Pitman High faced off against Tokay High in the first round of the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section Baseball playoffs at Zupo Field in Lodi on Monday. The Pride shutout the Tigers, 7-0, and will advance on to the next round for the first time since being knocked out of the tournament in the first round the last two years.
“We made the playoffs three years in a row now, but this is the first time we are not one and out, one and done, so that feels good,” Pitman head coach John Acha said. “It’s kind of nice when you come into the playoffs because everybody is even ...and they know we can compete against anybody any given day.”
With the victory against the Tigers, the Pride have won three of their last four games and have scored five or more runs in their wins.
“We don’t have that one guy that carries us through the whole year, we just have guys that step it up each and every day,” Acha said.
The Pride scored their first run in the top of the second inning after Zach Gurr hit an RBI single and scored Jordan Gonzalez. The game was put out of reach in the top of the fourth when an Alex Sniezek RBI was followed by a Dakota Spillers Grand Slam that drove in Sniezek, Gurr and Armando Moreno. Brennan Hauser rounded all the way from first to home to drive in the last run after a seventh inning error was made by the Tigers.
“Who said the number nine hitter couldn’t hit for power,” exclaimed Dakota Spillers just after cracking a game breaking grand slam in the top of the fourth.
“Dakota has been our two, seven, six and today I put him in that ninth spot hoping he would turn that lineup over, and sure enough he does,” Acha said. “I mean our nine hitter hits a grand slam, and that’s the kind of year it’s been, you know?”
Jordan Gonzalez was lights out from the mound as he picked up the win and tossed 109 pitches over a six inning stretch and allowed only two hits, walked five and struck out six. He was relieved by Trevor Chaney in the final inning to close out the game.
“Taking good quality at bats, then when you have a guy like Jordan Gonzalez who just goes out there and shoves the way he does, it definitely helps with your confidence,” Acha said. “I think the last couple weeks we have been playing good, playing hard and they have believed that [we] can play against anybody.”
Armando Moreno and Alex Sniezek both went 2-for-3 and Dakota Spillers went 1-for-3 with a grand slam to add to the teams total of eight hits for the game.
“It’s been like that all year, feeling who is hot where and when, and where we feel comfortable that’s the team we are,” Acha said.
The Pride will face off against Beyer High in the second round of playoffs on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the University of Pacific baseball field.
“If we go out there and play the way we can do and have, we can compete with anybody,” Acha said.