St. Anthony baseball fell behind early and couldn’t find a way back in its CIF Southern Section Division 6 semifinal loss to Rio Hondo Prep 8-4 on Tuesday at Clark Field. The Saints (15-13) left 11 runners on base and only got two runs out of two bases loaded opportunities.
“We didn’t play very well early and made some mistakes defensively that we usually don’t make, but we competed all the way though,” St. Anthony coach Kris Jondle said. “We had our chances there with guys we like at the plate, would’ve been nice to get the big hit there, but it just didn’t go our way.”
Rio Hondo Prep (17-7) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on three hits and a pair of St. Anthony defensive miscues. The Saints had a chance to pick off the leadoff hitter, but the throw went into center field. The Kares also scored on a wild pitch.
St. Anthony answered with one run in each of the first, second and third innings. Senior Andrew Donini scored on junior Jaxon Kraemer’s double in the first inning. The Saints loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning, but only scored one run when sophomore Nic Salcido was plated by junior Jacob Fong’s RBI sacrifice fly. Donini scored again on junior Lucas Lehmar’s two-out RBI base knock in the third, but Rio Hondo Prep had already scored three more runs in the top of the inning.
St. Anthony loaded the bases in the fourth, but junior Ben Kessler’s RBI double to score Salcido was the only damage the Saints could do.
“We played our hearts out but the better team won,” said Donini, who has been first-team All-CIF for the last two years. “This is a great group of guys and it was fun playing this game together.”
This was the second CIF semifinal appearance for St. Anthony in the last five years.
Lucas Lehmar – 3 1B, RBI, BB (2 IP, 2 H, R, 3 K, BB)
Andrew Donini – 2 1B, 2 R, BB
Nicolas Salcido – 1B, 2 R, BB
Jaxon Kraemer – 2B, RBI
Noah Estrem – 1B, R
Ben Kessler – RBI Sac Fly
Rio Hondo Prep
Evan Foor – 1B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB (2 IP, 4 H, R, 2 K, BB)