APTOS — The Watsonville American champion Athletics’ started the Tournament of Champions with hits to spare in a 14-6 romp over the Live Oak Giants, but in Friday’s game, hits were hard to come by.
The Athletics were held scoreless, 3-0, for the first time in the District 39 Major TOCs ,and the Santa Cruz National champion Cubs subsequently eliminated them from the tournament on Friday evening at Aptos.
“We picked a heck of a day to go into a slump,” said Athletics coach Ricky Parra. “We were just not hitting the ball. Pitching wasn’t bad, we had a lot of ground balls, and we gave our team a good chance of getting out of the inning.”
The A’s, who were beaten by the Santa Cruz American champion Red Sox on Thursday by a final score of 8-2, were only able to muster up one hit on the day.
Although the defense was solid for most of the day, three early runs put the Athletics in a hole. The first came on just Adam Macdonald’s second pitch of the day as the Cubs belted a deep homer to take the lead; however, Macdonald did well to get out of the inning.
The Cubs tacked their other two runs in the third inning via an error on a throw to third and another solo home run.
The A’s never did find an answer.
“We were still in it,” said Parra. “We’ve been explosive all season and we were able to put up runs. We just picked a heck of a day to not swing the bat. We just kind of went flat.”
The loss to the Santa Cruz American Red Sox on Thursday was a little more of the same. The Sox were able to score the first run of the game in the second inning, and in the third they took the contest over with four more runs, two of them coming by A’s errors.
The Watsonville American champion was able to score two runs of their own, but it was much too little, much too late, and the Red Sox moved on in the tournament.
“It was a tough one,” said Parra. “We really wanted that one. We kind of made some mistakes early, and it put us in a bad spot. It’s hard to win games when you’re shooting yourself in the foot.”
But Parra still found the silver lining in Friday’s game and season.
“We had a good run, and all my players improved. I’m really proud of every single one of my guys. We’ve been pretty dominant most of the season. I’m proud of these guys. They all got better.”
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