The Central California Conference is making waves in this year's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. Pitman High is one of three CCC teams advancing to the final four, after the Pride defeated Beyer, 7-4, at Klein Field at University of Pacific on Thursday. Pitman joins crosstown rivals Turlock and Buhach Colony in the semi-finals.
“It just goes to show that you work hard throughout the year and don’t give up, and you get hot at the right time and then anything can happen,” Pitman head coach John Acha said. “These guys have been playing well and hopefully they can continue to do that.”
The Pride have won four of their last five games, put up four or more runs in each of those games, and have maintained a consistent offense all year. Their only loss in that span came to top seeded Turlock High, who have not lost a game in 26 straight this year.
“We start fresh from playoffs, 1-0, whoever takes advantage of other teams' mistakes can win, capitalizing because everyone is good,” Acha said.
Trevor Chaney tossed a complete game, walked only two and struck out seven as he picked up the win against Beyer for his team.
“In the playoffs it all comes down to pitching and defense, and our pitching has been so great,” Acha said. “Both Trevor and Jordan (Gonzalez) have been great and it is a lot of fun to watch this entire team become so great and become better. It is nice to see them and the team has really come along.”
The Pride's first run came in the top of the first after a sac-fly hit from Gonzalez drove in Matt Carrigg. The next inning, Zach Gurr hit a solo home-run with one out over the left fielder's head for the second run. In the bottom of the third the Patriots had tied the ball game at two apiece. Two innings later in the top of the fifth, Byron Baker hit a sac-fly to score Houser for the third run.
The game was put out of reach in the sixth after Brent Gonsalves walked in the fourth run, followed by a Chaney RBI single to drive in Dakota Spillers for the fifth run. The sixth run was scored after Baker was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Carrigg. Gurr scored the final run after a wild pitch by the Patriots in the seventh.
“Just play the game right and things will happen. Go in there with a plan, and have an idea and good things happen,” Acha said.
Pitman High hopes to win its first game of the year against Buhach Colony as the Pride are currently 0-3 against the Thunder this season — with two of those games shutouts. These two teams will face off in the third round at 7 p.m. today at UOP's Klein Field.
“Buhach, they are very good, so we will see what happens,” Acha said.