LONG BEACH, Calif. -- A cool breeze and lower temperatures was a gift from the baseball gods to the pitchers on Friday on the final day of the 2012 Area Code Baseball Games. After an Area Code Games record seven home runs were hit in the first 15 games, the pitchers seemed to benefit from the Southern California heat dropping from the high 80s to the comfortably low 70s.
Brewers 3, Rangers 1
In what has become a traditional grudge match between two of the Area Code Games’ perennial top teams, it was a depleted Milwaukee Brewers closing out play with a perfect 5-0 record for the week with a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Hits were scarce, but Brewers shortstop Elliot Barzilli of Palisades Charter (Los Angeles) had an RBI single in the third inning. He then came all the way around on the play after two Rangers’ throwing errors allowed him to score Milwaukee’s second run, giving them a 2-1 lead they never relinquished.
The Brewers used five pitchers, with two hurlers, Davis Tominaga of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Trent Paddon of Yorba Lina (Calif.), each retiring all three batters they faced.
The Rangers’ Garrett Luna of Magnolia (Texas) came close to being the first player to hit two home runs at this year’s Area Code Games. His long blast in the bottom of the seventh inning traveled nearly 400 feet, but was just left of the foul pole down the left-field line.
Yankees 3, Reds 1
Catcher Matt Thaiss of Jackson Memorial (Jackson, N.J.) helped the Yankees jump out to a two-run lead in the first inning, doubling in a pair of runners.
The Reds pulled within one run on a third-inning RBI single by infielder Cody Bellinger from Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), but the Yankees extended their lead to 3-1 with a two-out RBI double in the top of the sixth by outfielder Joe Wainhouse from Kent (Wash.) Kentridge.
Five Yankees pitchers combined to give up seven hits. Leading the way was Lynn English (Lynn, Mass.) left-hander Ben Bowden, who struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh.
Athletics 9, White Sox 2
The Athletics jumped on the White Sox early in their 9-2 victory, scoring three times in the second inning after the first four batters reached. The NorCal squad duplicated the three-spot in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead and effectively put the game out of reach.
Trent Shelton of Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) started for the A’s and retired all six batters he faced. The 6-foot-4 lefty was the first of four pitchers used, and the quartet allowed only four hits in seven innings.
Offensively, it was a collective effort, with six A’s batters recording an RBI. Granada (Livermore, Calif.) first baseman Ryan Kirby led the way, going 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored.
The White Sox scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but also committed four errors, the same number of hits they had in the game.
2012 Area Code Baseball Games Final Standings:
Milwaukee Brewers: 5-0
Oakland A’s: 3-1-1
Chicago White Sox: 3-2
Texas Rangers: 3-2
Cincinnati Reds: 2-3
New York Yankees: 1-3-1
Kansas City Royals: 1-4
Washington Nationals: 1-4