Patterson trailed Merced by one run through six innings of play on Tuesday, but an RBI single from sophomore Logan McCleery in the top of the seventh ensured extra innings. It stayed tied until a five-run outburst in the top of the 10th gave the Patterson High varsity baseball squad their second win in a row.
Tuesday was a battle between two squads looking for their first win in the Central California Conference, but Merced will have to wait at least one more game to procure their first league victory.
Senior Miguel Alvarez was strong for the Tigers, pitching seven and allowing only one run, four hits and a walk while punching out four batters. Alvarez was equally as valuable at the plate, going 2-4 with two RBIs, a stolen base and a walk.
Senior Ryan Phelps went 2-5 with an RBI.
Following McCleery’s heroics to tie the game late, neither side made any strides for two innings, but Patterson flipped the script in the top of the 10th.
Senior Joseph McGarry began the inning with a walk. Sophomore Jordan Imada laid down a sacrifice bunt, but an error allowed Imada to reach base safely. Senior Alex Mora reached base via a bunt to load the bases, before junior Zach Rodriguez scored McGarry with an RBI single. Junior Cesar Martin struck out, but an error committed on a ground ball by Alvarez scored Imada and Mora in the following at bat to put Patterson up 4-1. Phelps stroked a single to left field, scoring Rodriguez and Alvarez before outs by McCleery and freshman Javier Huizar ended the five-run rally. Patterson needed those five runs, because Merced did not go down quietly in their own half of the 10th. Patterson ended the Merced rally at two runs, to secure their first league victory in the Central California Conference.
Patterson is now 6-6 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Merced dropped to 4-10 overall and 0-3 in the CCC.
Tigers snap four-game skid
The Patterson High varsity baseball squad had not won a game since their March 16 win over Orestimba High, but their four-game losing streak was put to rest last Saturday when the Tigers clinched a 7-4 win over Pacheco High.
Through four innings of play, the two teams were knotted up at 4-4.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Tigers broke the stalemate with a run. Senior Miguel Alvarez was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. Senior Ryan Phelps drew a walk, but not before Alvarez was able to advance to third due to a passed ball. With runners on first and third, sophomore Logan McCleery singled scoring Alvarez to give Patterson a slim 5-4 lead.
The Tigers tallied two additional runs in the sixth inning. Senior Alex Mora got on base to open the inning when he was hit by a pitch. Junior Cesar Martin struck out. Alvarez was hit by a pitch for the second consecutive at bat to give the Tigers base runners on first and second with one out. Phelps smacked a two-RBI single that scored both Mora and Alvarez, to extend the lead to 7-4.
McCleery, who had come in to relieve starting pitcher Phelps, shut the door with a hat trick of strikeouts to finish off the Panthers.
McCleery had an excellent outing in relief, pitching three innings of no-hit baseball while amassing seven strikeouts.
Phelps pitched four innings, yielding three runs, four hits and three walks, with a strikeout in the start. Phelps went 1-2 at the plate with a walk and two RBIs.
Mora was at the center of the offensive mischief, going 2-2 with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base. Mora was on base four times against the Panthers, with a pair of hit-by-pitch at-bats, to go with two hits.
Alvarez was also hit by a pitch twice, to go 1-2 with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base.