Baseball: West pitching keeps Falcons in check
by Bob Brownne
Mar 20, 2014 | 3406 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wolf Pack tops Falcons
West High junior Jose Hernandez looks to throw to first base after getting a force out on Millennium High junior Isidro Cota at second base Wednesday at Millennium High.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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West High’s pitchers took care of business Wednesday in a 4-0 win at Millennium High.

Starting on the mound for West (4-4) was sophomore Lance Arguello. He took control of the first four innings, striking out eight batters and allowing just two hits.

“I felt good. I came in strong and had the defense behind me,” Arguello said. “We’re a family and we’ve got each other’s backs.”

Millennium (5-1) got on base as junior Eddie Diaz and senior Manjot Atwal both doubled. Atwal got the closest to scoring, trying to steal home on a passed ball in the fourth, but West senior catcher Jesse Alameda made the toss to the plate in time for Arguello to tag Atwal.

West’s batters did their part in the top of the second inning as junior Carter Nott doubled and junior Jose Hernandez, senior Justin Watzke and junior Ryan Wagner all singled, with senior Devin Bell contributing a sacrifice fly to put West up 3-0. West scored again in the fifth, when sophomore Jacob Rebar beat the throw to home on Hernandez’s bases-loaded infield grounder.

West relief pitcher Michael Alameda faced nine batters over three innings. He gave up one base hit in the fifth inning to Millennium junior Trent Rouse, but on the next play, shortstop Wagner scooped up a grounder and threw to Hernandez at second, who threw to Nott at first. It was West’s second double play of the game. Hernandez also snagged a line drive in the third inning and made the play to Nott, catching the runner off first base.

“We had real solid infield, but our bats got a little quiet,” Hernandez said. “We thought we’d do a lot better. We just got a little too amped up.”

West coach Roger Gallardo said he saw plenty of missed opportunities.

“We scored some runs and we won the game, and we’re always happy to win a game, but the last couple of days we’re really flat, our approaches at the plate and our approaches defensively,” he said, adding that eight outfield fly-outs could have translated to a few more base hits had West’s batters been sharper.

“We’re hitting the ball in the air too much and swinging and missing too much.”

Millennium’s Atwal said that his team needed to prepare for tougher pitching as the season continued. He credited Arguello with keeping the Falcons off guard.

“We weren’t expecting that,” he said, though he added that the team had time to improve at the plate.

“It’s not league yet. As long as we’re getting better, I’ll take that.”

Freedom 2, West 0

Hernandez allowed just three hits and two runs Tuesday, one of them earned, in four innings of work at Freedom High in Oakley. The Wolf Pack bats were quiet, with Arguello getting West’s only hit of the day.

Alameda 7, Tracy 3

The Bulldogs (5-1) took their first loss of the season at home to Alameda High (3-1-1) on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs had a 3-1 lead going into the seventh inning before Alameda collected six runs. Seniors Aaron Denholm, Braeden Oki and Anthony Nunez got Tracy’s hits.

Starting sophomore pitcher Brett Mansell pitched 4-1/3 innings and gave up one hit and one run but got no decision. Sophomore Noah Denoyer started the seventh inning and gave up three hits and six unearned runs for the loss.

Tracy’s sophomore team beat Alameda 10-0. Robert Garcia got three of the Bulldogs’ 10 hits, and starting pitcher Antonio Gigliotti allowed five hits over five innings and struck out six batters for the win.

Oakdale 4, Kimball 0

The Jaguars mustered only three hits Tuesday at Oakdale High, opening Valley Oak League play with a shutout loss.

Junior Nate Hendricks got two hits and junior Jake Barba had one. Kimball (1-5, 0-1 VOL) struggled against Oakdale (4-2, 1-0 VOL) at the plate for the rest of the game, striking out 11 times.

Starting pitcher Kyle McPartland pitched one inning and gave up a run, a hit and three walks, taking the loss. Junior Peter Van Katwyk and sophomore Chad Hanville finished the game on the mound, giving up five more hits and three runs.

Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or

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