Under-19 Babe Ruth team ousted in regional tournament
August 5, 2004
Wins came easy for the North Tahoe Twins en route to a Nevada Babe Ruth championship, but they hit a major stumbling block when they traveled to Watsonville, Calif., July 30 for regional play.
The Under-19 team lost both of its games, falling 8-0 to Watsonville on July 30 and losing 4-2 to Arizona on July 31.
Though the talent of their opponents exceeded what they faced in Nevada, Twins coach Bob Habeger attributed the teams early exit to their own mistakes. The Twins committed six errors in the first game and another three in the second.
“From pop ups to throws to pass balls, we had it all,” Habeger said. “I don’t think we committed nine errors all season. It was disappointing.”
The score against Watsonville may not have reflected it, but Twins pitchers Brandon Gregory and Ryan Lane threw a solid game. In five innings, Gregory allowed only three hits and six walks, and Lane only gave up one hit in two innings after coming in as relief.
Watsonville pitcher Brandon Hennessey, a second-team All-Central Coast Section choice from Santa Cruz (Calif.) High School who will join the 2005 San Jose State team, limited the Twins at the plate. He held the team to three hits during the game.
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“If we’d (faced) that level of pitching day in and out every game this summer,” Habeger said, “it would’ve been a different story.”
Facing elimination, the Twins put together a stronger performance against Arizona on Saturday. Ryan Lane led the team from the mound, giving up only two earned runs and five hits in a complete game. But, once again, errors cost the squad and the team fell 4-2.
“When a kid throws a game like that, you should be able to win a game,” Habeger said.
The Twins offensive struggles continued in the second game, too. The team managed only five hits, bringing their two game total to eight.
“For us, that’s not normal,” Habeger said. “We played well all year long and struggled with hitting late.”
Still, Habeger and his players were not deterred by the results. With 14 members of the squad returning next year, talk of returning to regionals has begun already.
“This was a big step up for this team,” Habeger said. “A year of college baseball under their belts will help them out next year.”