Turlock and Pitman High will meet on the baseball field in a game to watch, before league play even starts after both squads notched back-to-back wins in this year’s Pedretti Tournament earning a spot in the championship round.
The Pride took on the heavily favored and always strong Lincoln High on Thursday, winning by one run. Pitman came back into Friday’s game with the same mentality, only this time all was clicking for the offense and defense as they managed to triumph over Sonora High, 9-5, and roll into the championship game.
“Winning the tournament is always a good thing to segment your way into the season. Turlock is a good team but we will challenge them as much as possible,” Pitman head coach John Acha said.
The Pride were able to topple Lincoln High on Thursday after junior Zach Wichman hit a clutch RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning to put his team up by one.
From there on it was sophomore Matt Carrigg, who closed the game as he tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings.
In Friday’s game, the Pride found themselves down early—again—but a two-run single by Dakota Spillers put his team up 2-1 in the next half inning. By the end of the inning, the Pride had gone up 4-1.
Wichman started the game for the Pride as he tossed five innings, allowed only one run and struck out four.
After Wichman was subbed out, Sonora retaliated by scoring four more runs, but that only put them within two.
Two more runs would come the next half inning after Carrigg doubled to right field and scored Colton Evans, and from there on the pitching and defense were able to hold off the Wildcats till the end.
The ‘Dogs snuck away with a 3-2 win against Lodi High, who outhit them 10-3, but seven errors made by Lodi and none from Turlock was the difference in the game.
“They gave us some freebies, but we didn’t give them any. So we got one that maybe we shouldn’t have, but our pitchers did a great job throwing strikes,” Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte said.
After a struggling with the bats in the first game, the Bulldogs returned on Friday against Oakdale with hopes of turning things around offensively and they did.
It was the Mustangs who cracked the game wide open in the second inning, but that is all they would get as the pitching from Turlock was able to close out the game.
Offensively, it was Austin Bush, Cody Cornell and Jon Temple who each added an RBI for the ‘Dogs in the bottom of the third, which proved to break the game wide open.
The Bulldogs managed to play a complete game as they outhit the Mustangs 5 to 3, while the defense committed only one error leading the way into the title game against the Pride of Pitman.
“We have a lot of guys picking up the pieces from last year,” de la Motte said. “We got a big hit and they committed some errors and we capitalized. Our pitching was strong again, we had a couple key hits and played great defense—that’s kind of going to be our story this year.”
The Pedretti championship game is set for 1:30 p.m. at Turlock today.
“It’s a third game in three days, so it should be fun and we're looking forward to it, especially it being against Pitman who we play at least three times in a year,” de la Motte added.