When Turlock's own Jaime Trujillo started the Turlock Pitbulls recreation baseball team nearly four years ago his goal was simple—to allow kids to play baseball after high school and college.
“Sometimes kids think they are done, or there is just softball but there is baseball and I have a story with so many local kids in the area playing on this team,” said Trujillo.
The team currently boasts nine locals who used to attend Pitman or Turlock High.
The age range is 14 and over, but Trujillo currently has players from ages 19-23 on this year’s roster.
The team also includes players from Riverbank, Atwater, Central Valley, Hughson and Golden Valley high schools.
Since they began four years ago, the Pitbulls have always been the youngest squad in the 209 Mexican-American Baseball League, and that seems to be the same story this year.
So far, the team is holding a 6-3 record but coach Trujillo is confident that his team will be able to push for a playoff run.
“We’ve been making the playoffs every year and, of course, when college comes, some of my pitchers go and many go out of state or within and when they come back they are here,” said Trujillo. “There is a winter league as well.”
The season runs from April till Sept. 10, with all the games taking place on Sundays from the Pitman High field.
Trujillo wants to promote the team in the community and its opportunity for baseball enthusiasts to keep playing after high school.
“At times, there were kids not signing to a college after high school or anything like that, but some of the kids still wanted to play,” said Trujillo. “That is what I am here for, that is why we have this team... to play baseball. We currently can only hold 20 on the roster. We are trying to keep them from trouble and have something to do as well and also help their drive to play at the next level.”
Another key factor for Trujillo was keeping the local talent together.