It started with an offensive flurry on Wednesday and ended with steady pressure on Thursday, but the constant in both of Turlock High’s victories over Golden Valley High this week was stingy defense.
The Bulldogs (6-0 CCC) traveled to Merced Wednesday afternoon to face the Cougars (1-5 CCC) in what began as a tight matchup but soon snowballed into a lopsided offensive onslaught. Cameron Matsumura got the ball rolling in the first inning when he stole second and third base before crossing home plate on an overthrow error, but it was Adam Groesbeck who provided the spark that led to a 17-1 victory.
Groesbeck stepped up to the plate in the third inning and hit a two-run homer, returned in the fourth inning and hit a triple with the bases loaded, and marked his final appearance at bat with another two-run homer in the fifth inning. Groesbeck finished with two HRs and 8 RBIs while going three for four at the plate.
“He got up at the right time for us and it was a great day for him individually,” Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte said.
Nick Benson, Tyler Lucas, Tyler Murphy, Luis Mendez, Dakota Edwards, and Jacob Garcia each contributed an RBI while Matsumura provided two. Lucas also contributed from the mound, throwing three strike outs after taking over for Nick Voumard in the fifth inning. Voumard recorded six strike outs of his own during his time on the hill where he allowed only three hits and one third-inning run.
Turlock picked up where it left off on Thursday— this time with ace Murphy on the mound— and proceeded to stifle Golden Valley with consistent pitching. The Bulldogs scored one run in the second inning before the Cougars knotted the score in the top of the fourth inning, but four runs in the bottom of the fourth spurred by a Mendez two-run double knocked the wind out of the visiting team’s sails.
Murphy finished the game with ten strike outs through six innings before Edwards cleaned up in the seventh. Murphy’s Thursday also included an RBI along with Groesbeck and Brett Cumberland who each recorded an RBI in addition to Mendez’ two.
“It gives our guys a lot of confidence to know our pitchers can shut them down,” de la Motte said. “All we need is a few runs, and if we can get more than that, it’s a bonus.”
Turlock is now number one on the Central California Conference standings, a full three games ahead of second place Buhach Colony High. The Bulldogs will take a break from CCC play to participate in the Dick Windemuth Easter Classic April 1-4 before hosting Atwater High on April 10.
“We know there’s a lot of tough games to go and there’s more improving to do, but we’re happy with the great start,” de la Motte said. “This tournament should give our guys a chance at some sharp game time and get us ready for the rest of league.”