By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hilmar takes advantage of early opportunities
Hilmar baseball 1
Hilmar's Jason Pimentel pitches during the game against Mariposa County Thursday afternoon (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Hilmar’s baseball team got a much-needed win against Mariposa County on Thursday as they try to stay alive in a tight race for the league championship. The Yellowjackets were able to take advantage of a pitcher on short days' rest to put the game away early.

The game was delayed almost an hour as players and coaches were busy drying the field from the rain earlier in the morning. Once the game got started, pitcher Jason Pimentel made easy work in the first inning by only seeing four batters.

Mariposa County was starting a pitcher who threw over 70 pitches just two days ago and took advantage of his worn-out arm. The Yellowjackets threw 10 batters in the inning and scored eight runs. Most of the runs came off of steals and balls, as the pitcher was throwing wild pitches that the catchers had to chase down.

Hilmar baseball 2
Ben Sward slides into home scoring for Hilmar Thursday afternoon during the game against Mariposa County. Hilmar won 14-3 (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

“Jason Pimentel had another good performance on the mound and went the distance,” said head coach Jeff Brown. “We were able to jump on them early in the first inning with their starting pitcher having trouble with his command.  Our offense did a good job of staying in the strike zone and getting into good fastball counts.”

The best hit came off of Lane Cardoso’s second at bat of the inning when he hit a double into center field. The Grizzly pitcher was pulled after ⅓ inning and they were able to finally get out of the inning after that.

The next couple of innings were more evenly matched and Mariposa County scored three runs in the next three innings. They were never really able to get back into it though, because the Yellowjackets scored six in the same time span.

The teams played one more half inning, and the game was called after the top of the fifth. Hilmar took home the 14-3 victory. Pimentel pitched all five innings with five strikeouts and a 2.80 ERA.

Cardoso went 2-3 in the game with a walk and an RBI along with the double. Blake Petree was 1-2 with an RBI as well.

Hilmar has two more games against Ripon left on the schedule. Those games have high stakes because both teams are tied in third-place with Livingston in the Trans Valley League with a record of 6-2. First place is Hughson with a record of 7-1. The first game is May 5 at Hilmar.