixth with two on and McNair (1-4) lead­ing 11-7. He in­duced a dou­ble play on his first pitch and a strike­out look­ing to end the frame. The Cougars ju­nior had a 1-2-3 sev­enth in­ning with a ground­out and two strike­outs. Seven of his last eight pitches were strikes.

“Amier is go­ing in a good di­rec­tion,” Hager said. “When he gets

on the mound he has con­fi­dence, he works down­hill and he pops strikes. When he does that he has a lit­tle ve­loc­ity and he’s hard to hit. He didn’t have to show a sec­ondary pitch – he just threw. Maybe we should have started him – who knew?

“One of his great­est at­tributes about him is con­sis­tency. He knows how to com­pete and he is not afraid to com­pete. Ob­vi­ously, we were miss­ing that in some of our other kids.”

Jadar­ius En­calade went 2 for 4 with a run for We­ston Ranch (3-2-2), and both of his hits were bunts he beat out for in­field sin­gles.

“We were down by a lot,” En­calade said. “I was just do­ing any­thing I could to get on base.”

Isaac Espino led off the bot­tom of the sev­enth with a sin­gle fol­lowed by a tow­er­ing fly ball to the right­field fence for a dou­ble by Ryan Tins­ley, giv­ing the

Cougars run­ners at sec­ond and third with no out while trail­ing 11-9. An­thony Aguilar knocked in Espino but that was as close as We­ston Ranch would get.

Bowen reached base three times, belt­ing a dou­ble and scor­ing two runs. Team­mate Car­los Drain also reached base three times and scored twice with a dou­ble, but he added a pair of RBI. Austin Cap­pas was 2 for 5 with a dou­ble.

The game reeked of early sea­son base­ball with both teams com­bin­ing for 10 er­rors and two balks.

“It was a rough game,” Ea­gles coach Henry Sanchez said. “We have a lot of in­ex­pe­ri­enced kids as most of my guys have never played base­ball at all be­fore high school. Of the 11 kids I have, five or six didn’t even play last year. It’s a strug­gle but it’s a fun strug­gle.”

“This was two evenly matched teams go­ing at it. I guess it was maybe about who wanted it a lit­tle bit more. It’s not al­ways tal­ent that wins games.”

DAVE CAMP­BELL/The Bul­le­tuin

We­ston Ranch’s Car­los Drain watches his RBI dou­ble in the fourth in­ning.

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