Head coach Jeff Hayes may not say it, but his teams are always chasing and striving to best their previous performance.
In this case, they are chasing the program’s top finish back in the 2008-2009 season when they reached the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section Finals.
To get there, they first had to take care of No. 13 Stagg High in Monday’s opening round match in the D-II SJS playoffs, as No. 4 Pitman handled them with ease after a home, 8-1 victory.
“Considering we came back from spring break today, they played remarkably well,” said Hayes, who prior to the 2017 season had taken four years off. “We were slotted as the #4 seed in the tournament. The match against Stagg was not much of a challenge but things will get exponentially more difficult from here. We play number five seed Bear Creek at home on Friday and get a chance to see if we deserve our spot.”
Before seeing if they earned their spot in the postseason, Pitman had to make sure they reached the second round.
Only No. 6 singles player Brennan Rodenberg picked up a loss for the Pride in their first-round playoff matchup as a team.
Pitman won eight of the nine matches in straight sets.
Pitman’s No. 1 singles player Adrian Rosero won his match 6-0, 6-0. His brother at No. 2, Andrew Rosero followed up with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
At No. 3 Royden Laia picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win. Then No. 4 singles, Marcos Mendoza of Pitman won 6-1, 6-1.
No. 5 Brandon Beyers of Pitman came out on top in a shutout 6-0, 6-0.
At No. 1 doubles, Pitman won 6-0, 6-1 then they followed up at No. 2 doubles with a 6-2, 6-3 win. Their No. 3 doubles won 6-0, 6-0.
Following their first win in the playoffs, Hayes feels like Friday’s quarterfinal round will tell a lot.
Only the top eight seeds are left in the bracket after Monday’s results.
“It will likely be a tight match on Friday,” said Hayes. “One of my teams made it to the finals one year... in the '08-09 D-I SJS. So, it’s been a minute, 10 years exactly.”
That Section title match took place back in May 19, 2009 against Davis where the Pride fell 9-0.
“We lost to Armijo in the 2nd round in '10 & '11... and ran into Davis again in '12,” said Hayes. “We lost in the second-round last year and we have the second round again on Friday so we will see how it goes.”
No. 4 Pitman will next host No. 5 Bear Creek at 4 p.m. Friday.