When Nathan Gonzalez takes the mound for the Pitman High baseball team, head coach Mick Tate knows his team only has to score a couple of runs.
"He's been pretty consistent for us," Tate said of his ace. "Anytime he's out there, we feel pretty good about our chances."
Gonzalez mowed through the lineup of Redwood Christian of San Lorenzo in a 10-0 victory in the title game of the 39th Annual Dick Windemuth Easter Baseball Tournament at Downey High. The game ended after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Gonzalez opened the game by retiring the first 11 batters he faced. By then, the Pride was up 4-0 and cruising.
"Once we got to 2-0, I thought that might be it," Tate said. "Nathan looked as good as he has all season."
Gonzalez struck out seven in five innings, allowing one hit. He's allowed only two earned runs in 33 innings this season.
"I only had one inning of work before pitching today, so I felt pretty loose," Gonzalez said. "I felt good through the entire game today."
The Pride (13-3) opened the scoring with four runs in the third inning, with cleanup hitter Lincoln Clapper delivering the big blow -- a two-run single that scored Joey Parsons and Austin Keaton.
Pitman added six more in the fourth. Four of those runs came across when Redwood Christian players couldn't track down two infield pop-ups that got caught in the swirling wind. Keaton and Grant Adams delivered run-scoring singles.
"We're playing pretty well right now," Gonzalez said. "We've won nine in a row and we've got a lot of momentum."
Gonzalez said winning the tournament was nice, especially considering the Pride lost to Davis High in last year's Windemuth finals. But even more important, Pitman has a head of steam going into a key Central California Conference series against Golden Valley next week.
"The momentum we have from winning this tournament is huge," he said. "We've got two important games next week. Our league is so tough."
At Modesto High
SIERRA 8, MODESTO 4 -- Mike Garcia and Jordan Louie hit RBI singles in the five-run fourth inning as the Timberwolves held off the Panthers. Andrew Gabriel was 2 for 2 with a double for Sierra, while Louie also doubled and drove in two runs.
Bee staff contributed to this story.