The Merced Volunteers opened the Western Amateur Baseball Federation Championships with two wins Wednesday afternoon.
The Volunteers (15-9) opened the tournament at Laurel Creek Park with a 2-1 victory over the Santa Rosa Rebels, then outslugged Yolo Post 77 10-5.
“We played good baseball the whole day,” Merced coach Rollo Adams said. “I was pleased with the way we played.”
The Volunteers scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning against Santa Rosa. Evan Hanneman led off with a single and Cole Huie drew a one-out walk. With two outs, Lawrence Anderson singled in Hanneman and Huie to give Merced a 2-0 lead.
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Mitchell Miller pitched four scoreless innings to pick up the win, and Blake Jantz threw the final three innings to record the save. Jantz gave up one run in the fifth.
Anderson led the offense, going 3 for 4 with a double. Hanneman went 2 for 3.
“After the first hitter of the game, where we made an error, our defense was outstanding,” Adams said. “I told Miller after the game, I thought his performance was a continuation of his last game last year against Chico, when he threw seven scoreless innings. The ball was electric out of his hand.”
Against Yolo, the Volunteers totaled 10 hits in a game that was stopped after six innings because of the tournament time rule.
Merced opened a 7-1 lead with four runs in the top of the third. Christian Witt doubled in two runs and Jacob Alarcon singled in two.
Yolo answered with four runs in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 7-5.
Merced scored twice in the fifth as Anderson drew a bases-loaded walk and Josh May hit a sacrifice fly to plate Miller and extend the Volunteers’ lead to 9-5.
Hanneman doubled in Tanner Pellissier in the sixth to push the lead to 10-5.
Hanneman went 4 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. Alarcon finished with three RBIs and Witt went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.
“I got on Hanneman in between games because I felt when he was getting out he wasn’t being aggressive,” Adams said. “I told him if he doesn’t step it up, he’s going to be in the dugout with me. His last six at-bats, he got hits and they were hit hard. I was pleased with that.”
Austin Hickman pitched five innings to earn the win. Pellissier recorded the final three outs in the sixth.
The Volunteers return to Fairfield on Friday for another doubleheader, facing the Petaluma Leghorns at 11:30 a.m. and the Fresno A’s at 2 p.m.