After dominating Johansen High in their first game of the annual Dick Windemuth baseball tournament, the Pitman Pride fell in back-to-back games on Wednesday, 15-6 to Enochs followed by 7-6 to Beyer, only to end the tournament with a huge 18-0 win against Davis on Thursday at Enochs High.
The Pride tallied over 10 errors in the first three contests but came back nearly perfect in every sense of the word in Thursday’s game against the Spartans. They committed no errors and tacked on over nine hits as the game ended after four innings due to the mercy-rule.
“We licked our wounds after Wednesday and the guys came out and swung the bats well,” Pitman head coach John Acha said. “Being able to come out and end on a positive note in this tournament definitely helps us moving into the end of the season.”
The game would last only an hour and fifteen minutes, the fastest win for the Pride this season.
Three six-run innings was the story for the Pride who came out on fire, led by Dakota Spillers’ 3-for-3 performance. Pitman had four players tally eight of the team’s nine hits for the game.
Sophomore Colton Evans would be the star of Thursday’s contest after tossing a complete game, as he faced 17 batters and allowed only three singles and walked two.
“We got a good chance to throw our sophomore Colton and toss a few innings this year and he did a great job,” Acha said about his starter who finished with only 69 pitches in four innings.
In Wednesday’s doubleheaders, the Pride were up in both games but late inning rallies and costly errors proved to be the demise for Pitman who dropped a lead after the fourth inning against Enochs. That led to nine unanswered runs for the Eagles, who are tied for first in the Modesto Metro Conference.
“Wednesday was tough since we came out hot and scored right away but then fell flat. It’s always tough with four games in less than three days. We were trying to balance out our pitchers and who to throw when, so that kind of hurt us since we didn’t throw guys out there who are typically in, so some guys had troubles finding the strike zone and that hurt us,” Acha said about the morning loss to Enochs.
Due to the time limit rule in the Windemuth tournament of two hours and fifteen minutes, Pitman was not given their two innings left in the game as it ended in the fifth inning at 7-6 to Beyer in the afternoon Wednesday game.
The score was four apiece after the third inning and both squads delivered blows and eventually in the bottom of the fifth, Beyer took advantage of back-to-back errors committed by the Pride to win the contest in walk off fashion.
“Those errors always happen after a lot of walks and we walked a lot of people on Wednesday, errors always follow walks,” said Acha. “We knew we were battling the time but their final hitter just kept fouling balls off and we were just trying to get the inning over and throw strikes, however possible, get them to put it in play and they found some holes in the end and scratched that one run.”
With such a big win, it should carry into next week’s Central California Conference matchup at Atwater, who are third in league at 7-5, while the Pride (6-6) sit in fourth and hold their destiny in their hands, but must beat the Falcons to have any hopes of a postseason berth.
The game is scheduled for at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Atwater.