A three-game series between two of the best in the Central California Athletic League kicked off on Monday afternoon when Pitman High hosted their crosstown rivals, Turlock High.
Turlock capitalized on multiple two-out rallies, backed by a consistent performance from starting pitcher Garret Fountain, as they left the Pride field with an 8-2 victory to keep their winning streak alive in league.
“We are going to get their (Pitman) best every time we play. It was trying to get our guys to settle down and get with the flow of the game early and not trying to do too much,” said Turlock head coach Sean Gilbert. “I thought our guys did a good job staying in it, inning by inning, and getting guys on base. We swung the bats pretty well and have to swing them again Wednesday.”
“At the end of the day, they (Turlock) did more than we did, hits fell for them, and they made the plays they had to make and it was their day at the end of the day,” said Pitman head coach Andy Walker. “I think if we get some hits here and there, it is a different game. But, obviously, they are a great team and have a lot of quality players on their lineup. They are tough outs, really that is what it boils down to.”
The youthful Pitman Pride got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning.
Kade Morris got an RBI after he drove in Dylan Fuller with two outs. Fountain followed up with one of his four in the game.
It took just a few more minutes and the next inning for Turlock to retaliate with more than one run.
Pride sophomore starting pitcher Jay Huerta managed to get two early outs, then Turlock rallied with a pair of outs.
Justin Hines drilled a two-run single to add the first runs for the Bulldogs that made it 2-1. Sophomore Dom Rodriguez followed up with a two-run triple that went to deep center field and the score read 4-1.
One more run was added in the top of the fourth for Turlock when Mason King added an RBI single with two outs yet again.
Two more runs were added in the top of the seventh after Fountain added an RBI followed by a Dalton Linn RBI single which made it 7-1.
Hines added an RBI in the top of the sixth that extended the lead to 8-1.
By the bottom of the seventh inning, Pitman managed to add another run and start a rally, but Fountain, like he was all game, continued to put the batters away with flyouts, ground outs and pop outs.
Mac Cabero added the second and final run for the Pride after smacking an RBI single with two outs that ended the game at 8-2.
Fountain went seven innings and allowed just three hits, two unearned runs, two walks and four strikeouts.
Eight of nine batters had at least one hit for the Turlock Bulldogs.
As a team they finished with 13 hits.
“They are coming out to compete and we are going to throw strikes, it starts right there, keep battling,” said Gilbert.
Turlock improves to 12-4 overall and 7-0 in CCAL play.
Pitman is 6-8 overall and 5-2 in the CCAL.
“We are very young, but our guys battled and I told them I was proud of the way they represent our program. They did that well and I am proud of them for that and we have young guys stringing quality at-bats and competing their best and that is all we can do, so we will get there,” Walker added.
Turlock will host Pitman for the second of a three-game series at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“They have made a lot of progress through the year and all we can ask them is their best effort,” Walker added.