West High senior Mitch Cowles stayed in control on the mound and at the plate to deliver a 2-1 win at home over St. Mary’s on Wednesday in the first game of the Tri-City Athletic League season.
Cowles pitched seven innings and gave up three base hits and one unearned run. Otherwise, he kept the St. Mary’s batters in check. Only one ball reached the outfield in the first five innings.
“This is huge for us,” Cowles said. “We’ve been waiting for his game all season. As soon as conditioning ended, we wanted this game.”
There are still nine games to go in the TCAL season, including Thursday’s game at St. Mary’s (score not available at press time), but West (5-8, 1-0 TCAL) has started the league season by beating the traditional TCAL leader.
St. Mary’s (3-7, 0-1 TCAL) has been league champion the past eight years, every year the TCAL has been in existence. The Rams shared the title twice with the Tokay High Tigers, including last year, and once with West in 2009, the last time the Wolf Pack beat the Rams.
“They’re the guys that everybody wants to beat,” West coach Roger Gallardo said. “We just did a lot of good things today and the boys played up to their potential.”
It was still a tough contest until the end. The Rams took a 1-0 lead in the third inning as St. Mary’s senior Dominic Prado reached on a walk, advanced on a missed pickoff attempt and scored on junior Evan Fagundes’ single.
West took the advantage in the sixth inning. Sophomore Jacob Rebar reached on an infield error and advanced on another error when junior Jack Kelley bunted and Rebar was safe at second because of a bad throw. They both advanced on a passed ball.
Cowles then came up for his second base hit of the day, a shot up the middle, driving in Rebar. There were still no outs when junior Carter Nott hit into a double play, which knocked Kelley in and put West up 2-1.
Cowles had to stay calm through the top of the seventh after he walked a batter, got two out on infield grounders, and walked one more. Center fielder Gabe Culver got the final out on a high fly ball.
“It’s nerve-racking,” Cowles said. “The pressure builds up, but I had confidence in my defense to make the plays they did. I’m just going to keep pounding the zone and make them swing the bats.”
Update; St. Mary's beat West 16-0 in Stockton on Thursday on an extended second-inning rally. More details to come.
Tokay 2, Tracy 0
Tracy High sophomore starting pitcher Noah Denoyer gave up two hits and one unearned run in six innings of work Saturday at Monte Vista Middle School. Tracy’s bats didn’t support him, though, as senior Dustin Dibble and junior Joey Cocoles got the only base hits for the Bulldogs.
The non-league loss put Tracy at 8-3, 3-0 in the San Joaquin Athletic Association. Tokay is 9-3.
Delta Charter 11, Stockton Christian 0
Sophomore pitcher Tommy DeAnda started on the mound and allowed just two hits over five innings on Friday in Stockton. He struck out 11 Stockton Christian batters on the way to a shutout for the Delta Charter Dragons (3-2, 2-0 Mountain Valley League).
Senior Andrew Silva had two base hits and two RBIs, and junior Eddy Banks, senior Oliver Messier and sophomores T.J. McIntyre and Joey Silva also had base hits.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.