The Turlock High varsity baseball team had high hopes entering the 2018 postseason, but they were shutout in the second round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs by Franklin of Elk Grove in an 8-0 final.
“Tough game, they are the No. 1 seed for a reason,” said Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte. “They’ve got three really good pitchers and we saw their No. 1 and he struck out 12. We didn’t pitch badly but they are very good.”
Franklin is currently ranked No. 22 in California by Maxpreps.com.
I was glad to be in the position I was to help grow and mold these young men.Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte
They scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth then rallied to score five in the bottom of the fourth to go up 6-0.
Franklin added a run in the fifth and sixth and held the Turlock offense to just two hits for the game.
Turlock also committed three errors for the game.
“I am really proud of every guy on this team, they worked hard all year in the classroom and the field. I’m not happy with the result of today, obviously, but it’s been a great season,” said de la Motte.
De la Motte also made it official that he will be stepping down as the head coach at Turlock High.
During de la Motte’s 26 years as the head coach at THS, he saw many accomplishments. One of them is amassing over 500 wins in that span.
His Bulldogs also won the CCC in 1986, 1987, 1990, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016-2018.
The ‘Dogs advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship games in 1987 and 1997.
De la Motte first took on the freshman program in 1975 and five years later he was the head man of Turlock High.
He will return as an assistant for the freshman squad, he said.
This year’s Turlock High JV head coach Sean Gilbert takes over the varsity duties after he led the JV squad to a 23-4 overall record.
“We’ve been fortunate to have so many great players and coaches and great support from the community so real blessed to have all that and we have had great teams with great kids,” said de la Motte. “Real rewarding how these kids are when they are adults.”
Well over a 100 Bulldogs have graduated from de la Motte’s program and advanced to play at the collegiate level.
“I am one of a lot of coaches before to try and get their players to play hard and do the right thing off and on and been many great mentors and will be many guys ahead of me too,” said de la Motte. “I was glad to be in the position I was to help grow and mold these young men.”