Monday’s drastic weather that saw hail, rain, thunder and winds that soared well over 20-plus mph cause multiple high school sporting contests to be postponed and one of them was the Turlock Christian baseball game.
Due to mother nature, the TC Eagles were then re-booked for a doubleheader showdown from Pedretti Park on Tuesday afternoon against their league foe, Elliot Christian.
The first game went well for TC, which went on to win the game in a 14-4 mercy-rule decision after the fifth inning but the Eagles followed their early success with a 6-4 loss that was highlighted by a standout game from EC’s Nick Figueroa who scored half the runs and pitched the entire game.
“He is by far their best player and a great pitcher,” said TC head coach Bill York. “I told our guys we have to tip our hat, but our energy dipped from that last game and kind of carried over into this game. Good teams can come back from even those types of things but other than that, just need to cut that out against Big Valley Christian.”
With the loss under their belts, TC also drops its first Central California Athletic Alliance match of the season and go to 9-1 and 14-2 overall.
“It’s staying focused and intense, especially today with the doubleheader, we just need to stay in the game from pitch to pitch all the way through,” said York. “We had some lapses there, and some physical errors that were mental behind it.”
In the first game, TC went up quickly.
It took just two innings for them to notch seven runs as they led 7-1 by the start of the third.
They followed up with two, four and one-run rallies in the following three innings while allowing just three more runs from EC as they won it in a mercy-rule final, 14-4, after Howie Skinner crossed home plate for the game-winning run.
In that game, six starters had a hit or more for TC while seven had at least an RBI.
Starting pitcher Howie Skinner pitched all five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits, three walks and struck out seven.
Skinner was also 3-for-3 from the plate and drove in three, while scoring two runs.
In the second game it was all EC’s Figueroa, with the exception of a hot first inning by TC.
Figueroa went 2-for-3, scored three of the team’s six runs and also pitched a complete game.
“In the first we didn’t have many hits but we scored after taking advantage of walks and their errors but didn’t get hitting until the second half of the game,” said York. “I still believe we gave them some wind to their sails in the first game, tip my hat to them, they took that and carried it into the second game, along with their stud pitcher.”
Figueroa tossed seven innings, allowing just a single earned run on nine hits, two walks, and struck out seven, keeping the TC hitters off balance.
TC led 3-0 after the top of the first and led 3-1 until the bottom of the third.
EC rallied to score three unanswered runs in the third, and added one in the fourth, which gave them a 5-3 lead over TC.
By the start of the seventh, EC extended their lead to 6-3.
TC tried to rally in the top of the seventh, but only one run crossed home plate when Skinner drilled an RBI single with two outs, scoring Micah Blomenkamp to end the game at 6-4.
“It’s fine… it’s baseball. Good pitching needs good hitting and we put the ball in play. We had some good at-bats, our defense was a little shaky and we gave them some plays, walks, hit-by-pitches,” said York. “I told the kids errors are going to happen, long as they are not a result of the mental errors, so what it’s going to be is self-focus and to test it next week, we are looking forward to it.”
TC’s next game will be on the road against second place Big Valley Christian at 4 p.m. Tuesday.