Auburn juniors fall flat in Rocklin
ROCKLIN — Coach Derek Markstein was left scratching his head Wednesday night, wondering how a team that looked so good through two postseason games fell so flat Wednesday night.
The Auburn Little League Junior Division All-Stars lost 13-0 to Tri-City in the District 11, Area 1 Tournament semifinals at Twin Oaks Park. The good news is Auburn has a chance at redemption on Friday night in an elimination game.
Tri-City looked dominant Wednesday as pitchers Logan Webb and A.J. Sauer combined on a two-hitter. Auburn hurt its cause with five errors.
“We were real flat,” said Markstein, who was filling in for manager Byron Gums after Gums was ejected from last week’s win over Rocklin. “We didn’t catch, we didn’t throw, we didn’t hit. We didn’t have a lot of highlights.”
Luke Noble led off the game with a sharp single, Tyler Gums followed with a walk and a double steal put Auburn in position to take an early lead. But Webb pitched his way out of the jam. Logan Markstein’s single in the third was Auburn’s only other hit in the contest.
Tri-City scored two unearned runs in the first inning off of Gums, who pitched 2 2/3 innings. Trailing 5-0, Auburn gave up eight more as Tri-City sent 14 batters to the plate in the fourth inning.
After a three-up, three-down top of the fifth inning the 10-run mercy rules was invoked.
Auburn’s players remained upbeat after the game. They hope to get another shot at Tri-City in the championship round as they face the winner of tonight’s Bear River-Rocklin game. A win Friday would set up a rematch on Saturday. Auburn would need two wins over Tri-City to claim the Area 1 title.
“This is a real cohesive team, so I think they’ll bounce back,” Markstein said. “They’ve got each other’s backs.”
Lincoln 8, Auburn 3 at Rocklin — Auburn bowed out of the District 11, Area 1 Tournament with a second tough loss in as many nights.
Jay Maloney and Hugh Hanson pitched well for Auburn, but the offense could not keep up with Lincoln in the elimination game Wednesday.
Ramon Solis and Matthew Corkery had RBI-singles for Auburn and Anthony Kerrigan belted a double. Hansen and Maloney also had hits.
On Tuesday night, Auburn had the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth inning, but could not get the big hit in a 6-4 loss. Keaten Tuttle and Kuba Bardecki pitched well in defeat.