RICHLAND - Surrendering an early lead, the Sun Valley 13-year-old Babe Ruth baseball team could never catch up in a 12-2 five inning loss at Richland yesterday.
The first seven Richland batters got on base in the first, including six on base hits, to post a 6-0 lead. The hosts followed that up with a four-run outburst in the second to take a 10-1 advantage.
Sun Valley's first run came in the second without benefit of a hit. The squad played some small ball, noted Coach Jaime Garcia, as a Sun Valley batter was hit by a pitch, then stole second base and advanced to third on a ground ball. The run then scored on a passed ball.
Down 10-1, the final three innings saw Sun Valley play Richland virtually even.
Richland pushed across two more runs the rest of the way off of reliever Marcos Yanez. Sun Valley's second and final run of the game came in the fourth inning.
Speedster Andrew Daley led of the fourth for Sun Valley with a single. He stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball. Daley was then brought home on a base hit by Andre Sarmeinto.
The loss dropped Sun Valley to 0-6 on the season. Garcia said the key for his team to get in the win column will be to stop opponents early.
"We're learning, but the problem seems to be that we spot them (opponents) five or six runs in the first inning," he said. "We settle down from there, but by that time it's too late."
And there are signs of improvement, he added.
"We're playing good defense," Garcia said. "It's a matter of hitting the ball."
Sun Valley returns home today at 5:30 p.m. to play Pasco on the varsity baseball field.
"Right now it's just a matter of trying to get that first win," Garcia observed. "We're playing in a tough league."