The California Pintos baseball team won its second summer game Monday as the Pintos defeated the Warsaw Wildcats 9-5.
Patience at the plate was a key in the team’s win as it forced eight walks in the game. Five of the eight walks for the Pintos came on a full count. Head coach Steven Stock said the team knew the strike zone.
“If the ball is not in the strike zone, you (have) to not offer at it and if you swing at bad pitches, you usually make outs,” Stock said. “So make the pitcher throw strikes, and they did a good job tonight making them do that.”
The Pintos struck first, as California took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, Dawson Gump forced a walk and scored the first run of the game. Another walk by Drake Schlup made it a 2-0 game.
The scored remained 2-0 until the top of the fourth inning as Warsaw scored three runs in the inning to take a 3-2 lead. The Pintos then tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Pintos had mixed results when it came to baserunning — in the early innings, they got caught in a couple of run downs. But later in the game, the team had much better results on the base path.
“In the first inning, we were bad,” Stock said. “We tried to be aggressive and create things; it looked early on that it could be a low scoring game so we wanted to create situations where we could get a run here and get a run there and early on we just made some bad decisions. We fixed it a little bit later, and it caused us to get a couple of extra bases and score some runs. We just (have) to be better all the way around.”
In the top of the fifth inning, the Pintos got out of a jam with two men on and two outs. California took the lead in the bottom part of the inning. Calen Kruger was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and he advanced to second base after the ball got away from the first baseman during a pick off attempt. Lucas Ash was also hit by a pitch and would eventually end up on second base. With players on second and third base, Clayton Winkler forced a walk to load the bases. California took a 4-3 lead after another walk scored a run. California scored two more runs on wild pitches to make it a 6-3 game. The Pintos scored once more to make it a 7-3 game after five innings.
Warsaw responded with some offense of its own as the Wildcats made it a 7-4 game early in the top of the sixth inning. With runners on second and third and two outs, the Wildcats got a hit into center field that scored a run to make it a 7-5 game. The Pintos were able to throw out the second runner, who had tried to score but was tagged out as he tried to get back to third base, to end the inning.
California added two more runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a 9-5 game before ending the game in a one-two-three inning in the top of the seventh.
The Pintos’ next game is on the road at 6 p.m June 22 at Eldon.