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Freshman key to Turlock clinching finals berth
Nick Voumard pic
Turlock High freshman pitcher Nick Voumard pitched a stellar complete game against Beyer High to help the Bulldogs to a 3-1 win.
With the Turlock High baseball team facing elimination in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South Tournament, coach Mark de la Motte had a crucial decision to make on who to start on the mound for Wednesday night's contest versus Beyer High. He went with the obvious choice.
Freshman Nick Voumard?
Not only did he make the spot-start for the Bulldogs against a Beyer team that went 21-10 and took home the Modesto Metro Conference crown, Voumard made his coach look like a genius.
The freshman tossed a complete game, giving up only three hits and one earned run in a 3-1 win, helping Turlock advance to the finals against St. Mary's, with the game having been rain delayed from Thursday to Tuesday at 5 p.m. at UOP's Klein Family Field.
"I was a little worried about Nick being a freshman in a big playoff game," said Bulldogs shortstop Kevin Kramer, who played against international competition last summer for the USA U-16 Team. "I wouldn't want to be a freshman pitching in such a big game but I was confident that he could get the job done and he pitched a really good game."
Before Wednesday, Voumard had never started at the varsity level, only making two appearances out of the bullpen. In a pressure-packed first start, Voumard admitted that he had a few butterflies.
"I was a little nervous," he said. "I knew that if I hit my spots, I knew I had a great defense out there and I would be fine."
Voumard was called up from the junior varsity team during the final week of the regular season to get a little bit of varsity experience before the postseason. He made his varsity debut on May 14 against Atwater High, throwing one inning in relief and picking up the save in the Central California Conferenc finale.
"I wanted to make sure my teammates had a lot of confidence in me," Voumard said in facing Beyer on Wednesday. "I didn't want them to think that I was going to be the freshman that comes in and ruins everything. I just want to come in and do what I do."
What he did was give Turlock and de la Motte an idea of what to expect for the next three years.  
"He (Voumard) was more confident than I was," de la Motte jokingly said. "I was hoping for a couple good innings and he was just on from the start. He stepped up and really pitched a great game."