MODESTO- The first two games of the 50th annual Dick Windemuth Easter Tournament were a mixed bag for the Patterson High varsity baseball team.

Patterson recovered from their loss to Central Valley last week by defeating Big Valley Christian 6-4 on Monday, April 22 in their opening game of the tournament, but the Tigers were given a bitter pill to swallow, when they dropped their second game of the tournament to Los Banos High in a no-hit shutout 5-0 loss against their former Western Athletic Conference rivals.

Patterson was scheduled to play Enochs High on Wednesday after press time. The Tigers will also play a fourth game on Thursday, but the slate of games for Thursday had yet to be finalized as of press time.

The Tigers will resume their league schedule on April 30 at Atwater High.

Patterson no-hit by Los Banos

Los Banos sophomore Eric Briozo had a special day against Patterson on Tuesday. Briozo threw seven innings, yielding no hits and no runs, while striking out four batters to throw a no-hitter against Patterson.

Los Banos struck with three runs in the second inning, and in the end that was all they would need. Senior Miguel Alvarez got the start for Patterson. Through four innings of work the senior coughed up five hits, three earned runs and three walks.

Senior Trent Mallonee hit a home run for Los Banos, going a perfect 2-2 at the plate with two walks. Seniors Miguel Espana and Max Ramirez chipped in with RBIs. Ramirez was 1-2 with a run, a double and a stolen base.

The victory continues an excellent season for Los Banos, improving the squad to 18-1 overall so far this spring.

Tigers edge past Big Valley

While Patterson relied on smart baserunning and timely hits to score their runs against Big Valley Christian on Monday, the Lions’ offense produced by showing some power Valley Christian on Monday, the Lions’ offense produced by showing some power against the Tigers. 

The game remained a stalemate at 0-0 through the first three innings. The Tigers broke the tie with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Junior Zach Rodriguez got the party started with a one-out single. Junior Cesar Martin struck out before senior Miguel Alvarez was hit by a pitch, setting up first and second with two outs. Senior Ryan Phelps stroked a single to score Rodriguez, before a wild pitch during the ensuing at bat scored Alvarez to give Patterson a 2-0 lead.

Big Valley Christian was quiet in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Lions did not stay down for long. In the bottom of the fifth inning, sophomore Briggs Alavezos singled before senior Tyler Myer cleared the high fence in left field for a two-run home run blast to erase the Patterson lead.

Patterson quickly regained the lead in the top of the sixth, when sophomore Jordan Imada singled. Senior Alex Mora sacrifice bunted but reached via an error putting runners at the corners. Imada scored on an error from pitcher Kyle Nickerson. Rodriguez popped out, but Martin pushed Imada in with an RBI single to put the Tigers up 4-2.

Big Valley Christian continued their trend of a quick response in the bottom of the frame, in identical fashion as their fifth inning outburst. Senior Jake Darby singled to left field before senior Josh Grabowski sent the ball for a trip over the left field fence, for a two-run home run response for the second time in as many innings.

The Tigers did not relent, however, and responded in the top of the seventh when sophomore Logan McCleery singled to begin the inning. Freshman Javier Huizar singled before senior Joseph McGarry laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. As McGarry ran down the first base line, a collision at first base dislodged the ball, allowing McCleery to score on the play, and Huizar to advance all the way to third base. Sophomore Jordan Imada cashed in on the opportunity, hitting an RBI single to score Huizar and put Patterson back up 6-4.

Senior Ryan Phelps was given the task of closing out the game, and he delivered by inducing a pop fly and two strikeouts to end the game.

8-3 loss to Central Valley

After already defeating the Hawks earlier in the week, the Tigers looked to head into spring break with some momentum by sweeping Central Valley on Thursday, April 18, but it was not in the cards for Patterson.

Central Valley, behind a five-run outburst in the fifth inning, defeated Patterson 8-3 last Thursday at the Patterson High varsity baseball field.

Central Valley scored eight runs on 11, hits while Patterson mustered three runs on nine hits.

McCleery, Huizar and McGarry all went 2-3 at the plate in the loss. Phelps came in for relief on the mound and pitched 3.2 innings while yielding five hits and no runs during his outing. Phelps recorded three strikeouts against the Hawks.

PI sports writer

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