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Bulldogs, Pride start Pedretti 1-1
Turlock baseball 2
Turlocks Nick Avila delivers a hard throw during the sixth inning of Fridays 0-2 loss to Lodi at home. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Turlock and Pitman High ended day-two of this year’s Pedretti Tournament with a loss and are 1-1 after Friday’s contest heading into the final day today.

Pitman, which was 3-1 before the tournament began on Thursday, toppled Sierra, 11-6, behind a strong performance on the mound from Nick Jones who allowed only one earned run in 4 and 2/3 innings of work.

Dylan Roberts and Anthony Encalade added three RBI apiece as the Pride went on to score five runs in the sixth to secure their first victory of the tournament and fourth of the season.

“In the first game we had timely hits and they fell and today they didn’t,” said Pitman head coach John Acha. “The second game was a lack of focus and some situations hurt us maybe having a mental lapse on small things that people in the stands couldn’t really see.”

Friday was a different story for the Pride which fell to Gregori, 3-6, after a less fortunate day for the home team which picked up their second loss of the year thus far.

Gregori started off with a blaze after they went up 4-0 in the top of the third.

After Roberts’ RBI sac-fly, Zach Wichman smacked a two-run double to deep center and cut the lead to 3-4 in the bottom of the third, but this would be the only offense provided for the game despite outhitting Gregori, 7 to 5. 

Pitman also found itself with runners in scoring position on numerous occasions but when it mattered, the hits just didn’t find the gap.

“We couldn’t get that one hit we need in a timely manner and they did well, their pitcher threw well but so did Zach our starting guy,” Acha said. “We hit the ball hard but they made good plays and they ended up getting the timely hits.”

Turlock pulled off a late comeback on Thursday afternoon against Oakdale, scoring three runs in the sixth to capture a 6-5 win.

Behind Cody Cornell’s arm, the Bulldogs allowed only one earned run after committing four errors for the game en route to their third win of the year.

In their second contest against Lodi, the Bulldogs met their match getting shut out by the Flames' lefty starting pitcher, Noah Hennecke, leading to the 0-2 loss.

Turlock’s Cornell had two of the team’s three hits for the game as the senior, Hennecke, provided many problems for a Turlock team that is different than prior years.

“We haven’t faced a lefty, not this year and those guys always give us trouble,” Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte said. “We don’t have a superstar, not many do, but we have been fortunate in the past, we have good players and they're scrappy; (they) just need to keep improving for league.”

Friday was without a doubt a pitchers' duel between Hennecke and Turlock starter Nick Avila.

Avila tossed a complete game and allowed only one earned run as he struck out six despite picking up the loss.

After allowing the two runs prior to the fifth inning, Avila managed to retire the final seven batters with consistent pitches.  

“We couldn’t make a whole lot of adjustments with their pitcher but Nick pitched great for us, it was a great pitched game and a clean high school game, only an hour and 40 minutes,” de la Motte said. “Their pitcher shut us down.”

After Lodi went up 2-0, the Bulldogs were scratching away at the opportunity to rally and their chance came in the sixth inning but the window closed quickly.

With two runners on base and only one out, the Bulldogs were hopeful to generate some offense but instead a controversial call at second base caused the runner to be out and also the runner at first was called out to end the threat.

Turlock will host Modesto for the third and final day of the Pedretti Tournament at 1:30 p.m. today.

Pitman will conclude the Pedretti Tournament by hosting Sonora at 1:30 p.m. today.

“Tomorrow will be a good test of character, win a solid then fall on your butt, we will see how the kids bounce back and go from there,” Acha said.