By ALLIE COLOSKY
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
FORESTVILLE — Elijah Larsen-Yskamp stood on second base and waved to his coach after his double to center field scored the final two runs for El Molino in the Lions’ 8-1 win over Middletown in the championship game of the Lee Walker Invitational on Saturday.
“Have a day!” coach Tony Franceschi yelled from the third-base side after Larsen-Yskamp finished 5-for-5, with five RBIs, two doubles and a run scored. On the mound, he recorded 10 strikeouts and didn’t allow a walk or an earned run off three hits.
“He won the game for us,” he said. “He’s absolutely unbelievable.”
His fastball and his cutter were on point, Larsen-Yskamp said, but he didn’t know what was clicking so well for him in the batter’s box.
“I don’t know what to say about that,” he said with a grin.
The Lions are 9-1 in what Franceschi said has been an unbelievable start.
“Winning, for us, is new, so we are really trying to just take it one pitch at a time,” Franceschi said. “It’s a lot simpler that way.”
El Molino got on the board early with a single from Jacob Colbert in the first inning that scored Larsen-Yskamp. It was Larsen-Yskamp’s turn in the second inning when he plated two runners on a two-out single.
Gonzalo Santibanez’s bunt in the fourth inning scored two more runs after a throwing error by Middletown’s Josiah Amos. Larsen-Yskamp recorded another RBI with a single to center and finished his day with his blast to center field in the seventh inning.
“It feels really good,” Larsen-Yskamp said of winning the Lions’ home tournament.
Colbert was 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Colton Rafferty finished 1-for-4 with two runs scored. Santibanez and Steven Mori both went 1-for-4, and Eli Warner finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Montag Genser finished with one hit and a run scored in his solo plate appearance.
Amos finished 2-for-3, while Christopher Davis went 1-for-3 for the Mustangs.
Amos struck out four and walked two, while giving up six runs off 11 hits in six innings pitched.
Brett Pike struck out two batters in one inning of relief for Middletown.
Brett Franceschi closed out the game for the Lions, striking out one and walking two with no runs and no hits for the final two outs.
The man for whom the inaugural tournament is named, Lee Walker, is a former minor league pitcher and now the Lions’ pitching coach.
“It’s a thrill,” he said. “A lot of good things have happened to me in my many years of baseball, and this is one of the better ones.”
The Lions improved to 9-1 overall.
El Molino begins league play on Tuesday when it visits Healdsburg.