Block defeats Monterey, 10-5

Published 12:26 am Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MONTEREY — Monday afternoon’s game between the Block Bears and the Monterey Wolves was a tune-up for both teams as they get ready for the playoffs.

Block pitcher Casey Ryan made his return to the mound after being out for much of the season with an injury, and set the tone by pitching two scoreless innings in a 10-5 win over Monterey.

“They started with Casey. He throws curveballs and a lot of off-speed pitches. He threw well for a couple of innings,” Monterey head coach Eric Richard said.

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Despite battling some key injuries throughout the season, Block finished third in District 3-1A to earn a berth in the Class 1A playoffs. But with Ryan back for the Bears, they could be a dangerous team in the postseason.

Justin Winborne, whose fastball gets up into the mid-80s, pitched the final five innings for the Bears. After giving up three runs in the bottom of the third inning, Winborne settled down and allowed just two runs the rest of the way.

The Bears scored five runs in the top of the second inning off losing pitcher Beau Shivley, the first of three pitchers Richard went with. But the Wolves battled back, cutting the lead to just one run heading into the fifth inning.

But Block answered with two runs in the top of the fifth and three more in the top of the seventh. The Bears ended up with 12 hits in the game. Dustin Winborne led the way with two doubles while John Davis was 2-for-3 with a double and Ethan Trisler went 2-for-5 with a double.

“They finished third in their district, but when they’re healthy, they’re a good Single A ball club,” Richard said. “They’re better than any team we’ll face in the (Class B) playoffs. At least I hope so. They hit the ball pretty good and they played with some confidence. It was a good measuring stick for us going into the playoffs. Both teams got something good out of it going into the playoffs.”

Ryan and Winborne combined to pitch a five-hitter. Shivley went 2-for-4 and Austin Lipsey was 2-for-4.