After losing the first game of the San Luis Obispo High School Spring Tournament, the Pitman High (12-3) Pride baseball team regrouped after an off opening game to pick up back-to-back wins over Morro Bay and St. Mary's of Albany in day-two of the tourney on Thursday.
“We ended up losing the game one against San Ramon Valley and got a healthy dose from them, which was a good learning experience facing a section title contender like them,” said Pitman head coach John Acha.
The Pride fell 0-3 after the first inning of Wednesday's game against the Wolves of San Ramon Valley, and before the sixth, the Pride had cut the lead to 3-7, but the Wolves scored five unanswered runs in the bottom of the sixth to edge out the Pride, 12-3.
“They opened it up and found some holes again and they went on a tear in that one inning and really took control of the game,” Acha said.
In Thursday's first game against Morro Bay, Josh Hernandez was the player of the match as the starting pitcher tossed a complete game shutout and gave up only two hits with eight strikeouts.
“He kept us in it because we hadn't scored much at that point,” said Acha of Hernandez.
The Pride had gone up 2-0 after the second inning, then the offense stalled for a bit before picking back up again.
Colton Evans of Pitman would score the first run of the game when Anthony Encalade drove him in on a sac-fly followed by a Josh Rodriguez RBI to take the 2-0 lead.
The Pride carried a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning when Zach Wichman pinch-hit and got the RBI.
Hernandez' RBI single was the last of the game against Morro Bay and the Pride picked up the first win of the tournament.
“Morro Bay played tough especially for being a smaller school,” Acha said.
The next game against St. Mary's saw a stagnant beginning for the Pride who went down 0-2 until the sixth inning when the bats finally came to life.
“This second game against St. Mary's we were really flat most of the game,” Acha said. “Luckily Wichman tossed a great game and we got the big hits in the sixth.”
Wichman led off the sixth with a towering double to deep left then after Coleton Horner singled, the Pride scored the first run on a walk followed by a Donovan Bravo two-run single up the middle to take the 3-2 lead.
The Pride weren't done.
With a runner on first and second, Evans was able to use the entire field as he hit a three-run inside the park home-run and the Pride went on to win 6-2.
Wichman started the game and tossed five and 1/3 innings, allowing only two earned runs on four hits and struck out three. Bravo cleaned up and finished the game tossing the final 1 and 2/3.
“Started off scratchy, just taking one at a time then ended up strong after Thursday... kind of both games came up that way... finished both strong,” Acha said about day-two.
As of Friday, the Pitman baseball team has won eight of their last nine games.
Friday's game was yet to be determined by the time of publication.