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Wheelin and dealin
Turlock ace Wheeland deals out a one-hitter
Turlock High ace Vince Wheeland threw a one-hitter to help lead the Bulldogs in a 6-0 win over Buhach Colony High on Friday afternoon. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
There’s been a lot of talk about what Kevin Kramer means to the Turlock High baseball team this year. He’s a junior shortstop destined to play for UCLA in a couple seasons, and he’s believed to be the first high school athlete in Turlock history to play for the USA Baseball team. But the Bulldogs aren’t one-dimensional.
Vince Wheeland showed that much Friday afternoon.
The senior ace, who’s signed with Oklahoma State, was an unstoppable force on the mound against defending Central California Conference champion Buhach Colony High. He had a near-perfect day, but his consolation prize was still impressive: 11 strikeouts, one hit and one walk, all leading the Bulldogs to a 6-0 shutout and improving his season record to 4-0.
The Bulldogs (8-2, 2-0 CCC) completed this week’s two-game set against the Thunder (3-9, 0-2 CCC) — who are rebuilding after losing several Division I scholarship players — with victories. David Herrera led Turlock two days earlier with a strong complete outing on the mound.
“I felt like it was like any other game,” said Wheeland. “I knew they were good. We saw them hit the ball a little bit Wednesday, so I knew I would come out with a good game. My teammates knew the same thing so they came out swinging the bats and fielding the ball.”
The one hit was the product of a highly debated play after the game. Kramer, who pulled off clutch plays all day and scored a run, tried to make a bare-handed grab after Buhach Colony’s Kert Woods hit the lip of the grass that’s right in front of home plate. The ball skipped high up in the air before Kramer caught up to it as he was racing toward first base. But the play died after the ball slipped out of his throwing hand.
The play was eventually ruled an infield hit.
There was so much discussion about this play — scorekeepers from both sides first decided it was an infield hit and later an error, before Turlock coach Mark de la Motte ultimately reversed the scoring — because Wheeland was trying to get his second no-hitter of the season. His first one came in five innings against Sierra High during the preseason.
“He dominated today like he’s capable,” de la Motte said. “He does that and we play pretty good defense the rest of the time and score a couple runs, we’re in pretty good shape.”
The Bulldogs started with a three-run rally in the first, thanks to Ryan Cumberland, Jeremy McDonald and David Herrera each sending a runner in with hits, with the first two batters doing it with doubles. Cumberland finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Ryan Flood’s speed helped him cross the plate twice.
Turlock scored a run apiece in the third and fourth innings before the Bulldogs got a lucky break. With Buhach Colony’s freshman reliever Daulton Jefferies pitching at the bottom of the sixth with two outs, he had a chance to close out the inning when a Tommy Evans hit bounced straight to Jefferies. However, his throw was over his first baseman’s head.
As a result, Flood then earned a triple that sent in Evans from first for the day’s final score.
Wheeland, on the other hand, was nearly flawless.
“It really helps our confidence at the plate,” Cumberland said about Wheeland. “We knew we had his support and when we can score a couple runs, we can win a lot of game like that.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail at or 634-9141 ext. 2041.