The California High School varsity baseball team traveled to Russellville April 9, where the Pintos defeated the Indians 8-5.
"We finally put together a complete game," California Coach Dwight Fitzwater said. "Russellville is a talented team, so we had to be clicking on all cylinders to beat them. I'm very proud of my boys. They came from behind when Russellville had a four-run lead. They could've cashed it in at that point, but they didn't lose sight of our objective. Great team effort."
The Indians scored one run in the second inning and three in the third to lead 4-0 going into the fourth. The Pintos got busy in the fifth inning and brought four home, followed by another four in the sixth inning to lead 8-4. Russellville added one run in the sixth to trail 8-5. After a scoreless
seventh inning, California came away with the win.
Burke Brant pitched 5 1/3 innings to record the win for the Pintos with two strikeouts.
"We made the plays behind Burke, who pitched a good game," Fitzwater said. "We also came through with some timely hitting."
Zach Holliday and Bret Volmert pitched relief to finish the game.
The Pintos had 12 hits to Russellville's nine.
Alec Koelling led California hits with two singles and three RBI. Brant and Jaden Barr each contributed two singles and one RBI. Tyler Silvey had two singles and Dylan Albertson had a single and one RBI. JT Trachsel chipped in with a single.
Clayton Harrison was the starting pitcher for Russellville, who recorded two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Alex Thompson stepped in to pitch relief in the sixth inning and took the loss. Clayton Meyer and Kaleb Libbert also pitched relief.
Chandler Wolf led Russellville hits with a single and two RBI. Meyer and Clayton Thompson each contributed a single and RBI, while Chase Smith, Harrison, Libbert and Nick Haslag each chipped in with a single.
The Pintos were on the road Friday for games against Osage, where California's varsity claimed a 6-2 win.
The Pintos led 4-2 going into the sixth inning, then added two runs in the seventh to seal the win.
"We didn't play our best game, but good enough to get the win," Fitzwater said. "Jason Wolverton was our big weapon against Osage. He pitched a complete game, allowing just two unearned runs on seven hits, two strikeouts and no walks. A great effort from Jason."
The Pintos had 10 hits, led by Brant with three singles and two RBI. JT Trachsel followed with two doubles and one RBI. Jaden Barr had two singles and one RBI, while Albertson had two singles. Randy Allee contributed a single and RBI, and Silvey and Austin Gump each chipped in with a single.
California's JV also defeated Osage, 9-4.
The Pintos hosted Fatima Saturday at the California Sports Complex, where California's varsity suffered a 5-2 loss to the Comets.
"We actually played better against Fatima than we did against Osage," Fitzwater said. "We only sustained two errors and our pitching was very good. Alec Koelling pitched a complete game, though he sustained a loss in his effort. He struck out six and allowed five runs on seven hits. He really kept their entire team in check except for one player, who accounted for all of Fatima's offense as he drove in a run in the first inning with an RBI single, then hit a grand slam to account for the other four runs. It's tough to lose a game in that manor. We were in it with a real chance to win until that big blow. I'm proud of our boys for playing such a good game. We gained respect from the other team with our tough play."
The Pintos recorded four hits led by Trachsel with a double and RBI. Koelling had a double, while
Albertson and Brant each contributed a single.
"We needed just a little more offense," Fitzwater said. "Fatima is regarded as one of the best teams in the area, and we played tough against them."
California's JV also lost to the Comets, 13-1.
The Pintos will play at Versailles Friday, beginning with the varsity game
at 5 p.m.