FAIRFIELD — They went down swinging.
In a much-improved performance after a lackluster outing the day before, Yolo Post 77 was eliminated from the Area 1 American Legion tournament — losing 4-3 to Lodi on Thursday morning.
The club’s season ends with a 17-17 mark.
Playing at Yarbrough Field in Laurel Creek Park, local hurler Carlos Enriquez pitched a complete-game two-hitter, but took the loss when Lodi pushed across an unearned run in the ninth.
“He was just like he was last year — gutsy, very, very focused, intense,” Yolo coach Dave Ryan said of the 2013 Woodland High graduate. “Carlos has had a bad back … it took him a while to get loose.”
Enriquez looked like his outing might be a short one when he allowed two hits, three walks and three runs in the top of the first.
A Kiki Gonzalez error added to the visitors’ rally and for the second straight game, Post 77 was in a first-frame hole.
(In losing 12-1 to Petaluma on Wednesday, Yolo found itself trailing 5-0 after one inning.)
But on this day, the right-hander settled in …
From the second inning through the game’s final out, Enriquez did not allow a hit. He fanned five, walked four and when Lodi scratched out the winning run, it was thanks to a hit batter (Bryce Graddy), an Enriquez throwing error and a fielder’s choice that failed to nail Graddy at third on a bunt by Bobby Mazzell.
A sacrifice fly from Brett Young, which scored Graddy, proved to be the difference.
While Enriquez was working his magic, Yolo scrambled back to eventually even things.
An error, walk and another error on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases with no one out in the Post 77 second.
Colton Gunter’s bunt was turned into a force play at the plate before a couple of Davis High guys brought home the bacon — Andrew Bolich cracked a sac fly to left, scoring Joe Honig.
Andy Snow and Gonzalez smacked back-to-back doubles in the third to make the score 3-2.
The game was deadlocked when Gonzalez’s fly to right plated Trey Golston, who had earlier singled leading off the seventh inning.
Unfortunately, along the way Post 77 may have run itself out of 2014.
In the second, Gonzalez was nailed at the plate trying to score on Jake Miille’s would-be sacrifice fly to right.
In the fifth, with one out, Golston hammered a double to left-center, but cut-off man Graddy threw behind the rounding Golston and nailed the ex-Blue Devil diving back to the bag.
With runners at first and second and no outs in the sixth, lead runner Miille was caught off base by Lodi catcher Zach Stockton, resulting in a 2-4-5 run-down putout. (Especially gnawing, Ethan Chrisp hit the next pitch to right for a single.)
In neither the fifth nor sixth innings did Post 77 score.
Mike Meineke went seven innings with no decision for coach Mark Armstrong’s squad, which finished 15-20 on the season. Meineke allowed eight hits, four walks and three runs (one earned). No Yolo hitter struck out.
Graddy picked up the win with two innings of relief.
Gonzalez doubled and singled and drove in two runs for the locals. Golston and Snow (Jesuit) each had two hits and a run scored. Chrisp added two singles.
“I wish we would have played (Wednesday) like we did (Thursday),” Ryan added. “These losses would have been easier to swallow.”