The Turlock High baseball team extended its lengthy winning streak to an amazing 24 games after defeating Atwater on Friday at home 3-1. The Bulldogs are 3-0 against the Falcons this year and continue their undefeated streak in the Central California Conference at 14 (24-1 overall, 14-0 CCC).
“Well the kids (Atwater) came out to play, but our pitching has been carrying us,” Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte said. “Honestly, we have been slumping the last two weeks at the plate, taking good pitches and not many great things happening offensively. But hopefully we’ll snap out of it next week.”
Turlock's pitching has been great all year as the ‘Dogs have only allowed 37 runs in 25 games, while they have put up over 180 runs against opponents proving the consistent offense and shut-down defense. As a team, Turlock is hitting over .334 with an on-base percentage of .459.
“We got a lot of seniors so they’re a little more mature, they have done a pretty great job of not thinking too much of themselves,” De la Motte said. “We have been great, but pitching has been great overall, and our defense has been good...they have been keeping it pretty level headed.”
The Bulldogs were only able to accumulate four hits for the game, three of which were extra base hits. Adam Groesbeck, Tyler Murphy and Austin Bush each added a double for the game. Bush and Groesbeck each drove in a run, in the second and third innings respectively, as they scored two of the team's only three runs for the game.
The third run for the ‘Dogs came in the fourth inning when Gavin Gaffaney reached home plate after an error throw from Atwater’s second baseman.
Murphy had another outstanding start with an even better finish as he tossed five innings, allowed no runs, and struck out 10, averaging two strikeouts per inning. He has over nine wins for the year and 75 strikeouts in only 55 innings of work.
“We just have to keep pitching well to continue the success and our defense has been great, getting the offense cranked back up,” De la Motte said. “We can beat anybody, but anybody can beat us, we’ve realized that even though we have won so many in a row. I am very proud of our team.”
With one league game remaining, crosstown rival Pitman High is the only thing that stands in the way of a perfect conference year for the Bulldogs. That matchup is set for 4 p.m. Wednesday at Turlock High.
“These kids want to keep playing; they don’t want it to end in the first game or two in the playoffs,” De la Motte said.