California, MO 72° View Live Radar Fri H 84° L 62° Sat H 82° L 61° Sun H 81° L 68° Weather Sponsored By:

Pintos pull away from Harrisburg in 5th inning

Pintos pull away from Harrisburg in 5th inning

May 1st, 2019 by Kevin Labotka in Sports

Kraig Walker gets a hit during California's 7-2 win over Harrisburg, April 25, 2019.

Photo by Kevin Labotka /News Tribune.

The score was knotted and low for much of a rainy, windy night Thursday, but the Pintos broke the game open in the fifth inning, defeating Harrisburg 7-2.

California (12-6) and Harrisburg (10-6) were tied up 1-1 in the first inning. They remained even until the fifth inning, when the Pintos added three runs against the Bulldogs.

Head coach Steven Stock said the weather had little effect on the game. He said the Pintos have not had a lot of low scoring games so far this year and the team did not adjust well in the Harrisburg game.

"We had some key situations where a kid does not throw the baseball really hard, you've got to stay back and wait and be more patient and pick a pitch you can hit better. There is aggressiveness, and there is bad aggressiveness. I thought we had bad aggressiveness," Stock said.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Pintos had two runners on base, but Lucas Ash grounded out to end the inning.

Gabe Bailey had a strong outing on the mound for California as he struck out three batters in the top of the fourth inning. Bailey had five strikeouts through the first four innings and finished with six strikeouts in 5 innings pitched.

Neither team had much going for them on offense in the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Pintos' offense had some success. Calen Kruger led off the inning with a base hit and advanced to second after Clayton Winkler walked. Hayden Green hit a successful sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, and Bailey drew another walk to load the bases. Ash walked to make it a 2-1 game and then Kraig Walker hit a two RBI double to make it a 4-1 game.

After a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning, the Pintos had the bases loaded again in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to three walks. California forced five walks in the fifth and sixth innings. Bailey would hit a RBI sacrifice fly to make it 5-1, and the Pintos would add two more to make it a 7-1 game.

The team would make some adjustments at the plate later in the game.

"Well late in the game when a kid is starting to struggle a little bit, you've got to make them throw the ball over the plate," Stock said. "Ideally, you want a base runner if the pitcher is going to give you four balls, that is a base runner. So we made them take until they had a strike and that allowed us to get a few base runners on and eventually they came across."

Harrisburg scored one run in the top of the seventh inning to make it 7-2, but California closed out the win in the seventh.

Walker led the Pintos with three hits, while Walker and Bailey led with two RBIs each.