Pitman High started its Central California Conference season with a big win over Golden Valley High on Wednesday. Four days removed from their loss in the Pedretti Championship, the Pride bounced back in impressive fashion with a 6-0 shutout over the Cougars at home.
“It’s a big confidence booster. We get beat like we do on Saturday, have two really hard practices, and then come back and play really good baseball,” Pitman’s head coach John Acha said. “It was a completely different team than showed up on Saturday.”
Much of Pitman’s success was a result of the consistent pitching of Jordan Gonzalez who manned the hill for a little over six innings and struck out 13 Cougars.
“He didn’t even show his best stuff, which is kind of scary,” Acha said. “He came out and found ways to get us out of jams and as the game progressed he was getting better and better.”
Golden Valley not only struggled at the plate, it also struggled defensively as its players committed error after error. The Pride(2-0 CCC) capitalized on their opponent’s errors from the onset of the game, scoring their first run after Golden Valley’s second baseman missed a Zach Gurr ground ball and allowed Brennan Hauser to cross home plate.
Pitman scored another run in the second inning off a Matt Carrigg single before notching three runs in the third inning off of sacrifice flies from Gurr and Byron Baker. Carrigg finished the game with 2 RBIs, Baker and Gurr finished with one RBI each, and Kody Brackett went a perfect three for three from the plate.
“He was a spark for us in each inning, starting them off with big hits,” Acha said of Brackett.
“Everyone’s expected to be a situational hitter,” he added.
Pitman traveled to Golden Valley Friday afternoon for its second matchup against the Cougars (0-2 CCC) in a game that took eight innings to decide.
This time around Trevor Chaney manned the hill for the Pride. Unlike Wednesday’s matchup, however, the Cougars got their points, and early. Golden Valley scored three runs in the first inning and put Pitman in the trail position. Chaney responded by keeping his opposing batters off the scoreboard for the next six innings.
“He settled in a pitched great after that,” Acha said.
The Pride started to climb back with a Baker RBI in the fourth inning and a Gurr RBI in the fifth. Alex Sniezek finally put Pitman ahead in the seventh inning with a two-run double, but a Cougar run in the bottom of the seventh off a Gurr pitch sent the game into extra innings. Pitman again responded with an offensive effort as Dakota Spillers and Gurr each hit RBIs in the eighth to secure the two-game sweep over Golden Valley.
“You have to start league off right,” Acha said. “Having a close game like this was really beneficial because it was a good team builder.”
Pitman’s next game will be away on Wednesday when it takes on Buhach Colony High.