Pitman varsity baseball commenced their three game series with Turlock with an impressive performance from sophomore pitcher Brett Hagen.
The right-handed sophomore controlled the game from the onset, tossing seven innings of shutout baseball on Tuesday and handing the Turlock Bulldogs a 5-0 loss.
“I was just trying to keep my pitches low,” said Hagen, who finished with eight strikeouts in seven innings pitched. “And I wanted to keep my offspeed not over the plate, since guys like Tate hit the ball hard. I just knew I had my great defense behind me and that was all I was worried about.”
“It wasn't our best game of the year, we know we can play better and give them credit, they played well,” said Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte.
Pitman handed Turlock (9-1) their first league loss of the year and improve to 6-4 in the Central California Conference. The game was a must win for the Pride if they hope to stay in contention for the league title.
“I know we have good pitching, just a matter of finding that consistency and putting it all together, game by game,” said Pitman head coach John Acha. “We took advantage of some mistakes and put the ball in play hard to force them to play off.”
Things clicked for Pitman on Tuesday, and for Turlock, the story was different.
The Bulldogs committed four errors for the game and allowed the Pride to tack on five runs for the game, three of them were unearned. Pitman committed no errors.
“We made crucial errors and walked a couple of guys in some spots and that is about it. We came out to compete, but so did they and they were ready. Give them credit, they played well,” said de la Motte.
Offensively, the Pride responded by capitalizing on opportunities early on. After the first inning, Pitman went up 1-0.
“We put the barrel on the ball and we know good things will happen if we do that and we did a good job of that today and hopefully we can piece together some more games like this,” said Acha.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with two runners on, Pitman tacked on two runs when Daniel Fareria was able to lay down a sac-bunt that led to an error at first base, allowing both runs to cross home plate for a 3-0 lead over Turlock starter Damon Treadwell, who went 4 1/3 innings.
Jared Bernardi came in to relief Treadwell and allowed a pair of hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Pitman added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after Anthony Encalade and Matt Carrigg scored to make it 5-0.
Hagen, who was swapped with Nick Jones before the game, continued to deal, going three up and three down in the sixth inning.
Turlock managed to get two hits off Hagen in the seventh, but with two runners on and two outs, Hagen kept his cool and managed to get the groundout for the final out of the game, securing his third win of the year.
“Our intensity was really good today,” said Hagen. “In previous games we went down early and kind of gave up, but today we kind of stayed on top throughout the whole game and got the job done.”
Hagen allowed no runs on five hits and walked one. Fareria of Pitman was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Dylan Roberts had an RBI, Joey Romeo was 1 for 2 and Matt Carrigg and Colton Evans were both 1 for 3.
“A lot of maturity for a sophomore to come out in a big game and be clutch,” said Acha. “He has a lot of friends in the other dugout and knows the importance of this game and for him to be that focused and poised — very impressed and happy.”
Turlock's Peyton Dunseth went 2 for 3. Tate Soderstrom, Cody Steeley and Treadwell each had a hit.
Pitman is still in the hunt in the CCC after the win and will continue their series with Turlock on Thursday.