The Turlock varsity baseball team was coming off a dismal week that didn't end well for the Bulldogs, who competed in the Boras Classic tournament but looked to turn it around after competing in their final two preseason games during spring break.
A four-game losing streak extended to five after a one-run loss to McNair ended at 9-8 on Wednesday.
Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte shared some expressions with his team and finally something seemed to click in the next game.
The Bulldogs went on to score six runs in the first two innings and followed it with a two and a four-run inning to top Manteca, 12-2 after a mercy-rule win on Wednesday, snapping the team's five-game losing streak.
“We talked about getting momentum before going into league and it was a good win,” said de la Motte. “We played and pitched better and that helped get us some confidence for next week.”
Heading into Central California Conference play, the Bulldogs own the third worst preseason record at 4-8. Only Atwater (2-8) and Golden Valley (0-9) hold a lower winning percentage as of Friday.
Prior to Wednesday's games, Turlock competed in the Boras Classic.
Of the four losses, three were against top 70 opponents in the state, according to Maxpreps, in Maria Carillo (33), Saint Francis (70) and Oak Ridge (24).
“We knew last week would be tough with the Boras tournament,” said de la Motte. “Those are the best teams in Nor Cal. Just one blowout, but that is how you get better playing really good teams and we did. Learned a lot and hopefully still improving, but we are as ready for league as we can at this point.”
The first game of Wednesday's doubleheader ended in a one-run game that saw the Bulldogs attempt a late comeback after falling early in the game.
McNair went up 2-0, then after three scoreless innings, Turlock notched eight runs in the final two innings but McNair added seven, after already holding a two-run lead on Turlock.
In the end, the 'Dogs popped out for the third out to end the game after seven.
“In that first game we walked 13 batters in seven innings,” de la Motte said. “We also hit 13 fly balls so to have a comeback near the end was nice but too little too late.”
In the second game the 'Dogs were able to regulate the Manteca bats after allowing just four hits for the game.
As a team, Turlock was 14 of 31 (.452) for the day and seniors Landon Curtis and Blaine Weber combined to pitch six innings, allowing just four hits, two runs and striking out eight.
“We played a lot cleaner game. Landon and Blaine pitched pretty well and played good defense,” said de la Motte.
Turlock scored multiple runs on three of the six innings and the Bulldogs went on to finish the game, leading by 10 after six.
“We wanted to get playing time for everyone in our two games,” de la Motte added. “We need to develop more depth, and some of those kids got the opportunity and should help out for more depth down the road.”
Jon Temple was 3 of 4 with four RBI and three runs scored. Chris Steeley was 3 of 4 with three RBI and scored twice. Peyton Dunseth was 3 of 4 with an RBI and scored three times.
Turlock's first CCC game will be on the road at Atwater High at 4 p.m. Tuesday.