The start of the 32nd Annual Atch Pedretti Tournament fared better for the Turlock High Bulldogs than the conclusion, who started the tourney with a six-run win over Sonora on Wednesday, followed by two losses on Thursday at the hands of Gregori and Sierra.
“We played three games in two days after practicing for about two months, so I am thrilled that we got to play some games and it’s something to build on,” said Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte.
In Wednesday's opening game, Turlock went ahead after the first inning, scoring five runs, followed by another run in the second to go up 6-0 heading into the third.
Blaine Weber picked up the win for the Bulldogs and Tate Soderstrom tallied three RBI for the game.
Turlock went into the second game with hopes of another successful outcome, but things came burning down early after facing Gregori and starting pitcher Matt Dallas.
Dallas also went 3-for-4 and added a pair of RBI.
“The highlight of that game against Gregori was that they hit the ball well,” said de la Motte. “We didn't play spectacularly well and we struggled with pitching early on, but they hit the ball real well.”
Gregori added 12 hits while Turlock committed four errors for the game.
Gregori took a 3-0 lead after the top of the first then Turlock added a pair but it wasn't enough to overcome the offense of Gregori, which scored a run in five of seven innings to make it 11-4.
“We had inexperience everywhere and it showed even though we have our four starters, that was pretty much it for that game,” said de la Motte. “We just need to keep improving.”
Things improved in the next game when the Bulldogs met Sierra, but after tacking on a run in the first two innings, the Bulldogs let the lead slip away and were outscored 6-2 after the third inning and left 15 runners on-base.
The 'Dogs also hit four and walked five in the process.
“Not a good recipe for success unfortunately,” said de la Motte. “We had some mistakes, but we left so many runners on-base in that last game and just struck out in critical situations and didn't put the ball in play with not the most dominating pitcher.”
After going down by two in the top of the fourth, Turlock notched a pair of runs in the bottom half to tie it at 4-4.
Sierra scored a run in the fifth and sixth innings and held Turlock from crossing home plate for the remainder of the game.
"I think we all would like to see our play become more consistent,” de la Motte added. “We need to have better at bats and throw more strikes. We need to throw more accurately. More strikes. We need to hit when guys change speeds and should take time to adjust.”
Turlock will get a chance at redemption against Sierra when they host the team at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.