LOS BANOS -- Merced junior pitcher Mike Nelson pieced together a solid performance during Wednesday's Central California Conference-opening victory over Los Banos.
Nelson went the complete game and tossed 11 strikeouts during a 3-2 victory over Los Banos (4-3-1 overall, 0-1 CCC).
"I thought Mike really competed," Merced head coach Lou Souza said. "When things got tough, he didn't quit. (Nelson) did a great job."
Merced (6-5 overall, 1-0 CCC) put the first run on the board in the third inning when Josh Rivard crossed the plate.
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Rivard went 2 of 3 from the plate and scored his second run in the fifth inning to make it a 2-0 ball game.
LB didn't quit, though.
"Obviously it was a good game," Los Banos head coach David Zuniga said. "We made some mistakes defensively that (Merced) capitalized on.
"We had our chances. We just didn't come through."
Los Banos had its chances in the fifth and sixth innings.
In the bottom of the fifth frame, LB junior Matt Nunes (1of 3) led off with a stand-up double.
Anthony Honesto tallied the sacrifice-RBI that scored Nunes to make it 2-1.
Rivard plated Scott Eldridge with a hit in the top of the sixth to make it 3-1.
LB loaded up the bases in the bottom half of the inning, but could only push across one run on a Nunes' RBI walk.
"(Nelson) threw a good game," Zuniga said. "He mixed it up well and changed up his speeds. I give him credit, he threw a good game.
"This is something for us to build on."
At Los Banos
Merced 001 011 0 -- 3 9 X
Los Banos 000 011 0 -- 2 4 X
Mike Nelson. Ryan Carmo (5), Cody Mallonee and Branden Duke. WP -- Nelson. LP -- Carmo.
MERCED -- Josh Rivard 2-3 (2 runs),Phillip Parga 2-3, Chad May 1-4, Garret Boothe 1-4, Matthew Farias 1-3, Drake Burch 1-3, Scott Eldrige 1-3.
LOS BANOS -- Jalen Bourbon 1-4, Jordon Cortez 1-3, Daniel McDonnell 1-3, Matt Nunes 1-3.
Records: Merced 6-5, 1-0 CCC; Los Banos 4-3-1, 0-1 CCC.