Denair High starting pitcher Trevor Lovelace wasn't going to be denied a victory in Monday's non-league meeting against Turlock Christian High.
It was a damp final two innings as the rain began to fall consistently at Pedretti Park, but that didn't stop Lovelace from picking up the victory while tossing a complete game and allowing no earned runs in the 7-1 victory.
“Denair played great. Their pitcher did great as well against us,” said TC head coach James Burbank. “They (Denair) showed up and we didn't. Hats off to Denair, they showed up ready to play and win.”
“Lovelace, I thought pitched near to a perfect game,” said Denair coach Robert Moore. “He was really economical and took care of the bottom a lot and I thought we played clean defense as well; everybody had a great day.”
The only error committed by Denair turned into TC's sole run scored by Markie Delgadillo in the bottom of the fifth.
Other than that, Denair played clean and consistent while TC made a handful of errors once again coming off a tough loss and it lingered.
“These guys came out and just went through the motions. I told them we need to go out ready to play or this is going to happen,” said Burbank.
The first two runs were scoreless then Blake Davis of Denair finally put the first run up and gave his team the early 1-0 lead.
TC was held in check by Lovelace before Denair added a pair of runs in the fourth, followed by another run in the top of the fifth to make it 4-0.
Liam Jones started for TC and went 3 and 2/3 innings before Delgadillo came in to relieve him and finished with a third inning pitched.
Once Delgadillo crossed home plate, the lead was cut to 4-1, but a runner was left in scoring position and Denair added two more runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 6-1.
“At the plate, I thought what we did differently was situational hitting and everybody did their part,” said Moore. “We moved guys over, getting guys in with outs and that gave us runs to get comfortable till the end and Trevor just finished it off.”
The rain began to pour by the sixth and it never stopped as the dark clouds loomed over the town of Turlock.
Lovelace allowed just four hits in his complete game effort, along with two walks and six strikeouts.
As a team, the Coyotes managed 10 hits and three walks with three stolen bases.
Denair snaps a six-game losing streak and goes to 7-7-1 overall for the year with just six league games remaining. Denair is second to last in league so far with an SAL record of 2-6. Only Delhi has a worse record at 0-8, while first place is Mariposa (7-1).
Blake Davis was 4-for-4 with a walk and scored three runs. JT Smith was 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI and scored a run.
“I think what this does is gives us confidence that we can do this against anybody because we pitched well and gives us momentum going into the next game,” said Moore. “I think if we play like this, the way we can, especially against our competitors we have coming down the stretch.”
TC goes to 7-2-1 overall before continuing CCAA play. The Eagles lost in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
“We need more intensity is what it boils down to…I told them it's okay to make a mistake with 100 percent effort and going full speed, but not if you’re lacking that intensity and no hustling.”
The next game for TC will be on the road at Brookside Christian at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Denair will next travel to take on the Wildcats at Waterford High at 4 p.m. April 25.