YOUNTVILLE — Carlo Del Real saw his third shot at a state title fall short again.
Del Real and the Merced Volunteers were eliminated from the American Legion Baseball State Tournament after a 14-9 loss to the Vista Murrieta Broncos on Sunday afternoon.
"I've been coming to this tournament for three years," Del Real said. "I want to win this thing. It's a fun tournament."
The Volunteers found themselves in the losers bracket after getting blasted by the Petaluma Leghorns 14-0 on Saturday.
Merced started strong against Vista Murrieta with a three-run first inning.
The Volunteers punished the Broncos for playing their outfielders extremely shallow. Efrain Del Rio doubled in Del Real to tie the game 1-1. Josh May then hit a liner that split the outfielders in left-center for a two-run double that gave the Vols a 3-1 lead.
Merced right-hander Mitchell Miller pitched well early, escaping jams in the second and fourth innings.
The game quickly got away from the Volunteers in the top of the fifth inning.
The Broncos turned three hit batters and an error into a six-run outburst to take a 7-3 lead.
Vista Murrieta took advantage of wild pitches, missed cutoff men and defensive miscues.
"I think part of it was players playing out of position," Volunteers coach Rollo Adams said. "Craig Bettis did the best he could behind the plate. I can't fault him. We had some holes on defense and that was clear these two days in Yountville."
The Volunteers cut what was an 11-3 deficit to 11-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning and had the bases loaded with Del Rio, who went 3 for 5 with three doubles and two RBIs.
However, Broncos reliever Angel Ortiz got Del Rio to fly out to left to end the inning.
"We had the guy at the plate we want with the game on the line, but that's the odds of baseball," Adams said. "If you hit the ball, most times it will find a glove."
Del Real finished with two hits and three RBIs. Josh May added two hits and two RBIs.
American Legion State Tournament
VISTA MURRIETA BRONCOS 14, MERCED VOLUNTEERS 9
Broncos 010 064 210 14 15 2
Volunteers 300 003 030 9 11 4
Nelson, Ortiz (5), Hroch (7), Rausa (8), Nowak (9) and Johns; Miller, May (6), Skinner (7) and Bettis.
WP Ortiz. LP Miller.
BRONCOS Hunter Tidwell (2B, 4 Runs, RBI), Ruben Omelas 3-4 (2 Runs), Joven Afenir 3-5 (3B, 3 Runs, 2 RBI), Jack Moberg 4-5 (2 Runs, 2 RBI).
VOLUNTEERS Carlo Del Real 2-4 (2B, 2 Runs, 3 RBI), Efrain Del Rio 3-5 (3 2B, 2 RBI), Justin Prichard (2 Runs), Josh May 2-5 (2B, 2 RBI), Craig Bettis (2B, 2 RBI), Tyler Skinner 2-4.
PETALUMA LEGHORNS 14,MERCED VOLUNTEERS 0
Volunteers 000 000 0 0 4 2
Leghorns 321 243 x 14 9 1
Del Real, Prichard (4), Bettis (5) and Betts, Flores (5); Hagerla, Flatt (6) and Haug. WP Hagerla. LP Del Real.
LEGHORNS Staffford 2-4 (2B, 4 Runs), Haug (3-3 (2 2B, 2 Runs), Hilbert (HR, 2 Runs), Walsh (3 Runs), Parnow 2-4 (2 Runs).