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Auburn 9/10s win thriller

Youngsters capitalize on Rocklin’s erratic pitching to win their tournament opener
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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Auburn Little League’s 9/10 All-Stars capitalized on an erratic night of Rocklin pitching in the opening round of the District 11 Area 1 tournament Monday, squeaking out an 8-6 victory to advance to tonight’s winners’ game. While Auburn had only two hits in the game, the team drew 10 walks and had five hit batsmen in the six-inning affair. “Our guys were really patient at the plate all night,” Auburn manager Steve Robison said. Auburn starter Vinny Lopez threw five solid innings, allowing five runs while striking out three. After Rocklin took an early 2-0 lead, Lopez smacked a two-run, two-out single in the top of the second to tie the score. Neither team led by more than a run until Auburn’s three-run sixth. Rocklin pitchers walked the bases loaded with no outs before Auburn scored a run on catcher’s interference and two more on a fielder’s choice that rolled past Rocklin catcher Adam Caran to the backstop. Auburn’s Ryan Jenkins, who had the team’s other hit early in the game, pitched the bottom of the sixth. He induced a comebacker to the mound on his first pitch and another soft grounder for the second out three pitches later. A single by Rocklin’s Andrew Turner and a walk to Mitchell Seconds set up Wyatt Walsh’s RBI-single before Jenkins closed the game on a strikeout. Auburn will take on Tri-City tonight at 7:30. Tri-City crushed Lincoln 20-5 in Monday’s early game.