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Pride baseball blows lead late in game
Pitman High’s Clay Cozzitorto races back to first base to avoid a tag. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
Fourteen words, 10 seconds, one breath.
That was all coach Mick Tate could offer after he witnessed perhaps the most impossible sequence of events in his three decades of coaching. He didn’t have many words to say after his Pitman High baseball team blew a five-run advantage heading into the final inning against Merced High on Friday afternoon before allowing eight runs on three hits and three errors to lose 13-10 in the Central California Conference game.
That was one of the few words Tate used to describe the game. His Pride (12-9, 4-2 overall) have now dropped five games in a row, going back to losses at the Windemuth Classic in Modesto during spring break. Their last win came April 5, a 3-2 triumph over Enochs High in the opening game of the aforementioned tournament.
It looked like the Pride was going to end that slump Friday, when a five-run rally in the bottom of the third gave them a 6-4 edge. Merced added another run in the fourth to cut the deficit, but the Pride seemingly put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth by scoring four more runs.
And the Pride had several good performances, with Colton Risley scoring three runs, Zach Olsen going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Quentin Breshears finishing with two hits and two RBIs, Clay Cozzitorto producing two RBIs, Chris Mattos hitting 3-for-4 and Mike Lopes completing a 3-for-4 effort with one run scored.
The Pride also had a good outing by relief pitcher Shea Patterson, who had six strikeouts and allowed two hits and one earned run after appearing in four innings of action before being pulled. Again, it was the Pride’s game until the Bears had their last turn at the plate. Eight runs later on three errors turned the game around, leaving the Pride feeling dejected.
What was the Pitman coach’s response?
“In 28 years of baseball,” Tate said, “I don’t think I’ve seen that happen. I’m flabbergasted.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.