The Turlock High baseball team had plenty of motivation entering Friday afternoon's annual rivalry meeting with Pitman High, considering the Bulldogs had lost to the Pride just 24 hours prior. In other words, it was fresh on the Turlock players' minds and they redeemed themselves, thanks to effective hitting and pitching.
With Vince Wheeland once again throwing the kind of pitches that helped him land a scholarship with Oklahoma State, the Bulldogs won 9-3 at Turlock High's baseball field in the Central California Conference game.
On Thursday, the Pride had last-inning heroics by Colton Risley, who supplied the game-winning RBI to send in A.J. Derr for the 4-3 win. It snapped Pitman's seven-game losing slump, with the triumph being extra sweet because it was over the Bulldogs (6-2 CCC).
And the Turlock players found redemption on Friday.
Wheeland improved his record to 8-0 after striking out 13 batters, walking only one and allowing three runs and five hits in a complete outing. His batting wasn't that bad, either. The senior went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored.
“He's an excellent pitcher,” Pitman's Zach Olsen said of Wheeland.
After two scoreless innings in the first and second, the Bulldogs were very effective with their bats and base-running in the following innings. They scored two runs in the third; one in the fourth after David Herrera slammed a solo home run to left field; and three in the fifth on two errors for a 6-0 lead.
Key performers included Kevin Kramer (who moved up from No. 3 to leadoff hitter for a 2-for-3 day with two hits, one double, three runs scored and one RBI), Ryan Cumberland (two RBIs) and Ryan Flood (two runs scored).
Turlock then had three insurance runs in the sixth before the Pride produced three runs in their final at-bat, with Risley, Brandon Lewis and Mike Lopes all crossing the plate.
“We didn't play real good defense, bottom line,” Pitman coach Mick Tate said. “If we played better defense and we actually started swinging the bats a little earlier instead of watching, you never know what was going to happen.”
With the loss, the Pride fell to 5-5 in the CCC.
On Thursday, they got production from various players, with Olsen, Lopes, Hayden Baldwin, Quentin Breshears and Kirk Renshaw all earning hits. Lopes and Renshaw also had an RBI.
“Tough loss yesterday,” said Turlock's Kramer after Friday's game. “We came out today and played hard, focused early. We weren't focused very much yesterday from the beginning. But today we came out focused.”
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