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Northend knocked out by West Torrance

July 25, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

After falling behind in the top of the first inning, the West Torrance 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team exploded for eight unanswered runs to beat Northend 8-2 in the semifinal of the Babe Ruth state tournament in El Centro Tuesday.

"It's wonderful," said West Torrance coach Dan Torres Sr. "We're very excited."

Kyle Quintero took the win for West Torrance while Justin Baeza took the loss for Northend.

Northend, made up of players from Brawley and Calipatria, went up 1-0 in the top of the first when Ray Marquez was driven in by a Marty Mohamed double.

West Torrance erased the deficit in the bottom of the first. Dan Torres Jr. scored on a Jesse Dominguez double, Dominguez later scored to put West Torrance up 2-1.

West Torrance went up 3-1 when Ryan Wheeler scored on a Quintero single.

In the second, Mike Debelak scored on a Torres single and Torres scored on a James Hass single. West Torrance led 5-1.

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One more run scored in the third when Ritchie drove in Larango with a single, putting West Torrance up 6-1.

In the fifth, Cory Smith was hit by a pitch, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch to give West Torrance a 7-1 advantage.

The final West Torrance run scored in the bottom of the sixth when Kento Noguchi hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ritchie to put his team up 8-1.

In the top of the seventh, Northend looked like it had the opportunity to rally when Nick Swing blasted a double and Cesar Hernandez drove him in with a single. Hernandez attempted to make it to second on the play and was tagged out for the first out.

Leo Ibarra flied out and Ismael Bacerra grounded out and the game ended 8-2.

"We didn't know what to expect from (Northend)," said Dan Torres Sr. "The score doesn't really reflect the win."

"(Northend) has a great team and we really appreciate them," he said. "It showed they were well coached."

Torres said he was impressed by Northend's play and said he never felt comfortable, even with a seven-run lead.

"At any time I think they could have come back and tied it up," he said.

Torres said the hot weather has played a part in making the tournament tough for his team, but he said he is glad his players have been able to adapt.

"It's beautiful out here. It feels wonderful. I think everyone just underestimates it." he said, adding his team has felt welcome in El Centro for the past week.

"We didn't realize that El Centro is really a baseball community," he said. "It's refreshing."

He added he is glad that so many fans made the four-hour drive to El Centro from Torrance.

West Torrance advances to the final round of the tournament to face unbeaten La Crescenta.

"If we can keep our bats going, I think it's going to be a high-scoring game," said Torres. "Unfortunately, we have to win two and it's tough enough to win one."

"We pushed them hard during the regular season, but it's paying off," said Torres of his team.

West Torrance will face La Crescenta at 6 tonight at Stark Field in El Centro, and, should it win, a second game will be played about 40 minutes after the first one ends.

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