Turlock High’s baseball team picked no better way to end their regular season home finale then with a Central California Conference title clinch by trouncing last place Golden Valley, 13-0, in Wednesday’s mercy-rule win.
Seven of the ‘Dogs players managed to get at least one hit after scoring four runs in the first three innings.
After a nine-run inning in the bottom of the fourth, the Bulldogs lead had extended over ten and the mercy rule was called after Nick Gonzales tossed the fifth and final inning.
“We didn’t expect to come out and win like this. Every time we play these guys it is always a nail biter so give our guys some credit that was their best pitcher and we hit pretty good,” Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte said. “Our seniors have worked hard for the last four years, they deserve a championship, so the win clinched it for us, so we can breathe a little easier.”
Turlock is now 12-1 in the CCC and are currently riding a four game winning streak that has seen the Bulldogs score an average of over 10 runs in their last four contests since losing to Tracy in the Windemuth tournament last week.
The ‘Dogs have now won back-to-back CCC titles and have only lost one league contest dating back to last season.
Starting pitcher Blake Cederlind picked up his seventh win of the season after tossing four shutout innings and allowed only one hit. Cederlind is 7-0 and has an ERA of 0.94 with 37 innings of work this season thus far and proved his ability after another phenomenal start on Wednesday.
“Blake pitched well even though it was a tight strike zone,” said de la Motte. “These guys expect to win and that is a good thing. You don’t take it for granted and just show up to win but our guys have done a great job overall. It’s a great way for our seniors to end on a high note in their home field.”
The strike zone was so tight that a Turlock assistant coach remarked on a call from the home plate umpire and he had none of it and told the coach to exit the game — and he did — just before arguing his case.
Austin Bush broke the game wide open in the bottom of the first after driving in Brett Cumberland on an RBI double to add on the first score of the game followed by a Jon Temple RBI to score Bush.
In the bottom of the third, Bush would RBI double — again — as Cumberland scored the third run as the ‘Dogs had built a steady 4-0 lead.
Bush has reached base safely at least once in all but two contests this year, including 10 out of the last 11 contests, with a .420 average and has jacked up two home-runs.
After adding on two more runs in the fourth to extend the lead to six, Nick Benson came up with one out and bases loaded and on a 2-2 pitch drove the ball opposite field over the right fielders head to put his team up 10-nil.
But just before the inning would end, another bases loaded opportunity would come for the offense and it was Cederlind this time who slammed a deep base clearing triple for the icing on the cake.
“Yeah, he [Benson] hit well in the past tournament we had and what a way to finish his home career with a grand slam. He has been swinging the bats really well lately and I am proud of him. He used to be a skinny little freshman like a lot of these guys and now he’s a big strong senior with a bright future ahead of him and for all our seniors,” de la Motte said about Benson’s grand slam.
Turlock will travel to Atwater to face off against the third place Falcons in another CCC matchup at 4 p.m. Friday.
“We got a real nice run the last few years and we want to get all our guys pitching well heading into the playoffs. We won the league championship today but we want to keep the foot on the gas pedal and keep playing well heading into the playoffs, not slow it down and try to pick it up again,” de la Motte added.