By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Pitman pummels Modesto for undefeated start
Pitman baseball 1
Pitman's Drew Walker pitches against Modesto High Friday. Walker pitched 5 no-hit innings while striking out 13 batters. Pitman won 12-0 (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Two games, two dominant victories for the Pitman High baseball squad as they begin their 2023 CCAL campaign. On Monday and Friday, the Pride faced off against the Panthers of Modesto High, where they took care of business in five innings in each game, 10-0 on Monday and 12-0 on Friday.

While it was the Pride offense that helped them go home a bit early on both days, dominant pitching is what stood out the most, particularly in the eyes of head coach Andy Walker.

In Monday’s game, senior Brandon Leon took the mound, where he proceeded to toss all five innings, striking out eight while allowing just four hits. On Wednesday, it was the Drew Walker show, as he threw five no-hit frames while striking out 13.

“Our pitchers are just outstanding,” Walker said. “If those guys attack the strike zone against anybody, it makes it hard on opposing hitting. Both those guys did a great job on that and made it easy on us, honestly.”

Pitman baseball 2
Pitman's Dominic Damante celebrates after stealing 2nd base during the game against Modesto High Friday (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

For Drew Walker, it was all about his fastball, securing all 13 of his punchouts with the pitch.

“For me, the fastball was working, and it was all about throwing strikes and pitching for outs,” he said.

On Monday, runs were aplenty throughout the game, while Friday saw the Pride save their offense for one inning, for the most part. Friday’s matchup was actually knotted at zero heading into the home half of the third inning. When the bottom of the third came around, the Pride exploded for 11 of their 12 runs. A combination of base hits and errors from the Modesto defense was a recipe for disaster for the Panthers. Though almost everybody in the Pitman lineup reached base by game’s end, it was senior Dominic Damante who led the way going 2 for 2 with 3 hits, 3 RBI and a walk. Walker also helped his own cause on the mound as he picked up an RBI single in the monster third inning.

“Man, we just all get along so well with a lot of us being seniors, and we have a lot of bats that are back from last year, but I’m exciting because we still have guys who are just heating up and picking it up,” Drew Walker said. “We’re going to be facing some tougher pitching, but I’m excited to see what this offense can do.”

As Walker alluded to, the competition will only get tougher with the defending CCAL co-champion Pride, who are now 2-0 in league play and 5-3-1 overall, set to face Downey for three games next week. The Knights have a 4-4 overall and 1-1 league record in the young 2023 season.

“In this league and in baseball in general, anybody can beat anybody on any day, so like the games against these guys (Modesto) this week, those are big games against Downey,” Coach Walker said.

The three games will take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. each day. Two of the three games will be taking place in Modesto, with the Pride once again be on their home field for the Wednesday game.