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Ben Lomand loses heartbreaker
Babe Ruth - Leo Castenada.jpg
Leo Castenada got the start on the mound and pitched into the third inning Monday night for Ben Lomand Connect.

Babe Ruth baseball has returned to McMinnville this summer with local team Ben Lomand Connect competing against three opponents from DeKalb County in a four-team league.

Ben Lomand tried to connect with a victory Monday night at Milner Recreation Center, but the tying run was picked off third base for the final out in a narrow 8-7 home loss.

“We were down 8-6 when time expired so we had to score at least two runs in the bottom of the fourth,” said Ben Lomand coach Chris Key. “We had runners on second and third with two outs when our runner at third got picked off for the final out.”

Coach Key says Ben Lomand has made great strides in recent games and he looks forward to next week’s tournament to be played in DeKalb County.

“We are steadily improving and have come a long way since the start of the season,” said Key. “That’s all you can ask for.”

DeKalb County snatched a 3-0 lead in its first bat before the Ben Lomand offense began to operate at high speeds. Leo Castenada and Andrew Key both scored in the bottom of the first after reaching on walks and making their way home on steals and passed balls.

Castenada found his groove on the mound in the second, holding DeKalb County scoreless with a nifty arsenal of pitches. Castenada helped his own cause with his defense, fielding two infield flies for outs.

Castenada blooped a single to right in the bottom of the second to help Ben Lomand score two runs and take a 4-3 lead.

But DeKalb County would crank up its bats in the third with hard hits to the outfield. Matthew Key took the mound in relief for Ben Lomand and pitched well enough to have the team in contention to win during its last bat.