Turlock and Pitman High varsity baseball saw mixed results in Wednesday's league matches.
Both were coming into their final of a two-game series with an unbeaten streak in the Central California Conference but only one team came out with a zero next to their league record.
The Pride of Pitman fell to Merced in a close 7-6 final while the Bulldogs of Turlock topped the Cougars of Golden Valley in a convincing 7-4 victory.
“This was our third game in three days and after a tough nine inning game yesterday, we were able to get a lead and hold them off,” said Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte.
“We struggled early on with pitching and defense but I was proud how we responded. We were one timely hit away from winning that game,” said Pitman head coach John Acha.
The loss gives the Pride their first CCC loss of the year as they go to 5-1 and Turlock improves to 6-0.
Pitman trailed early and struggled to bounce back after Merced scored three runs in back-to-back innings in the second and third to give them a 6-1 lead.
By the start of the bottom half of the fourth, Pitman trailed 7-1. Two runs were added by Pitman in the fourth and the lead was cut to 7-3.
Finally, in the sixth, Pitman made their last push after three consecutive hits loaded the bases and Brett Hagen finished with an 0-2 double to right center to clear the bases and cut the deficit to 7-6 where eventually the Pride were held till the conclusion of the game.
“MJ Duarte was huge coming in to throw four strong innings to keep Merced at seven runs,” said Acha. “He only gave up a bases loaded sac fly when he came in to relieve Tyler Stout, who the run is credited to.”
Jordan Lavezzo continued his strong offense with two doubles and two runs scored today. Lavezzo along with Mac Cabero and Hagen each had two hits apiece for the game.
“Merced made a couple great plays on us that stopped some rallies and that's just baseball,” Acha added. “We'll regroup and be ready to get back after it for Buhach.”
Turlock clinched their third straight win of the week in three games and go to 13-5 overall after topping GV.
The Bulldogs scored in the first inning to start things off and added a five-run rally in the third to eventually take the lead for good.
Bryce Lockermiller started for Turlock and went 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking and striking out three.
Jacob Becerra came in to relief and tossed a perfect shutout 1 and 1/3 innings while striking out one.
Turlock scored their seventh and final run in the fourth while GV added three runs in the sixth.
Case Pacheco of Turlock was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Kayleb Becerra was 1-for-2 with an RBI and Casey Carr was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Altogether, six different players had at least one RBI for the game.
GV amassed eight hits while Turlock had seven. GV also committed four errors while Turlock's defense had no errors for the game.
“Good effort by Bryce Lockmiller and a save by Jacob Becerra. Good team win,” de la Motte added.
The next game for Turlock will be at home against Atwater at 4 p.m. Friday.
Pitman's next game will be at home against Buhach Colony at 4 p.m. Friday.