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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaTrevor Myers pitches April 9 during the California Pintos’s 13-0 shutout against Crocker. The Pintos nearly pulled off a no-hitter, with Crocker’s only hit tallied in the game’s final inning.

The California Pintos baseball team (7-2) won in a blowout 13-0 win against the Crocker Lions (2-5) on April 9 in five innings.

The Pintos nearly pulled off a no-hitter on top of their pile of runs, with the Lions earning their first hit of the game in the top of the fifth inning.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second inning; with two outs in the inning and a runner on third, Ian Peterson scored on a wild pitch to give California a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless top of the third, California took control of the game, scoring five runs in the inning. The team had runners on second and third with one out in the inning, which Tagen Higgins brought in with a single to left field to make it 3-0. Lucas Ash made it 4-0 with an RBI double and, later in the inning, the Pintos added two more runs to make the score 6-0.

After a quick top of the fourth inning, the Pintos continued their success on offense as they added seven more runs. Ethan Bloch started the scoring in the inning with a single, bringing a runner on second base home to make it 7-0. Later, with runners on second and third and no outs, a pitch got past the Lions’ catcher and allowed another run to score to make it 8-0. Higgins followed that up by scoring another run to make it 9-0, and that was followed by a triple by Ash to make it 10-0. Trevor Myers then drove in a run on a base hit to make it 11-0, and California added another run to make it 12-0 still with no outs in the inning. Crocker was able to get two outs before the Pintos scored their final run to make it 13-0.

Crocker was able to get its first hit of the game to lead off the top of the fifth inning and the Lions got their runner all the way to third base with two outs, but a strikeout ended the game and preserved the Pintos’ shutout.

With the no-hitter in play for the majority of the contest, the Pintos were able to get back on offense quickly throughout the game. Head coach Steven Stock said the team got into a good rhythm throughout the game.

“Things went well for us,” Stock said. “After we adjusted to (Crocker’s) pitching, they did not throw real hard, but we made that adjustment and started hitting the ball, the offense got going and we played good baseball for five innings.”

With many of the runs in the fourth inning coming with no outs, Stock said good things happen when the team hits the ball hard into the holes in the defense and that it gives the team some confidence.

“For the most part, I think everyone put up really good at-bats,” Stock said.”It just gives you a lot of confidence and makes the game easy to play.”

California scored its 13 runs on 10 hits and had no errors in the game. Crocker had no runs on one hit and three errors in the game.

Patience at the plate and making some adjustments were keys for the Pintos’ success while batting, Stock said.

“(During the) last few games, we saw some kids that had thrown the ball harder and as a hitter, you have to adjust,” Stock said. “(Crocker) did not throw quite as hard and once we got through the line up and the kids started making adjustments and (waited) on the ball, we got some good at-bats and the ball was hit well.”

Higgins led the Pintos with three hits, followed by Myers and Ash with two hits each. Higgins also led the team with three RBIs, and Myers and Ash were right behind him with two RBIs each.

Myers pitched four innings and struck out five batters, and Ethan Bloch pitched one inning and struck out two batters for the Pintos.

The Pintos’ next game is at 5 p.m. April 15 at Osage.

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