Early mistakes cost Wolf Pack as Bulldogs win baseball season opener 3-2
Mar 04, 2014 | 3075 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy hangs on to beat West
Tracy High senior Anthony Nunez (left) tags West High senior Brian Noble out at home to preserve a one-run lead during the crosstown game Monday at the ball field at Monte Vista Middle School.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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It took the Tracy and West baseball teams a couple of innings to settle into the new season on a damp Monday afternoon at Monte Vista Middle School.

Tracy’s three first-inning runs were enough to give the Bulldogs the 3-2 win. After the first two innings, both teams were effective enough on defense to prevent any more scoring.

“The first inning was a little nerve-racking, but we got the first play out of the way and the nerves all went away,” said Tracy second baseman Thomas Greely, a sophomore who played his first varsity game Monday.

Senior starting pitcher Brett Curtis got the win after he allowed two base hits and two earned runs and struck out six batters over five innings.

“Early on, I felt like I had good command of my fastball. My defense was working well for me. I just stayed confident and worked on throwing strikes,” Curtis said. “It’s a good opening game for our team today.”

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first after they went through their full batting order with no base hits. West starting pitcher Mitch Cowles, who got the loss even though he gave up no earned runs, walked two batters and hit two with pitches. Tracy’s Greeley reached on an error and scored on a passed ball, and seniors Braeden Oki and Dustin Dibble scored when Aaron Denholm reached on an error.

West junior catcher Carter Nott said the first inning was a rough start, but after that, the West team settled into its game.

“Our pitchers did well after the first inning. They realized their mistakes and started hitting spots,” Nott said. “We work on our hitting a little bit and we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

West loaded the bases in the top of the second, when senior Garrett Speckman walked, Nott was hit by a pitch and sophomore Jacob Rebar reached on a bunt. Senior Justin Watzke followed with a single to right field to drive in Speckman, and junior Jose Hernandez batted in Nott on an infield ground-out, making it a 3-2 game.

West’s best chance to tie it up came in the fifth inning, when junior Kyle Hunt walked and pinch runner Brian Noble advanced on a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt. Noble was thrown out at the plate when Greeley fielded a grounder and fired the ball to home plate, where senior catcher Anthony Nunez had plenty of time to make the tag.

Also pitching for Tracy was sophomore Brett Mansell, who gave up no hits over two innings and struck out one batter. West’s Cowles gave up two base hits and struck out two batters over four innings, and West senior Michael Alameda allowed one hit and struck out one batter.

Tracy’s sophomores beat West 6-2 in the first game on the new sophomore field at Monte Vista. Tracy relief pitcher Ricky Staas got the win. He came in after four innings, pitched three innings, allowed no runs and one hit and struck out five batters.

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.


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