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Hilmar baseball upsets Escalon in 3-0 shutout; Season finale game set for 2nd place
hilmar pic
Wyatt Amaral of Hilmar had two RBI in Tuesday's 3-0 upset victory over Escalon. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

“We upset Escalon.”


Those were the words that Hilmar varsity baseball head coach Bobby Swedberg shared after pulling off a 3-0 upset over Escalon on Tuesday.


“For our kids, every game is a playoff game from here on out,” said Swedberg. “They continue to grow and build confidence and are excited about an opportunity to play for second in league in the final game. One game at a time as it's been all year.”


Hilmar did it behind a strong pitching performance from senior Colton Dutey, who tossed a complete game shutout and allowed just three hits, walked two and struck out three.


“The kids are playing with a ton of confidence,” said Swedberg, whose team has an 8-3 record, same as Escalon.


Wyatt Amaral had a line drive two-run shot to center field to score Noah Batista and Zach Berberia in the fifth inning and the Yellowjackets held on with that 3-0 lead to capture a victory that gave them their eighth league win.


“They were the number two seed in league with two losses only to the undefeated Ripon,” said Swedberg.



Pitman's Natasha Sondeno takes 2nd at SJS Championships

Natasha Sondeno of Pitman finished 2nd in Saturday's Sac-Joaquin Section Diving Championships at McClatchy High in Sacramento with a score of 427.95.

Sondeno continued her successful career while at Pitman and ended her sectional career with a great result and will be heading to state.

Molly Wilson of St. Francis scored a 430, just topping out Sondeno.

“It was that close,” said Pitman coach Anne Cornell.

The State meet will take place at Clovis West Aquatics Complex from May 20-21.


Bulldog softball routed by Merced 10-4 on senior day

Turlock softball fell to Merced 10-4 on Monday in the team's penultimate game that was a rescheduled game from Friday when it was called due to rain.

With the playoff hope slimming down for Turlock as the year winded down, they knew they had to round together a win against the best team in the Central California Conference, but that was certainly easier said than done.

Turlock instead started off quickly, getting a run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead.

Merced then scored two runs in the top of the second to go up 2-1 and for good.

With one out and bases loaded in the fourth, pitcher Mariah Gonzalez was subbed out for Turlock and freshman Shelby Frutoz came in to relieve her and Merced went up 7-1, highlighted by a Madilyn Nickles three-run triple.

Turlock only managed four hits to Merced's eight, but allowed Nickles to finish with 7 RBI for the game.

After a five-run inning, Merced followed it with a one-run and a two-run inning and went on to fend off Turlock in the end, despite the Bulldogs scoring and the final read 10-4.

Turlock's playoff hopes are still alive at 5-9, tied with Golden Valley, but with one game remaining the Bulldogs must beat Pitman (4-10) in order to stand any chance.