RICHLAND - It was a 9-3 loss on the scoreboard, but the Sun Valley 13-year-old Babe Ruth baseball team's defeat at Richland yesterday was a moral victory.
The Sunnyside club made it a seven-inning game without getting 10-runned, and starting pitcher Josh Romero went the distance, with only six of the nine Richland runs earned.
"Josh threw strikes, he made them (Richland batters) put the ball in play," observed Sun Valley Coach Jaime Garcia.
And, Garcia added, it could have been so much more than a moral victory.
Sun Valley pushed across single runs in the first and second innings, but could have easily doubled that number as two baserunners in scoring position were thrown out.
It was the same story in the third when the Sunnyside team advanced a runner to third only to have him picked off by Richland.
All told, Sun Valley had four runners in scoring position thrown out on the base paths. That's four potential runs which could have made for a much more interesting ball game.
"We gave runs away," said Garcia, who attributed the base running miscues to overeagerness on his players' part. "I like them to be aggressive, but I don't like to run out of an inning."
As it was, Sun Valley held a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the second, when Richland responded with a three-run rally to go up for good at 4-2.
Richland nicked away at Sun Valley for runs here and there to ultimately run up a 7-2 lead heading into the fifth.
Sun Valley answered in the fifth with its final run of the game on an Andrew Daley base hit to score Kevin Alvarez.
Daley was 2-for-3 at the plate for the game, with an RBI and two stolen bases. Alvarez also went 2-for-3 and scored two runs.
"Everybody's just starting to hit the ball, we're not striking out as many times as before," Garcia said.
Sun Valley (0-11) is home today at 5:30 p.m. to play Richland.