Jack Wheeland of Pitman knew the significance of Monday’s penultimate league game against his team’s crosstown rival Turlock High.
It was simple, win and keep the hopes of a league title alive or lose and the Bulldogs claim yet another Central California Conference banner.
Wheeland was one of the standouts for the game after the senior tossed six innings and allowed just one earned run while the offense behind him did enough work to secure their 4-1 win in the first of a two-game series with Turlock.
“We would have liked to win this one, then Wednesday’s game doesn’t mean much but they played well, Wheeland pitched a heck of a game for them,” said Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte.
“There is always pressure. When you come down to the end of the season, you know you are playing a team that is undefeated in league and you want to beat them,” said Pitman head coach John Acha. “The Turlock and Pitman rivalry is a good one and both teams always show up; we always have great games.”
Pitman snapped Turlock’s 14-game CCC win streak after Monday’s victory and trail Turlock by one game in league at 9-2.
Turlock goes to 10-1, losing in league for the first time this year.
Pitman has won five of the last seven games against Turlock dating back to the 2015 season.
“Hopefully, we see what we saw today on Wednesday,” said Acha. “We just have to compete, every single out, every inning and we are going to have good outings and we will take practice in to dial some things in and should be a close one, it’s what it comes down to.”
In Monday’s series opener, Pitman had the upper hand on senior day.
Pride senior Brandon Pacheco didn’t waste any time, driving in the first run of the game with an RBI hit in the bottom of the first.
Freshman Cole Carrigg followed up in the second inning for the Pride after he drilled an RBI double off Turlock starter Dallin Tilby and sent it to the backstop to put his team up 2-0.
Turlock’s lone run of the ball game was driven in by Case Pacheco, who with two outs, leveled an RBI single shot up the middle to cut the lead to 2-1 but the ‘Dogs left a pair of runners on base.
Jordan Lavezzo scored the third run for the Pride in the fourth inning as Pitman led 3-1 by the start of the fifth.
Antonio Reyes scored the fourth and final run for Pitman in the bottom of the sixth after a pass ball from Tilby, which essentially put the game out of reach.
Pitman’s Tyler Stout came in and pitched a shutout inning in the seventh as the junior picked up the save.
Wheeland walked five and managed to strike out seven batters.
Turlock only got four hits while Pitman added seven for the game.
The Bulldogs also had a pair of errors and the Pride only one.
Turlock and Pitman will square off for the regular season finale and a chance at the CCC title at 4 p.m. today.