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Warrior baseball 2-1 in Lions Tournament

Fallbrook High School’s baseball team won two of three games in the 60th Annual Lions Invitational Baseball Tournament March 29-31.

The Warriors’ 2-1 record tied for the best mark in their bracket, although Ramona’s head-to-head win over Fallbrook advanced the Bulldogs to elimination play. Ramona concluded the tournament by taking the 6A Division championship.

Fallbrook entered the tournament with a 3-4 record, not including the Scripps Ranch game which is currently not considered a contest. The Warriors began the season with the Falcon-Pirate Classic and posted a 2-2 record, not including the game with Scripps Ranch, whose nickname became part of the tournament name after original Scripps Ranch baseball coach Roger Engle and Oceanside High School coach Dave Barrett joined their tournaments.

The Falcons had a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning March 11 when a water main at Fallbrook High School broke and flooded the third base side of the field. The game was continued on March 18 and the Falcons took a 9-8 victory, although the CIF will decide whether the game should have been continued or restarted. The first week of the North County Tournament saw Fallbrook defeat Valley Center before losing to Westview and San Marcos.

Fallbrook faced Ramona March 29 at Mission Bay High School. Cody Willingham, who is expected to pitch for the University of California, Irvine team next year, struck out nine Fallbrook batters to help Ramona to a 5-3 victory. “We played a very good game against them. We came up a little bit short, but very happy with the progress we’re making,” said Fallbrook coach Jesse Schuveiller.

On March 30 the Warriors played Mission Bay at the Buccaneers’ home field and took a 4-3 victory. “It was an important game for us to win,” Schuveiller said. “Mission Bay’s a pretty good team.”

Mission Bay handed Ramona its only loss of the tournament the following day.

The Warriors concluded bracket play March 31 at home against Taft High School of Woodland Hills. “We did not have very good pitching from our first couple of guys,” Schuveiller said. “We got some good offense the latter part of the game.”

Fallbrook’s 16-11 win saw the Warriors take an 8-0 lead before the Toreadors came back to hold a temporary 10-9 advantage. Fallbrook reliever Connor Cox held Taft scoreless in the final four innings while the Warrior batters were able to overcome the deficit.

“The offense is doing okay. We’re still progressing,” Schuveiller said. “Just hoping to improve every aspect of our game.”

The Warriors lost two senior starters from the 2009 season to graduation, but eight of last year’s varsity players returned to the team. “They know what it takes to get the job done,” Schuveiller said. “The maturation process is beginning to take effect.”

The victory over Taft included a two-run home run by Tyler Wedeking - which also means that 14 Fallbrook runs were scored without the benefit of a homer. “This team is very much balanced offensively,” Schuveiller said. “We’re pretty lucky to have that.”

The Lions Tournament results left Fallbrook with a 5-5 record. “We’re real happy with the progress they made,” Schuveiller said. “We look forward to finishing our season in league really strong.”

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