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Double losses ends Turlocks diamond dreams
Turlock baseball
Turlock catcher Brett Cumberland takes third base after a solid single moved him over during the semifinal game against Tokay on Wednesday. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The Turlock High Bulldogs season is over.

After falling to Tokay High in the semifinal game of the Division I CIF Sac-Joaquin Section tournament, 2-1 on Wednesday, the Bulldogs came back for a second meeting with St. Mary’s on Thursday at University of Pacific.

This time it was in the consolation bracket of the South bracket with a win or go home situation, but the ‘Dogs just didn’t play up to par as they were crushed from the start and fell after five innings against their always tough opponents, the Rams, in a crushing 12-0 shutout.

“Our guys battled and ran out of gas. They [St. Mary’s] pitched and hit well, we seemed a little bit rundown,” said Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte.

The Rams of St. Mary’s tallied 11 hits for the game as they surged into a five-run rally in the top of the second with two outs against Turlock starting pitcher Nick Gonzales.

With two games in two days, the Bulldogs showed signs of fatigue not only on offense but also on defense after committing five errors and coming up with only three hits for the game.

St. Mary’s starter Evan Fagundes was topping out at 78 miles per hour but the lack of speed seemed to have been throwing the Turlock offense off balance.

A Jed Sprague two-run double extended St. Mary’s lead to 7-0 in the top of the third and after that, the Bulldogs had dug too big of a hole to get out of as it ended their impressive year.

“We did not hit and we were one pitch away from getting out of the second but it was all downhill from there,” de la Motte added.

Turlock ends their season at 23-7 overall in a year where they swept through the Central California Conference and captured their third league title in the past four years.

In the end, coach de la Motte is more than happy with the results.

“We are so proud. They played well and won more games than any four classes have had and I am happy how they came together,” said de la Motte. “We have a good team but we also trained great young men and it was a pleasure coaching kids like that.”

In the game against Tokay Wednesday, the Bulldogs were kept in check despite their strong offensive performance in the previous eight games, tallying at least five runs per game while averaging over 10 runs per game in that span.

Tokay ace Alex Dentoni had another thing in mind as he was able to get out of multiple jams, holding Turlock to one hit in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.

That one hit was a two-out RBI double by Turlock’s Gavin Gaffaney in the second inning that scored Jon Temple, who had walked and stole second base.

But all that run did was pull Turlock within 2-1.

Tokay put up single runs in each of the first two innings with exceptional situational hitting as they rattled Turlock starter Blake Cederlind.

Cederlind gave up a one-out triple in the first to Michael Meinecke, who scored after Bryce Gaddy followed with a chop to second base.

“We must give him [Alex Dentoni] credit though because he pounded the strike zone and they [Tokay] made some great plays and it was good high school baseball,” de la Motte said.

St. Mary’s and Tokay High will meet for the South bracket championship game of the Division I on Friday. St. Mary’s must win two and Tokay only one.