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Coyotes jump out to lead, hold on for win
Denair High’s Brett Arnold fires a pitch in a game against Turlock Christian High on Tuesday afternoon. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
DENAIR — The start couldn’t have been more sweeter.
Denair High slugger Brian Willis had two runners on base in the Coyotes’ showdown against Turlock Christian High on Tuesday afternoon. And on the first pitch that he saw in the game, he swung his bat and the ball went sailing toward the leftfield fence.
It was gone.
That provided three much-needed runs, but was it enough? The Coyotes didn’t think it was, but they still managed to pull off a 3-2 win over their Southern League rival at the Denair High baseball field. The Denair players (2-1) let out a sigh after the game, knowing how tight it was throughout the afternoon.
“It was a good win for us,” Denair coach Aaron Delworth said. “But yeah, we escaped with one.”
In the first inning, Willis went to the plate with Trevor Werner and Dylan Souza in scoring position. Willis noticed the opposing pitcher, Turlock Christian’s John Westburg, liked to throw strikes on his first pitches.
So Willis swung on his first try, and it became his first home run of the season, providing the Coyotes with a 3-1 lead after an RBI single by Turlock Christian’s Trevor Starn in the previous frame.
“He was throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes,” Willis said, “so that’s why I swung at the very first one. And I just hit it.”
The Eagles (1-2 SL) kept it interesting in the fourth, when Geoffrey Retemeyer provided his own homer off of Brett Arnold to cut the deficit to 3-2 with plenty of left to play.
But Arnold kept it cool on the mound, as he finished with six strikeouts and allowed six hits. In the final inning, he forced the Eagles to three quick outs, including sitting one batter down.
“We’re still going to compete,” Turlock Christian coach Jon Valenti said. “This game, I’m not worried about. We still have plenty of games to go. I think this team is still capable of finishing the job.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.