One error, two unearned runs and former Bulldog pitcher Andy Owen all led to Thursday’s 4-2 road loss by No. 7 Turlock High in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs against No. 2 Jesuit High.
“Andy [Owen] pitched his butt off and so did Casey [Carr], and in games like this, against teams like this, the little things are magnified and you have to play almost perfect,” said Turlock head coach Sean Gilbert. “We made a couple of little mistakes and it cost us. They had one big hit and it is 4-2, tip your hat to those guys, I don’t think they made any mistakes and we did.”
Jesuit was error-free. Turlock had one error —a big one — that would come back to haunt them in the final inning.
The first two runs for Jesuit came in the bottom of the fourth inning and both were unearned.
It was also the first and only error of the game.
The error led to a snowball effect of two runs scored back to back.
Jesuit ended the game, essentially, with a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth after a long rally.
“Tip your cap to them. We saw what happened, but I am proud of our guys though,” said Gilbert. “I don’t think I have ever gotten so close to a group of a kids. Our seniors, there are seven of them, we are going to miss them… just great kids, we are lucky… I am lucky. I am proud of our guys and they are passing the torch to the next guys. This loss hurts, it may hurt for a little while, but I just hope they know what they mean to us and how we feel.”
Jesuit starting pitcher was former Bulldog Andy Owen, who was at Turlock the previous two seasons. Gilbert also coached him at the junior varsity level last season for THS.
Owen started and went four innings, allowing a pair of runs.
Then Carter Benbrook came in to relieve Owen and pitched three shutout innings, despite a close seventh inning.
In the seventh, following a quick first out, Turlock nearly rallied and saw the go-ahead run at home-plate.
Mason King singled with one out up the middle then the next call became a crucial one.
It took a pitch for Cole Carrigg--the tying run--to get hit-by-pitch and get to first base.
With two on and just a single out, UCLA commit Tyler Soderstrom came up to bat, but it took just three straight strikes from Benbrook who took Soderstrom swinging in the third pitch for the second out.
Justin Hines stepped up to the plate with two outs and two on. He grounded out to first base ending the year with a two-run loss.
All seven losses were decided by three runs or less.
Five losses were decided by two runs or less and four losses were decided by a run.
Turlock ends the year with an overall record of 22-7.
Turlock’s first run came in the top of the second when starting pitcher Casey Carr ripped an RBI double to the right center wall, which made it 1-0 at that point.
The ‘Dogs went up 2-0 on the Marauders after Garret Fountain hit an RBI single up the middle.
Turlock’s Carr pitched five innings.
Carrigg came in to relieve Carr in the sixth and pitched a shutout inning.
“We will get to next year, like October… picking up where we left off is a possibility… we have arms, young guys in our program coming up,” Gilbert added.