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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaCalen Kruger throws a pitch March 22 during the Pintos’ 11-1 win against Eugene. With the win, the Pintos are off to a perfect 2-0 start to the early season.

EUGENE — The California Pintos baseball team (2-0) won its second game in a row in the early season March 22 after defeating the Eugene Eagles (3-1) 11-1.

The Pintos first pulled away thanks to big innings at the plate in the third and fourth innings; the Pintos scored four runs in the top of the third and seven runs in the top of the fourth.

The game was scoreless until the Pintos’ big third inning; with a runner on second and two outs, a double to left center field by Tagen Higgins made it a 1-0 game. After a walk by Lucas Ash gave the Pintos runners on the corners, Trevor Myers hit a ground ball to the pitcher that kept the inning alive as the throw to first went over the first baseman’s head and allowed two runs to score to make it 3-0. Later in the inning, with a runner on second, a hit into center field by Ethan Bloch made it 4-0.

After a quick, scoreless bottom of the third inning, the Pintos extended their lead in the top of the fourth. With one out in the inning, the Pintos scored to make it 5-0. Later, with runners in scoring position, a hit by Myers scored a run to make it 6-0. California kept its success at the plate going, scoring five more runs all with one out in the inning before the Eagles were able to end the inning on a double play. By the end of the inning, the Pintos led 11-0.

The Pintos scored only two runs during their jamboree and in their first regular season game, the team scored only three runs. Head coach Steven Stock said it was nice to see the team increase its scoring in this game.

“We took some pitches, made the pitchers throw and it resulted in a lot of base runners,” Stock said. “We had some timely big hits, and when you put 11 runs on the board, you are probably going to be successful most times. It helps us a lot.”

Stock said in this game, the team had better at-bats while at the plate.

“When a kid throws against you on the mound and is not overpowering, you don’t have to worry about getting overpowered,” Stock said. “So we took pitches and that leads to some walks and piles up base runners. All of the sudden, you get ahead in the count and you hit the ball well in a base hit and now you are scoring multiple runs. Just good at-bats leads to base runners and runs.”

Eugene was able to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 11-1, but with runners on the corners and two outs, the Pintos were able to end the inning. Neither team added any more runs in the fifth inning en route to the Pintos’ second win of the season.

California scored its 11 runs on 10 hits and took advantage of four Eugene errors. Bloch, Higgins and Martin Kilmer led the Pintos with two RBIs each. Bloch and Higgins also led the team with two hits each.

Hunter Berendzen and Lucas Ash led the team with two walks each. Calen Kruger pitched four innings for the Pintos, giving up one run on three hits and striking out three batters.

The Pintos’ next game is at 5 p.m. March 25 against Cole Camp.

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