Fresh off a first-round playoff win, the Pitman Pride baseball team picked up where they left off — only this time it was Brett Hagen on the mound and the junior took advantage of his opportunity to take down No. 4 Bear Creek from the University of Pacific's Klein Family Field.
Thursday couldn't have gone better for Pitman in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I South playoffs after Hagen pitched a complete game and allowed just one run while the No. 5 Pride rallied late in the game to secure the 5-1 victory and a meeting with No. 1 Tracy.
“Brett was a competitor today,” said Pitman head coach John Acha, “great demeanor on the mound. [He] got out of some tough jams in the first and fourth innings. Limiting Bear Creek to one run is a great accomplishment for him.”
“Honestly, my main focus was to go out and give my 110 percent and have trust in my guys behind me to make plays,” said Hagen. “I came out with just a lot of confidence.”
It showed after Hagen got out of an early jam in the first inning.
The Pride offense worked behind him and built an early 2-0 lead after the second inning concluded when Antonio Reyes and Mac Cabero each had an RBI.
“Going up 2-0 really allowed Hagen to settle in,” said Acha.
Hagen continued to deal and keep BC off balance, but the Pride offense stayed stagnant until the seventh inning.
Jack Wheeland led off with a triple, then Reyes was hit-by-pitch and stole second. Cabero drove them both in and Nick Jones ended the rally with an RBI dinger up the middle.
“We fell flat until the seventh,” said Acha. “Then Brett rolled through the seventh to shut the door.”
“My arm felt great today,” said Hagen. “I wasn't really able to get my curveball over consistently in previous outings, but today I was able to locate it pretty well.”
Hagen faced 28 batters, allowed five hits, walked three on one run allowed while striking out seven.
Cabero had three RBI and was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Daniel Fareria was 2-for-3. Jones went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Cole Carrigg was 2-for-4. Reyes was 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI.
“We had a little shakeup in the lineup today and had some players really step up for us when we needed them,” said Acha.
Pitman will next travel back to UOP to take on No. 1 Tracy at 7 p.m. Monday.
“I think we have a very good shot against Tracy,” Hagen added. “A big win today, but we can't be satisfied. I don't know what type of pitching they've seen but I think if Jack Wheeland has his stuff working come Monday, he can give them a run for their money.”