While the weather may have been hot at Pioneer Park Thursday night, the Sierra Foothill All-Stars’ hitting was anything but in a 10-2 loss to Lincoln.
Lincoln’s defense played well from start to finish, bolstered by Tommy Turner’s complete-game performance. Turner struck out 11 batters in six innings, while Aiden Isola lead the way for Lincoln’s offense, going 3-for-3 with four runs driven in.
A home run from Jared Kelty to lead off the bottom of the first set the tone early. Jacob Lemus would follow Kelty’s lead with two solo shots of his own in the fourth and fifth to solidify Lincoln’s grasp on the lead.
Sierra Foothill had multiple chances to deal damage, but was unable to capitalize, a trend they’ll look to change in the second round of the best-of-three Little League District 11 Major Division Championship when they play Lincoln Saturday.
In the top of the third, a double from Max Dwyer and a single from Mike LaVigne gave Sierra Foothill their first run and tied the game up. A walk sent Alex Weir to first base, and a fielder’s choice set him up in scoring position. But Turner fanned the next batter, ending the inning. It was the closest Sierra Foothill would come to taking the lead.
The bottom of the fourth proved to be Lincoln’s finest inning. Grady Manley’s double and a follow-up single from Wyatt Arbaugh, 2-for-3 in the game, put pressure on Sierra Foothill’s pitching. Turner, the next batter in the order, was hit by a wild pitch, giving Gavin Young a chance to hit with the bases loaded. Young would respond with a double, knocking in Manley and Arbaugh, and increase the lead 8-2. Turner would score off of an Isola single in the ensuing at-bat.
Sierra Foothill’s Mark Keller hit a single in the top of the sixth, giving Sierra Foothill life. But two strikeouts from Turner and a pop-up ended their chances and gave Lincoln the one-game lead in the tournament.
“[It was an] outstanding performance. Like I’ve said throughout All-Stars, it has always been a team performance. Obviously we’ve had some outstanding performance from some individuals but it always came in a team effort,” Lincoln Manager Aaron Coats said of his team’s performance. “We’re a pitching and defense team and we had some great pitching today by Tommy Turner…and we had some timely hits. So it helped a lot, and we hit a couple of home runs as well. I’m really proud of the boys.”
Spencer Kellar is an intern with The Union.