Just before heading into a lengthy spring break that includes their annual trip to San Luis Obispo for a highly touted tournament, the Pitman Pride varsity baseball team had to square off against Lincoln of Stockton at home on Wednesday.
Lincoln had just fallen to Turlock High two days prior and were looking to rally, while the Pride were on a win streak and kept it rolling after a close 10-7 ball game secured their fifth consecutive victory.
“So far, I am really happy with the way things have gone,” said Pitman’s first year head coach Andy Walker. “We have experienced a little bit of everything. We’ve been able to win those one-run games, and have won big and some tight games, so overall, I am really happy with where we are at. We’ve been throwing the ball really well and playing good defense.”
In 10 games played so far, the Pride’s record stands at 7-3 and it came in a variety of ways.
Five of those games were decided by one run, while the Pride won four of them.
In the past four games prior to Wednesday’s game, the Pride had allowed just three runs.
“We want to keep working hard and keep improving… we have to keep building every game, every practice, get better than the next one and build off what we have,” said Walker.
Three of the Pride’s losses have come at the hands of Gregori, Lodi and Oakdale, the latter two extremely competitive programs.
They avenged their loss to Gregori by winning, 2-1, on March 21 after losing back on March 9, 7-6.
In Wednesday’s game against Lincoln, Pitman struck early.
They notched seven runs in the first two innings alone, going up 7-0.
Three were scored in the first and in the fourth, the team rallied with two outs to add four to the scoreboard.
Senior Brett Hagen drilled an RBI single in the bottom of the second, then Joey Romeo followed up with a two-run double and freshman Jay Huerta finished off the rally with a hard-hit RBI to bring in Romeo.
Lincoln scored seven runs in the final three innings, but Pitman added three security runs in the bottom of the sixth to mark their third double-digit scoring contest of the year.
Pride starter Tyler Stout was effective from the mound after the senior pitched six innings and allowed just two runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.
“I was just doing my thing, practiced hard all week, trusting my defense and pounding the strike zone,” said Stout. “Definitely need to get adjusted to the heat, but other than that I felt good today. I’m confident moving forward, just need to continue working hard all week.”
In the seventh, the Pride got stuck in a pickle after they used three different pitchers.
Nick Tullio checked in after Romeo and Ronnie Rodin allowed five runs combined.
Tullio allowed a hit, a walk and struck out one, allowing no runs and securing the win.
Ten of 11 batters managed to get a hit for Pitman.
Stout and Romeo both went 3-for-4 from the plate and combined for five RBI. Garret Lema was 2-for-3. Tullio, Hagen and Juddy Chapman each added an RBI. Huerta finished with two RBI.
Pitman will compete in the San Luis Obispo Tournament beginning with a game against Templeton at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.