Thoughts and observations concluding the opening day of the 44th American Ambulance Fresno Easter Baseball Classic. It will continue through Wednesday:
** Final scores from late games: Del Campo 3, Fresno 2 (8 inn); Memorial 5, Central 1; Clovis 5, Franklin 4; Liberty-Bakersfield 8, Clovis East 2; Granite Bay 5, Clovis West 1; Clovis North 7, Liberty-Madera Ranchos 0; and Edison 6, Davis 5.
** Teams with 2-0 records after the first of three days: Clovis, Clovis North, Memorial, Kerman, Del Campo-Fair Oaks and Granite Bay.
** Game of the Day Tuesday: Granite Bay at Clovis North, 7 p.m.
** McCarthy Tatum’s leadoff double and Alan Crowley’s walkoff RBI single in the seventh lifted Clovis past Franklin.
** Jack Labowsky’s four-hitter and 11 strikeouts, and Christian Rossi’s three-run double powered Clovis North past Liberty-Madera Ranchos.
** First final score from the late games goes against the 44-year host of the tournament as Del Campo-Fair Oaks scores a run in the 8th for a 3-2 win over Fresno at Euless Park. Del Campo joins Memorial and Kerman in the early 2-0 Club.
** Khari McGee blasts 2-run home run to give Edison 6-5 lead over Davis in the sixth.
** Cameron Garver’s 6-hitter gives the section’s 10th-ranked Memorial a 5-1 win over No. 6 Central. Panthers and Kerman only 2-0 teams at this point, but Clovis North on its way after Christian Rossi’s 3-run double gives the Broncos a 7-0 lead over Liberty-Madera Ranchos. Jack Labosky pitching the shutout.
** Cal State Fullerton-bound shortstop Christian Rossi smacks three-run double to give Clovis North 7-0 lead over Liberty-Madera Ranchos. … Clovis has fought back to tie Davis, 4-4, in the 6th.
** Updates from 7 p.m. starts: Granite Bay 2, Clovis West 1 in 5th in matchup of 1-0 Classic teams; Del Campo-Fair Oaks 1, Fresno 0 in 5th behind 1-hit pitching of Tim Hall; Memorial 4, Central 0 in 5th behind pitching of Cameron Garver; Franklin-Elk Grove 4, Clovis 2 in 3rd; Edison 4, Davis 2 in 3rd; Clovis North 2, Liberty-Madera Ranchos 0 in 5th; Liberty-Bakersfield 2, Clovis East 1 in 6th.
** Guess who’s the first 2-0 team in The Classic? Why, Kerman of course as the Lions throttle North Salinas 10-2.
** Bullard drops to 0-2 with a 4-3 loss to Hanford, which receives solid pitching from Solomn Maddox and Brandon Mosher.
** Frontier senior shortstop Eddie Torres belts a no-doubt grand slam and RBI double in 9-3 win over Hoover.
** Other scores from 4 p.m. starts: Del Campo-Fair Oaks 8, Sunnyside 1; Sierra-Manteca 6, Madera 1; West 7, Reedley 2; Sanger 12, Hanford West 4 (8 inn).
** 7 p.m. starts tonight: Fresno vs. Del Campo (Euless Park); Central vs. Memorial (Buchanan); Franklin at Clovis; Liberty-Bakersfield at Clovis East; Granite Bay at Clovis West; Liberty-Madera Ranchos at Clovis North; and Davis at Edison.
** Lions continue to roar: Kerman 6, N. Salinas 2 in the top of the sixth at Edison. Ryan Potter to throw for Lions tomorrow v Sierra-Manteca at 4 p.m. at Clovis High. The junior right-hander twirled a no-hitter vs. Yosemite in his last start last week.
** It’s not a stretch to think Kerman — the little guy in its first Classic appearance — could be 3-0 entering the Carlos Salazar showdown at second-ranked Clovis Wednesday at 10 a.m. The Lions (enrollment: 1,150) won 5-2 at Edison this morning behind Eric Montero’s five-hitter and 10 strikeouts. Coach Jay Preuss will send sophomore Evan Sagariballa against North Salinas at 4 p.m. Monday at Edison, then Ryan Potter vs. Sierra-Manteca Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Clovis.
** Clovis, flying with four straight wins after coach James Patrick had lost twice before landing No. 600, blasted Sanger 10-0 in five innings behind McKay McNair’s one-hitter, Even Steele’s three hits and R.J. Hartmann’s two-run double. Cougars will remain home to play a good Franklin-Elk Grove team Monday at 7.
** Bullard, 6-9 after 26-7 in a D-I title-winning season, lost 6-2 to Granite Bay.
** Seventh-ranked Clovis West, humbled by an 0-3 start in the Tri-River Athletic Conference, beat Hanford 3-2 behind Alec Antenucci’s complete game. Golden Eagles will return to their home field to play Granite Bay tonight at 7.
** Third-ranked Clovis North, down 1-0 in the sixth inning, received a two-RBI hit from Robert McIlhatton and an RBI single from Austin Logan to escape, 3-1, vs. Hoover. Broncos will remain home to play Liberty-Madera Ranchos on Monday at 7.
** Big loss for Sanger and the tournament: Apaches junior right-hander Luis Ortiz, who some say is even more advanced as a pitcher than Kerman fireballer Salazar, will not play this week while recovering from a broken left hand. He hasn’t played since being struck by a pitch March 9 in a 6-4 loss to Golden Valley in the Central Baseball Classic.
** Other scores: Sunnyside 6, Lemoore 0; Fresno 3, Lemoore 0; Memorial 4, Laguna Creek-Elk Grove 2; Hanford West 4, Franklin-Elk Grove 3; Madera 7, Clovis East 1; Garces 10, Porterville 0 (5 inn); Madera South 4, North 3; North Salinas 11, Yosemite 0 (5 inn).