The Bulldogs took care of business on a trip to Lodi to beat another league rival Friday, and take the lead in the San Joaquin Athletic Association standings in the first of three rounds of league play.
Jonah Wesely and David Miranda both doubled to drive in runs early in the game to put the Bulldogs up 2-0 in the second inning. Cody Daniel also doubled and Jake Shull singled, but that was all the hits the Bulldogs could muster, and it turned out to be all they needed. Starting pitcher Reilly Oki went all seven innings and gave up three hits and struck out three batters for the win.
Tracy goes to Bear Creek on Tuesday and hosts Franklin on Friday to finish the first round of league play.
Sophomores: Lodi 9, Tracy 4
The Lodi Flames hit three home runs off of Tracy starting pitcher Josh Brakkee to take a 6-3 lead at the end of three innings at Lodi on Friday. Brakkee got the loss as he gave up five hits total in the first three innings and struck out seven batters. Lodi got two more hits, including another homer, off reliever Chazwick Samaniego, who went two innings. C.J. Butcher pitched two innings to finish the game.
Tracy had six hits for the day, including two doubles and a single for Clayton Fegett, who also batted in two. Michael Motyka, Steven Schreppel and Anthony Nunez had one hit each.
Tracy coach Ryan Hern added that his pitchers also gave up nine walks, and noted that while the umpire had a tight strike zone, Hern said that his team seemed flat at a time when they should be energized about league play.
“I need to do a better job of motivating these young men in order to bring out their true potential,” he said. “I hope with the next round of league we can show these teams what we are truly capable of.”
Tracy 4, Lincoln 3
Tracy High’s Bulldog baseball team (9-3, 2-0 SJAA) came up with the key hits it needed in the third inning, and then the defense closed out the seventh inning just as the Lincoln Trojans (4-5, 0-2 SJAA) threatened to make a comeback.
Starting pitcher John Jaeger got the win after he gave up just two Lincoln hits and one run in the first six innings and struck out five batters. He gave up two hits and two runs, and the Trojans had runners on first and second when Jonah Wesely came in to strike out the last two batters for the save.
Jaeger said he felt comfortable the entire time on the mound.
“My goal was just getting strikes, either getting a few K’s or getting some ground balls, because I depend on my defense all the way.”
Wesely added that when he came in to close the seventh it was his first time pitching this year.
“I just wanted to show the team that I could come in and be a contributor. I wanted to go in and give them my best stuff, and I felt like I did,” he said. “I was nervous but I’m glad I got thejob done.”
Lincoln got on the scoreboard first with a walk and then a double to bring in the run. Tracy tied it up in the second when Wesely slammed a solo home run over the center field fence. Tracy’s next big hit came in the third when Cody Daniel hit a sharp single into the left-center gap to bring in two runs, and Jaeger followed that with a single to bring in Daniel.
Lincoln got an early advantage with a walk and two hits to load the bases in the top of the seventh. The next batter hit a grounder to shortstop David Miranda, who got the out at second, but it also brought in a Lincoln run. The Trojans brought in another on an infield grounder, but an error at second base allowed a run to score, put the potential tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first. After that Wesely came in to retire the last two Lincoln batters.
Lincoln starting pitcher Sean Bennetts pitched six innings and gave up four runs, two of them earned, on six hits for the loss. Other hits for Tracy included a single for Tanner Turner, a double for Jake Shull and a single for Miranda.
Sophomores: Lincoln 3, Tracy 2
Tracy High’s sophomore baseball team held the advantage for most of Thursday’s game at Monte Vista Middle School. Starting pitcher Aaron Denholm and the Tracy defense kept Lincoln to one run over the first six innings, but Lincoln was able to get runners on base to start the seventh. C.J. Butcher came in with one out and got a quick second out. The next batter got a soft hit to right field to score two and put Lincoln up 3-2.
Tracy got just four hits for the day and left six runners stranded in scoring position. Braeden Oki doubled and batted in both of Tracy’s runs, and Aaron Denholm, Ryan Vares, and Michael Motyka all singled.
“We had the lead for most of the game, but we simply weren’t able to produce runs,” coach Ryan Hern said. “Sometimes a good at-bat is simply being able to hit the right side or getting a Sac Fly. Multiple times tonight we were not able to do this.”