Lodi Wine Country Classic
April 26 and April 27, 2012
Woodbridge Wolverine Team Photo
The Del Webb, Woodbridge Wolverines traveled to Lodi Community Park on Saturday April 26th to participate in their second road trip of the year. Playing in the Chardonnay Division the Wolverines arrived early for warm-ups on what promised to be one of those perfect California Spring days.
Sporting brand new shirts and hats, the first team the Wolverines had to face was Al’s Grading and Paving from the Sacramento/Roseville area. This team was a seasoned team of hard hitters and sound fielders and it was apparent that the Del Webb team had met a good match when they came up in the bottom of the last inning trailing by one run. A center field home run by Bob Perrin and good hitting by the rest of the team had kept Woodbridge close but the game outcome was all on the line.
The Wolverines worked one run in to tie the score and it was John Bauer who came up to bat with no one on. John hit a clean single and arrived safely on first on knees that had been troubling him all season. Coach Bob Perrin sent Bob Naquin out to do the base running duties for John as Rudy Salvador came up to the plate. Rudy laced a solid shot to the 250 foot fence between left and center fielder. The speedy Bob Naquin ran the bases hard to just beat out the throw to home plate and score the winning run on John’s single and Rudy’s walk off RBI double. One hard earned win was in the books for the Wolverines.
After a one hour rest the Wolverines were back on the field to take on Direct Sales Floors. As the designated visiting team the Wolverines previously hot bats had cooled a bit and they had trouble scoring in the early innings. Lenny Rapp did manage to launch one of his signature high-flying home runs that seemed to be still gaining altitude as it crossed the right field fence. While the fielding was, good Direct Sales bats were hot, and the Wolverines found themselves with a 7 run deficit when taking their last at bats. While they were able to muster up four runs, it was not enough to overcome the deficit and Direct Sales won this one 16-13
Immediately the Wolverines once again took the visiting team position as determined by a coin toss. The California Olden Bears took the field and a game of good hitting and better fielding kept the game close. The duo of Jerry Monares at second base and Bob Perrin at short stop tightened up the infield defense while an outstanding catch by Lenny Rapp in left center allowed the Wolverines to inch ahead. The Wolverines entered the bottom of the last inning taking the field with a five run lead to protect. While the Bears battled back, the sound defense of the Wolverines kept them from scoring the needed runs and the Wolverines managed to hand the Olden Bears their first loss of the day.
So after three competitive games the Wolverines ended a great day of Senior Softball with two victories to one loss. The Wolverines had scored 41 runs in the three games allowing the opponents to score 40 which is an indication of how evenly matched these teams are. The Wolverines ended up the day in first place in the tournament but more importantly they ended up catching up with old friends and enjoying a game that all are grateful to be able to play. .
On Sunday April 30, 2012 the Wolverines returned to Lodi to take on the Gamblers in the fourth game of the tournament. The Gamblers’ pitcher struggled early and the Wolverines took advantage steadily running up the score. The game ended with a 15-4 score. The only downside for the Wolverines lost their left fielder Rudy Salvator as he crashed into the left field fence tracking down a foul ball.
The last game of the day for the Wolverines was against the Del Webb Lincoln Hills Coyotes from Roseville. Having scouted this team in a previous game the Wolverines knew that they would have their hands full as the Coyotes seemed to be solid at all positions.
But the Wolverines did what they had to do and built up a four point lead with the Coyotes coming up for their last at bats. The Coyotes scored four which made the game end in a tie in regulation. So it was off to the tie-breaker. The Wolverines managed to score two runs before retiring. The Coyotes had their at bats and were able to score two to put the game back into a tie with two outs. With good hitting they were able to squeeze another run in another run to break the tie and get a win over the much improved Wolverines.
This was the last game of the tournament and was probably the hardest fought. With their victory the Coyotes finished in first place while the Wolverines with their 3-2 record finished in third. All in all it was solid play by all of the Wolverines that led to their wins and to their close losses.