TURLOCK -- The last time Pitman High's Clay Cozzitorto took the mound, his pitches were sailing and he gave up six runs in five innings.
"To be successful, I need to keep the ball down and focus on the location," the 5-foot-9, 145-pounder said. "I'm not a power pitcher, so I'm relying on ground balls and defense."
Cozzitorto did his part, persuading batters to chase after his offspeed pitches, and his defense did the rest.
It was a winning combination, as Pitman used a four-run fifth to pull away for a 7-2 victory over Golden Valley in Wednesday's Central California Conference opener.
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"We preach to all our pitchers to keep the ball down and stay ahead of the count," said pitching coach Andy Walker,whose staff boasts a 3.32 ERA.
Cozzitorto struck out four, but he walked none and needed just 75 pitches for the win.
Golden Valley (3-9 overall) got eight hits off Cozzitorto, but seven were singles -- and many of those runners were erased by Pitman's defense.
CHOWCHILLA 12, MARIPOSA 0
MARIPOSA -- Tyler Cook pitched four scoreless innings to pick up the win. Thomas Flanagan led the Chowchilla offense with three hits and three RBIs.
STONE RIDGE CHR. 2, TIOGA 1
Logan Wilson knocked in the game-winning run with a seventh-inning single to lift SRC.
ATWATER 81, PITMAN 54
ATWATER -- Jacob Bautista led Atwater to a win with victories in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. Andrew Morgan and Johnny Guerrero also picked up two individual wins for Atwater.
GOLDEN VALLEY 95, TURLOCK 41
Steven Pust, Ben Hernandez, Wyatt Anderson, Jon Vigil and Elias Ruiz all were double-winners for GV.
PITMAN 4, GOLDEN VALLEY 1Annabelle Perez scored two goals and Hannah Vershelden had three assists to lead Pitman to a win.
MERCED 2, ATWATER 0ATWATER -- Amanda Campos and Luz Perez each scored to help Merced improve to 3-0-1 in the CCC.
LE GRAND 2, WATERFORD 2
LE GRAND -- Waterford came back to score two second-half goals to force a tie. Marissa Martini found the net twice for Le Grand (3-0-1 Southern League).
WATERFORD 2, LE GRAND 0LE GRAND -- Le Grand left nine runners on base. Waterford won despite finishing with just three hits against Le Grand pitcher Rebecca Nichols.
PITMAN 90, ATWATER 46
ATWATER -- Freshman Kelsee Derr won three events to lead Pitman to a win. Stephanie Uruistegyu won the 1600 and 3200 runs.
TURLOCK 87, GOLDEN VALLEY 48
Teresa Mallory won the 1600- and 3200-meter runs for GV.