The defending champions, Turlock High, ended the 45th annual Dick Windemuth tournament the opposite way of how they started — on fire.
After losing to Tracy in the first game but then bouncing back and catching wins in the next two contests, the Bulldogs of Turlock proved why they are the top ‘Dogs in the Central California Conference after controlling Downey High, 14-4 on Thursday in their concluding game of the big 14 team tournament at Modesto High.
“It was good for everybody to get in and help us and get that confidence heading into the final stretch of the season,” Turlock head coach Mark de la Motte said.
Downey would commit five errors and over half a dozen pass balls by multiple pitchers and the patient Turlock hitters came alive as they battled and contested every pitch on Thursday.
Turlock would score seven runs in the bottom of the first to take a 7-1 lead early on and the strong defense and pitching for Turlock showed their strength once again and held on.
“They [Downey] gave up a whole bunch in the start and we had some free ones and they battled back a little bit, and the guys that came in to finish it off did well,” said de la Motte.
Seven more runs were added in the final three innings by Turlock.
Blake Cederlind would start the game for the ‘Dogs and eventually get the win after tossing up four innings.
Brian Mendez and Jon Temple would come in to relieve Cederlind and each tossed one shutout inning.
“Blake struggled a little bit, so it’s good to see him come in and throw strikes for us,” de la Motte said.
The offensive leaders were Austin Bush and Brett Cumberland as each tacked on two hits apiece while Bush added on two RBI.
“Long as were swinging the bats, since we struggled a little bit this year, so if we can swing here towards the end of the season that is a huge help for us,” de la Motte said.
The next game could be the one that gives the Bulldogs a CCC clinch. It is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“It is the biggest game of the year for us, because if we win, we can clinch the league title. For sure you always want to win your league and we have that opportunity to do it without any help so that’s our goal right now,” de la Motte added.