Turlock High’s insanely successful 2013 baseball campaign came to a close on Wednesday with a 9-4 victory over rival Pitman High in the final Central California Conference game of the season. The Bulldogs fended off a late comeback rally from the Pride to become the program’s first team to finish with an undefeated league record—an added bonus to their CCC championship and a consecutive win streak record 25 games strong.
“Right now, I’m relieved it’s over. But I’m proud of the guys,” Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte said. “We’ve been working on their attitudes and work habits and they really responded well.
“For the guys, the excitement was about going undefeated in league. It’s never happened by Turlock, and I don’t think by anyone in the CCC,” de la Motte added.
Turlock scored early off a Brett Cumberland RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. The Bulldogs rode the one-run lead into the bottom of the fourth inning, where an Austin Bush RBI double and a Gavin Gaffaney RBI single extended their lead to 3-0.
Pitman wasn’t out of the game, however, and showed its fighting spirit in the top of the fifth inning with a tying, three-run effort. A sacrifice bunt from Brennan Hauser and a subsequent wide overthrow to first base from Turlock pitcher Nick Voumard led to Pitman’s first run as Zach Gurr crossed the plate. The score was followed by a pair of RBIs from Jordan Gonzalez and Byron Baker.
Turlock answered back in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly ball from Tyler Murphy that scored Cameron Matsumura only to have the game tied once again in the top of the sixth off a Matt Carrigg RBI single.
“For us to go down 3-0 and tie it up twice, the guys showed a lot of heart being able to bounce back,” Pitman head coach John Acha said. “It was very encouraging.”
“They kept coming; we couldn’t shake them,” de la Motte said. “They’re a playoff team, so it was good to play a playoff caliber team and get tested. Hopefully, it wakes us up a little bit.”
On defense, Voumard started on the hill for Turlock while Trevor Chaney assumed pitching duties for Pitman. Voumard pitched six innings, recorded six strikeouts, and allowed two earned runs before being relieved by Dakota Edwards. Chaney pitched five innings, recorded two strikeouts, and allowed four runs before being relieved by Carrigg.
Despite the loss, Pitman made it into the post-season and will enter as the CCC’s third seed. The Pride will play on the road against Tokay High on Monday.
“Turlock was running away with league so we just focused on making a run at the playoffs,” Acha said. “We knew it was in our hands.”
Turlock enters the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs as the first seed from the CCC and is set to play either Enochs or Lincoln High at home on Wednesday.
“We need to put the season behind us because we’re starting fresh,” de la Motte said.