BASEBALL: Tigers defeat Blue Raiders in tournament semifinals

The Woodlake Tigers continue their winning streak with a win over the Caruthers Blue Raiders in the semifinals of the Ron Robinson Invitational Tournament

WOODLAKE – The Woodlake Tigers advance to the championship game of the Ron Robinson Invitational Tournament after defeating the Caruthers Blue Raiders 6-2.

The Tigers took down the Blue Raiders in the third game of the Ron Robinson Invitational Tournament on April 4 with a score of 6-2. After a scoreless first inning, the Tigers stepped up to score four runs in the second and take a lead that the Blue Raiders were unable to catch. Freshman pitcher Guillermo Rosales pitched the entire game and held the Blue Raiders to only two runs. The Tigers are playing the Exeter Monarchs in the finals of the tournament on April 5.

“We played some pretty solid baseball,” Woodlake head coach Juan Gamez said. “We haven’t had too many errors. We’ve been hitting the ball very well. Pitching has been solid.”

Rosales, who pitched the entire game against Caruthers, is only a freshman, but he led the team on defense. He was successful in shutting down the Blue Raiders until the fourth inning, when they finally scored after Rosales walked a batter with the bases loaded, but by that point the Tigers had four runs.

Senior Nate Martinez was the first to get on base in the second inning and was immediately followed with a base hit by senior Shane Rodriguez. Junior Ishmael Pena got on base by walk and then junior Landon Gamez sent Martinez home. On the next four at bats, Rodriguez, Pena and Gamez all scored runs.

“Overall I’m very, very, very happy with the kids and their performances,” Gamez said.

The Tigers were 7-5 ahead of the game against Caruthers, but are now on a six-game win streak since defeating Granite Hills on March 24. According to Gamez, the Tigers had a rocky start to the season, but have gotten into a groove as they approach league play.

After the Tigers beat the Blue Raiders, the Exeter Monarchs played the Orange Cove Titans in the other semi-final game. The Monarchs won 6-2 and are facing the Tigers in the finals. The Monarchs were on a five-game losing streak and are hoping to regain confidence before their league play resumes. They’re hungry for a win and will be hoping to end the Tigers’ winning streak.

Next week, the Tigers have one final non-league game against Orosi on April 11 before league play begins.

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