MERCED -- Jeff Spinardi rolled up his sleeve to proudly display the bruise quickly forming on his left bicep.
The Golden Valley High junior will remember the bruise long after it's gone.
Buhach Colony ace Brett Mooneyham drilled Spinardi with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to force in the winning run in a 5-4 win for Golden Valley on Thursday afternoon.
"I've never been hit by somebody that throws that hard before," Spinardi said. "It didn't hurt at first because I was so excited we got the win. Now it stings."
It was a strange end to an ugly game, as GV (8-3, 1-1 Central California Conference) committed eight errors.
"I don't know how we did it," said GV coach Scott Solis. " (Buhach Colony) is the best baseball team I've seen in the six years I've coached."
GV senior Trevor Cesar is a big reason why the Thunder (10-2, 1-1), The Bee's top-ranked large school, lost.
The Duke-bound right-hander did his best to pitch around the defensive blunders, giving up just four hits. He looked to have the game won in the top of the seventh when he got Mooneyham to hit into a likely game-ending double play.
However, shortstop Garrett Borba's throw to first sailed into the dugout, allowing the tying run to score.
"I think we're going to be one of those teams," Cesar said. "We're just going to have to find a way."
Cesar was scheduled to go against the Stanford-bound Mooneyham. Instead it was Justin Koehler, headed to Cal State Fullerton -- starting on the mound. Mooneyham had been away for "family reasons," coach Wayne Fitzgerald said.
Mooneyham came on to start the bottom of the seventh with the game tied at 4-4. He walked the bases loaded before nailing Spinardi to end the game.
Valley Oak League
OAKDALE 3, CERES 0, at Oakdale -- There's no mistaking the fact that pitching is the strength for the Mustangs, not after the games their hurlers produced this week. Nick Vandertuig fired a two-hitter and struck out 11 as the Mustangs (8-2, 2-0) shut out the Bulldogs (2-7, 0-2) for the second day in a row.
SIERRA 11, WESTON RANCH 1 (5 innings), at Sierra -- Andrew Gabriel drove in four runs with a double and a single and Austin Nogueira allowed just three hits while striking out seven, leading the Timberwolves (8-2, 2-0) over the Cougars (1-7, 0-2).
EAST UNION 8, MANTECA 7, at Manteca -- The Lancers (4-2, 2-0) converted five walks into a three-run seventh-inning rally and another narrow victory over the rival Buffs (4-8, 0-2). EU won 3-2 on Wednesday, turning a double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to seal that victory.
Modesto Metro Conference
DAVIS 7, MODESTO 1, at Modesto -- Jake Sisco scattered five hits, while Ryan Stice and Jimmy Myers homered as the Spartans (8-1, 3-0) stayed perfect in conference by beating the Panthers (3-7, 1-2). Stice also had a two-run double in the first, after Thomas Williams walked and Myers singled.
JOHANSEN 6, DOWNEY 3, at Johansen -- Nick McCann struck out 10 and shut out the Knights (0-9, 0-3) over the final three innings to lead the Vikings (4-7, 1-2), who capitalized on four errors.
Western Athletic Conference
CENTRAL CATHOLIC 17, LIVINGSTON 3, at Livingston -- Freshman Billy Flamion went 3-for-5, smacked a grand slam, scored three runs and drove in five as the top-ranked small-school Raiders (8-1, 3-0) pounded the Wolves (3-7, 0-3). Flamion's grand slam sparked a six-run second and gave Central an 8-2 lead. Central's Hunter Adrian raised his record to 4-0, tying him with Buhach Colony's Ryan Floro as the Stanislaus District's winningest pitcher.
HILMAR 12, ORESTIMBA 1, at Newman -- Justin Rodrigues did it with his arm and his bat, firing a three-hitter and driving in two runs to lead the Yellowjackets (7-4, 2-1) over the Warriors (2-5, 0-3). Curry Sanders went 3 for 3, including a two-run single to highlight a five-run fourth.
GUSTINE 3, PATTERSON 2, at Gustine -- Justin Zalinski's solo home run in the bottom of the sixth gave the Redskins (5-3, 2-1) a big insurance run, because Chris Chase homered for the Tigers (2-7, 1-2) in the top of the seventh. David Olson had a 79-pitch complete game for Gustine. He threw a three-hitter, walked three and struck out eight.
HUGHSON 5, ESCALON 2, at Escalon -- Mike Davis fired a four-hitter and the No. 5 small-school Huskies (7-3, 3-0) parlayed a three-run fourth into a victory over the Cougars (7-4, 1-2). Hughson scored the first run of the game on a balk in the fourth, then scored another when Jake Etcheverry's shot to left-center popped out of Nick Aprile's glove as he was diving for it. The final run scored on Aaron Stice's single.
MODESTO CHR. 13, RIVERBANK 0, at Salida -- It was a long time coming, but the Crusaders (1-6, 1-2) celebrated their first victory with an offensive explosion while beating the Bruins (1-7, 0-3). Evan Schwartz was 3 for 3 with two RBIs to lead the 19-hit attack, while Ryan McConnell hurled a two-hit shutout and had two hits.
TURLOCK CHR. 6, DENAIR 3, at Denair -- Eli Davis was busy at the plate and on the mound, striking out nine and opening the game with a homer as the Eagles (6-2, 2-1) topped the Coyotes (5-2, 2-1). Davis allowed five hits while going the distance -- he got a boost from a five-run fifth -- while Axel Morelli went 3 for 4.