Beyond the Tracy High Bulldogs baseball team’s 12-2 mercy rule win over Franklin High on Wednesday, May 9, the final game of the season held deep significance for this year’s squad and the overall program.
The Bulldogs have secured the 2012 San Joaquin Athletic Association championship and have collected the most wins of any baseball team in Tracy High history, according to coach Vic Alkire.
Alkire said that during his time with Tracy High — as a four-year student-athlete (1959-62) and coach for 19 years — this year’s team, which finished 23-4 overall (14-1 SJAA), is the best he’s seen.
Senior center fielder Tanner Turner, a four-year letterman, believes this was the best of his four years as a Bulldog.
“All the guys this year, we’ve really bonded together,” Turner said. “I really think we have a great shot in playoffs this year. Whenever we need someone to step up big for us, they’ve done it. Our seniors have led the team really well this year.”
The victory over Franklin was the last such celebratory moment, as it was the final game on the field, which will be removed to make way for a new football stadium.
The memorable moments Wednesday included Chase Johnson’s two-run home run high over the center-field fence in the first inning as the Bulldogs jumped out a 4-0 lead over Franklin (7-19 overall, 5-10 SJAA).
Starting pitcher Jonah Wesely struck out eight of the 11 batters he faced during the first of three no-hit innings. Reilly Oki came in during the fourth and pitched two more no-hit innings. But the Yellow Jackets scored twice on a combination of walks, batters hit by pitches, a missed pickoff attempt and a sacrifice fly.
The game ended on the mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth after Tracy scored on three consecutive bases-loaded walks. Other hits for Tracy included two singles for Cody Daniel, a double for Matt Loscavio and singles for Turner, Jake Shull, John Jaeger and David Miranda.
Alkire said that Tracy Unified School District has proposed that the varsity team move to Monte Vista Middle School, where the Tracy High sophomore team plays, and that the district could build a second field in place of the diamonds used by Tracy Babe Ruth.
“We haven’t been told the final decision. That’s what they want to do,” Alkire said.
Tracy is headed to the playoffs Thursday, May 17, against either Tokay High of Lodi or Downey High from Modesto at University of the Pacific’s Klein Family Field. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
East Union 6, Kimball 2
The Jaguars will miss the playoffs this year after the loss at East Union on Wednesday, May 9, in Manteca.
It was a one-run game for most of the way, East Union ahead 1-0 at the end of the second inning, Kimball (10-8 overall, 6-8 Valley Oak League) up 2-1 after three innings, and East Union up 3-2 at the end of the fourth. The Lancers (12-10, 7-7) won it with a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
The Jaguars were held to three hits for the day, including one each for Kris Bartlett, Corbin Lis and Nathan Van Katwyk. Alec Barba pitched a complete game, gave up eight hits and struck out three batters.
Valley Oak League teams going to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs are Oakdale (12-0 VOL), Sonora (9-5 VOL) and Manteca (8-6 VOL).
Sophomores: Tracy 17, Franklin 0
Tracy closed out the 2012 season with a win over Franklin Wednesday, May 9.
All nine Bulldogs starters scored in the first inning, and by the end everyone on the 14-
player roster got into the game, with 12 getting at least one base hit.
Clayton Fegett hit a home run over the left field fence.
Also for the Bulldogs, Michael Motyka went two-for-three with a double and three RBIs;
Ryan Vares doubled, hit a sacrifice fly and batted in four runs; Anthony Nunez tripled;
and Braeden Oki and Josh Brakkee had two hits each.
Tracy finishes the season in third place with a 10-5 record in the San Joaquin Athletic
Association, and 17-9 overall.
Sophomores: Tracy 10, Franklin 0
In addition to hitting a two-run homer, Anthony Nunez had a perfect game going into the
fifth inning of the first game Tuesday, May 8, at Monte Vista Middle School.
He ended up yielding just two hits and no runs in seven innings.
Offensively, the Bulldogs benefitted from eight hits, 10 walks and two batters hit by
Nunez had three base hits for the day, including his home run over the right field fence in
the fifth inning. Michael Brown had a base hit and batted in two, and Steven Schreppel,
Josh Brakkee, Braeden Oki, and David Hinson also had hits.