Host California Academy of Baseball turned a one-run, sixth-inning lead into a six-run win Saturday to defeat the Folsom Flames 11-5 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Shaky play cost CAB in the second game as the Flames battled back to tie it in the seventh and win 7-6 in extra innings.
On its own field but playing as the away team in the opener, CAB held a slim 3-2 lead as it came to bat in the top of the seventh. After Sawyer Schardt beat out an infield single, Zach Culp doubled to center to score him, Ryan Rodriguez singled and Folsom hit Zach Washabaugh with a pitch to load the bases.
The next batter, Michael Weston, got plunked too, scoring Culp. Nick Bonniksen walked to score Rodriguez as CAB led 6-2. Louis Merlo followed with a bases-clearing double down the right field line for a commanding 9-2 lead and two more scored on a wild pitch and an infield single to complete the scoring.
Folsom responded with three runs before Logan Quick closed out the game for CAB, getting a groundout to second to end it.
The Flames scored runs in both the first and second innings, taking a 2-0 lead while CAB struggled to get going. But in the top of the fifth, back-to-back infield singles from Bonniksen and Merlo gave CAB two runners with no outs. They both moved up a base on Aaron Farney’s bunt, and Bonniksen scored on a wild pitch. Merlo came home on an RBI groundout from Schardt to tie it at 2-2.
In the sixth, CAB took the lead. With two outs, Weston singled, and advanced to third on Bonniksen’s rope to right field. Merlo came through with a clutch single to center to plate Weston as CAB went ahead prior to erupting with a big seventh inning.
Zach Terry got the start for CAB, and went six strong innings, allowing four hits and collected six strikeouts on the afternoon.
Nine walks and two hit batters over the final five and two-thirds innings opened the door for Folsom which overcame a 6-0 deficit.
Three walks and a wild pitch allowed the Flames to tie and an RBI groundout to the right side in the eighth proved to be the winning run.
“We basically gave the game away,” CAB coach Rusty McDonald said. “One of rare times this summer where we didn’t pitch or play well.”
CAB scored four runs in the first inning and single runs in the third and fourth to lead 6-0. Folsom tallied twice in the fifth, three times in the sixth and once in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Offensively for CAB, Bonniksen and Owen MacKendrick each had two hits. By design, Bonniksen started and pitched the first two innings.