There's an old saying in baseball and Del Oro High coach Bret Lachemann may have hit it right on the head.
"It's tough to win a doubleheader, but it's easy to lose one."
That proved to be the case Thursday afternoon at Turlock High as the Bulldogs split two games with the Eagles. The 5-3 win for the Bulldogs in the opener was followed by a 7-3 loss in the second contest.
"The first game was good and the second one was a tough loss," said Turlock coach Mark de la Motte.
Turlock (15-5) is in the midst of a 12-day break between Central California Conference games. De la Motte looks at these nonleague games as a way to stay sharp and keep the rust off before going into the final stretch of the season.
"These (nonconference) games are what we need to get tuned up, get our pitching rotation set and give some other guys a chance to start swinging the bat," de la Motte added. "These games give us a chance to do that without the pressure of a league game."
In the first game, Turlock took a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning before allowing three runs to cross the plate.
The back end of the doubleheader saw the Eagles neutralize the day before heading back home to Loomis. Playing the part of the home team in the second game, they combined a commanding performance from starting pitcher Brian Bynum and a huge second inning at the plate to ensure the victory.
The first seven hitters to come to bat against Turlock's Dylan Silva in the bottom of the second all scored runs while the next four hitters reached base safely before an out was recorded. Bynum and right-fielder Jesse Lang each recorded two hits in the inning.
"(Silva) got in some trouble there in the second," said de la Motte. "We just dug ourselves in too deep of a hole to get out of."
With the kind of outing that Bynum had (six innings, two hits, one earned run, no walks), the seven runs that the Eagles brought home in the second proved to be plenty.
"(Bynum) kept getting strike one all day and had good command of all three pitches," Lachemann said. "When he gets all three of his pitches over for strikes, he can be pretty tough."
Junior left-fielder Ricky Fuentes seemed to see Bynum's pitches very well, recording two of Turlock's four hits, including a triple and an RBI.
"I knew he was throwing a lot of junk," said Fuentes of Bynum. "After he got behind in the count, I just waited for him to throw a fastball and that's what we work on in practice."
Turlock returns to league action on Wednesday as the Bulldogs travel across town to Pitman. The Bulldogs are currently looking up at only Merced High in the CCC standings. They face Merced in two of their final six games of the season.
"These games help us," Fuentes said of playing out of conference. "If we lose one game, we usually come back hard in the next game and I think that's what we'll do next week."