For the first time in its 29 year history, the Atch Pedretti Tournament trophy was guaranteed a resting spot in Turlock after Pitman and Turlock High climbed their way into Saturday’s championship game. The Bulldogs had earned their shot by putting up a combined 20 runs in the first two rounds of tournament play while the Pride’s route involved closely contested matchups and a bit of luck.
In the end, it was Turlock’s offensive output that prevailed as the Pride—defending Pedretti champs— fell to their rival 17-0.
“We got beat in all elements of the game,” Pitman’s head coach John Acha said.
Turlock got onto the board right off the bat when a Brett Cumberland hit sent the ball flying into right field for a two-run double in the first inning. The Bulldogs tacked on three more runs in the second inning off of Luiz Mendez’ bat before a six-run third inning all but sucked the life out of Pitman’s dugout. A pair of three-run innings in the fifth and sixth was the death nail for the Pride and solidified Turlock’s place as tournament champions.
Cumberland and Mendez finished with 3 RBIs each, Dakota Edwards and Cody McGarry notched 2 RBIs, while Cameron Matsumura and Gavin Gaffney each finished with one RBI.
Turlock’s offensive effort was aided by a slew of Pride errors as outfielders misjudged fly balls, infielders lost sight of ground balls, and pitchers pegged Bulldog batters. In addition, Pitman struggled to strike out its opposing batters which helped Turlock tack on the points and grab onto a sizeable lead. By the end of the game Pitman had only thrown four strikes in comparison to Turlock’s eight.
“Not throwing strikes from the beginning got us behind quick,” Acha said.
While Pitman struggled from the mound, Turlock enlisted the services of ace Tyler Murphy to set its defensive tempo. Murphy recorded four strikes through four innings while allowing only two hits. Nick Benson, Tyler Lucas, and Edwards each took to the hill for one inning a piece to close out the game.
“We’re going to have to play our best baseball to beat them this year,” Acha said, looking ahead to Central California Conference play.
Though Saturday’s game was a lopsided one, the Pride are expecting the loss to fuel their efforts and aid them by the time they meet Turlock again on April 17.
“You don’t want to get beat, especially by that much, but we can definitely take a lot from it,” Acha said. “Our guys being able to see Murphy for four innings helps them; there’s not going to be much that’s new when it comes to league.”
Pitman hosts Golden Valley High today in the CCC opener while Turlock travels to Buhach Colony High.