It’s been a victorious start to this year’s Windemuth Tournament for Pitman High. After splitting games with Atwater High to mark the mid-point of the Central California Conference season, the Pride enjoyed a break from league play on Monday and Tuesday with games against Modesto and Beyer High.
Pitman blasted the Panthers 11-2 on Monday before battling with the Patriots on Tuesday, walking away with a 5-2 win.
Tuesday’s matchup began with some difficulty for Pitman, specifically for its pitcher Derek Finney. Finney walked two batters, hit another, and allowed two runs in the first inning to give Beyer an early lead. The Patriots maintained their lead for the next couple innings, but a resilient Finney managed to keep any additional runs from hitting the scoreboard until his team had the chance to respond at the plate.
“Once he settled in after the first inning he got them off balance,” Pitman’s head coach John Acha said. “He battled back so that was big for him. It showed maturity and it will help when we enter league again.”
Finney’s improved pitching paved the way for Pitman to tie the game in the third inning. After Wyatt Clapper crossed home plate on a walk, Jordan Gonzalez stepped up and hit a ground ball to cross Armando Moreno and make it 2-2.
Beyer again shot itself in the foot in the fourth inning when an overthrown ball from its catcher to third baseman sailed and allowed Byron Baker and Clapper to notch two more runs for the Pride. Just like that Pitman was in the lead, 4-2.
“We knew we were going to have to make all our plays and it was going to come down to us capitalizing on their errors,” Acha said.
Dakota Spillers provided Pitman’s final run of the day when a sixth inning hit brought Moreno home.
Pitman now faces Downey High in day three of the Windemuth Tournament. Today’s game will begin at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Knights’ home field.
“Hopefully we can jump on them early,” Acha said. “We need to stay on it, stay consistent, and get some quality at bats. If we do that and keep scrapping we’ll be okay.”