If Rancho wants NBL title, it must improve its hitting

Posted by: Press Democrat Staff Writer Eric Branch

The Rancho Cotate baseball team can pitch.

Now, will it have enough hitting?

The Cougars entered Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to Cardinal Newman with a .238 batting average and a 1.94 ERA.

Then, Rancho limited the big-hitting Cardinals to a season-low four hits, but also didn’t manage a hit of its own after scoring four first-inning runs.

Junior Mike Lepiane, the Cougars’ No. 3 starter, allowed just one earned run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings against a team that was averaging 9.7 runs and 12.6 hits a game.

Rancho’s top two pitchers, seniors Thomas Wall and Scott Morrow, are a combined 4-0 with a 1.48 ERA.

That’s very good. But the Cougars are 3-2 in the North Bay League after Wednesday’s loss, two games behind Montgomery.

For Rancho to make a title run, its bats need to provide better support to a staff that can’t do it alone.