Here is what Pitman junior pitcher Kade Morris had to say after the Pride beat Turlock, 7-4
Rivalry games can bring out the unexpected.
The Turlock baseball team was undefeated in Central California Athletic League play after beating its rival, Pitman, 8-2 on Monday.
The Bulldogs had outscored opponents 56-8 in CCAL games this season.
The two battled again on Wednesday and behind a superb performance from junior pitcher Kade Morris, the Pride beat the host Bulldogs, 7-4, to hand Turlock its first loss since March 18.
“If we play ball the way we believe we can and we are supposed to, we showed today what we can do,” Pride coach Andy Walker said.
Morris, who entered the game with a 1.86 earned run average, limited a potent Bulldogs offense (.339 team batting average) to three hits while striking out eight in six innings.
“I just wanted to attack the strike zone and find a way to get outs and the off-speed was working, too,” Morris said. “I was trying to pitch a game for my guys and they picked me up at the end.”
It was the fifth straight game Morris has recorded eight or more strikeouts.
“When he is on, he is tough as anyone in this area,” Walker said. “This is the way we expect him to throw.”
After Turlock (12-5, 7-1) scored a run in the bottom of the first, the Pride (7-8, 6-2) scored three in the third and one in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead.
The margin evaporated in the bottom of the fifth as the Bulldogs got back-to-back RBI triples from junior Dalton Linn and senior Mason King and an RBI groundout from junior Cole Carrigg to tie the game.
With the lead gone, Walker talked in the dugout about “winning” innings and they needed to win the next one. The message was well-received as Pitman scored three in the top of the sixth thanks to three errors from the Bulldogs.
Morris scored on an error by the Turlock pitcher while sophomore Evan Fanconi and senior Anthony Garza scored after an outfielder misplayed a flyball.
“We just wanted to compete,” said Morris, whose team hosts Turlock on Friday afternoon. “These guys are a heck of a ball club and we just wanted to come in here and take one from them.”