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Lompoc All-Stars coach Dave McNamee's group won a game at the Central California Babe Ruth State Tournament two years ago. McNamee's team has won a game at that tournament this year as well.

The difference is, the win this year has come in the first round.

"Getting to the winner's bracket is big," said McNamee after Lompoc held off the KerWest Lions for a 3-1 win Friday in the first game of the double elimination Central California Babe Ruth 13-15 Year Old State Tournament at Elks Field. Santa Maria is the host team.

"I've been with these boys for three years," said McNamee. "Two years ago, as 13-year-olds, they won a game at the tournament in Bakersfield. We went to Madera last year, and it was 0-for-2 and a barbecue for our guys as 14-year-olds."

Lompoc, one of the two District 6 representatives, played the Reedley-Delano winner Saturday in the winner's bracket. That score was not available at press time.

A new Elks Field scoreboard flashed information for the fans Friday.

Reedley is the No. 1 team from District 3. Delano represents District 4.

Andrew Porter snapped a 1-all tie when he singled in Gavin Townes from second base with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth. Lompoc was the designated home team.

The play at the plate was fairly close, but Townes beat the throw home from shallow center. 

"I was able to go with the pitch," Porter said. "I like the ball low and inside, and that's where I got it."

KerWest first baseman Nico Garcia misplayed the sharp one-hopper Porter hit with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Jordan Scott, who singled with one out, scored from third base.

Christopher Chavez tripled and, with KerWest down to its last strike twice, Julian Zepeda and Adam Delgado drew consecutive walks as KerWest loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh. Starting Lompoc shortstop Elijah Bobo, after inheriting a 1-0 count. finished the job on four pitches, getting a called third strike to end it.

Lompoc scored early, with Bobo singling home Christian Tenorio, who had drawn a lead-off walk, from second base in the bottom of the first. 

Marins Angel tied it for KerWest in the second, singling home Garcia, who made a nifty slide to evade a sweep tag at home, from second base with two outs.

Lompoc starter Gabe Hirzel made some of his best pitches in the toughest situations. Hirzel turned away KerWest after the designated visitors had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning and again when KerWest had the bases full with two outs in the fourth.

"Gabe is a gamer," said McNamee. "Elijah Bobo is our second pitcher, and he's a real competitor too."

Hirzel pitched into the seventh. He got the first batter on a ground out, then had to yield to starting center fielder Tenorio, Lompoc's second pitcher in the game, because of the pitch count.

Tenorio struck out the first batter he faced but then gave up the Chavez triple and the walks to Zepeda and Delgado before giving way to Bobo.

Unofficially, both teams finished with six hits. Tenorio had two hits for Lompoc and Chavez had two for KerWest.

The Chavez triple and a one-out Zepeda double in the third were the only extra-base hits in the game.

Lompoc prevailed despite nine walks for KerWest.

Porter said he is playing in a Central California Babe Ruth state tournament for the second time. "I didn't mind playing in the early game," he said. "I've been playing in early games."

Santa Maria 4, Madera 3

Luis Guerrero hit a base-clearing, walk-off, one-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning to power Santa Maria past Madera in its opening game of the Babe Ruth 215 year old tournament at Elks Field.

With one out, Isiah De La Cruz walked, Joseph Saucedo singled, Julian Sepulveda was hit by a pitch to load the bases and then Guerrero doubled in the winning runs.

Madera went ahead with three runs off Saucedo in the sixth inning. 

They tied the game when the Santa Maria center fielder misplayed Charlie Monterrosa's drive into a double and went ahead on David Ramirez's squeeze bunt before David Zavala tripled in another run.

Santa Maria scored in the first on an Alex Milnow single.

In other games, San Benito edged Northwest Bakersfield 6-5 on Jake Mahler's two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.

Orcutt falls in Babe Ruth 13 tournament

BAKERSFIELD — The Orcutt All-Stars dropped their opener, 3-1, to the Lodi All-Stars in the Babe Ruth 13-year-old tournament in Bakersfield.

With temperatures hitting 100 degrees, Orcutt had a chance to tie the game in the sixth inning but left the bases loaded.

Lodi scored its three runs in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie, scoring three runs on three hits.

Orcutt rallied in the top of the sixth but managed to score only once.

Orcutt’s AJ Stollberg doubled and then Brock Wilson and Aiden Moore followed with singles.

But Stollberg was thrown out at home on Moore’s single.

Teo Winn followed with an RBI single, scoring Wilson before Lodi was able to end the threat.

Orcutt’s Bobby Trevino was the starting pitcher, giving up all three Lodi Runs.

Jayden Cervantes came on in relief, pitching two scoreless innings for Orcutt.

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.