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Pitman pounded by Enochs to open CCAL play
Pitman baseball
Pitman reliever Ryder Scott delivers a strike in the second inning of the Pride’s 10-1 league-opening loss to the Enochs Eagles on Monday afternoon at Pitman High School (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

The Pitman High baseball team experienced its second straight loss of nine runs or more on Monday afternoon when they lost 10-1 to the visiting Enochs High (Modesto) in each squad’s first game of Central California Athletic League competition.

Not only was Monday’s game — a battle of teams with matching 4-5 non-conference records — another lopsided loss, but it was also the second consecutive game in which the Pride found themselves trailing by multiple runs after the first inning. Starting pitcher Jackson Way, a right-handed sophomore, only retired one of the six Eagles batters he faced. He walked four of them, including two with the bases loaded.

Commanding the strike zone has been a challenge for most of the Pride’s starters, which has forced head coach Andy Walker to call upon junior Ryder Scott to pitch multiple innings of relief in the Pride’s last two games. Scott was one of the few bright spots Monday, as he struck out four of the first five batters he faced, while also forcing a flyout.

“He's done a really good job stepping into that role. We have a lot of confidence in bringing him into that role,” Walker said of Scott. “It's hard to come in a bases loaded, no out situation. That's a lot of pressure at any level, but he's shown that he's capable of handling that and he's really done much more than we've asked out of them, to be honest. We just need more guys to step up and provide that caliber of play for us to have more team success, but he's done great.”

Like the other arms, Scott eventually lost command and was unable to consistently pound the strike zone in the fourth inning, which led to another bases loaded walk before Davian Garcia’s two-run double extended the deficit to 4-0.

Senior reliever Justin Mayfield had similar struggles, giving up three runs in his lone inning of relief. Friday’s starter, Noah Cervantes entered in the fifth, tossing a pair of scoreless innings giving up an RBI single in the seventh.

The Pride’s lone run came in the sixth inning against Enochs starter Kannon Sharpe when senior Aiden Sanchez tagged him for an RBI single. It was the lone blemish of Sharpe’s six innings of work. He punched out 10 Pitman batters while giving up just the one run on seven hits and a pair of walks.

“Their pitcher today is really good. He's arguably the best pitcher in the league,” said Walker. “We didn't put a lot of pressure on them. We didn't make them face a lot of adversity, which made the day pretty easy on them.”

The rematch is slated for today at 4 p.m. in Modesto while the regular season series finale between the two teams wraps up Thursday at 4 p.m. back at Pitman High.

“We’ve just got to get better fast,” Walker said of his young roster of 16, with just two with previous varsity experience. “They've shown they're capable of doing it. Their level of focus and preparation needs to be top notch every day to have a successful outcome. We've proven when we've done that, we've been good…We can be a good team with good quality baseball, but it just hasn’t been consistent.”