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Trojans fall 3-2 in tournament finale

By: Nick Pecoraro Telegraph Correspondent
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The Trojan baseball team got a rare opportunity to play in a professional ballpark on Wednesday night as contenders for the first annual SureWest/Gina Montes Easter tournament. After beating Casa Roble 5-0, Lincoln 9-1 and Oakmont 10-3 over the two-day span to reach the finals against Bella Vista, Oak Ridge fell in the final game 3-2 to the Broncos in what coach Todd Melton called a great experience for his squad. “We just came up a little short tonight,” he said. “(Raley Field) plays a little different from most high school fields, obviously. The ball rolls a little bit faster and both teams played really well on it.” Oak Ridge struck first in the first inning as Alec de Watteville rapped a leadoff double. The Trojan shortstop was bunted over to third before coming home on a Cody Morris groundout to give Oak Ridge an early 1-0 lead. Bella Vista put together a three-run inning in the second, however, with runs batted in from Dylan Svoboda, Ryan Locke and Jack Cronin to take the lead for good off of Trojan starter Alex Fitchett. “(Fitchett) didn’t really have his stuff tonight. He grinded through the other innings,” said Melton, whose Trojans now stand at 8-3 on the season. “Baseball is a very humbling sport but we had a good tournament.” Oak Ridge scored a run in the top of the fourth to make it a one-run deficit. The Trojans had multiple situations where they had runners in scoring position but, according to Melton, just couldn’t find the big hit. Before the game, Melton mentioned that he wanted to keep his starters fresh for the start of Delta River League play next week. League play begins with a three-game series against defending league champion Jesuit, who took four out of five games from the Trojans a year ago, including the two-game postseason sweep at American River College that knocked Oak Ridge out of contention for its first section title. “They’re the defending champs,” said Melton. “Our goal is to win league and get that section championship. If we could take three out of three, we’d be in the driver’s seat. Realistically, if we take two of three, then we’ll be happy.”