A six-run rally in the fourth inning was sufficient enough for the Pitman Pride baseball team to hold on to the lead and pick up the 8-5 win against a visiting Buhach Colony on Wednesday.
After meeting in the first of back-to-back Central California Conference bouts between the two, the Pride (6-3, 2-1) and Thunder will square off again at 4 p.m. Friday at Buhach.
“They showed great character battling back after getting down by 4-2,” Pitman head coach John Acha said.
After finding themselves down 4-2 after a shaky start in the first three innings, the Pride knew that a spark was needed from the offense for them to stand any chance of coming back.
Andrew Moreno led off in the top of the fourth inning with a walk. Then the cool calmness of the Pride’s offense settled as batter after batter continued to take the opposing pitcher into deep counts.
The high number of pitches in the inning wore on, especially after Colton Evans took a 2-2 pitch to the opposite side to deep left center, driving in Donovan Bravo and Brett Gonsalves with a 2-run triple to tie it at four apiece.
“The guys had a lot more patience at the plate today and that just led to some walks and hard hit balls for us,” Acha said about his team’s fourth inning rally.
From there on with one out, the Pride went through their entire lineup in that lone inning that saw their two-run deficit turn into a four run lead at 8-4.
The Thunder would tack on one more run in the fifth after Matt Carrigg came in to relief with no outs and two runners in scoring position, but it was starting pitcher Dakota Spillers who was charged with the run.
Spillers picked up the win after tossing four innings and going 2-for-4 with 3 RBI for the day, along with two doubles. Carrigg finished the game, tossing three innings and striking out one.
“If we throw strikes and limit the free bases I believe our guys can compete with anyone in league,” Acha said.