PHS baseball falls out of first-place tie
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Apr 25, 2012 | 505 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Lisa James/ Patterson Irrigator
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The Patterson High baseball team dropped into second place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 10-0 home loss to Central Catholic High of Modesto on Friday, April 20.

The game was a reversal of the teams’ March 21 league-season opener, when the Central Catholic Raiders lost to the Tigers in Modesto, 9-5.

On Friday, the Raiders’ bats came up with a number of big hits and pitcher John Mundt shut down the Tigers’ offense, claiming sole possession of first place in the conference for Central Catholic (15-5 overall, 7-1 WAC).

After winning its first five league games, Patterson (8-9 overall, 5-2 WAC) has dropped two in a row.

Mundt might have been at his best last week, pitching five no-hit innings and striking out eight Patterson batters before he was pulled because of his high pitch count.

Before he stepped foot on the mound, though, the Raiders spotted their pitcher a three-run lead. By the fourth inning, he had a seven-run lead to work with.

The Tigers, meanwhile, mustered only two hits, both singles, against three pitchers.

Central Catholic’s Jason Rivera highlighted a three-run first inning with a two-run single, followed by an RBI double by Blake Escobar.

In the top of the second inning, Chris Sauls hit another two-run single, giving Central Catholic a 5-0 lead.

The top of the fourth also proved costly to Patterson, as the Raiders tacked on two more runs, aided in large part by Tigers' errors.

Patterson's defense did starter Joey Lopes no favors, committing five errors through the first four innings. The junior suffered the loss on the mound, striking out three, walking four and giving up 10 hits in seven innings of work.

Used in relief, Central Catholic's Matt Palazzo inherited trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Robert Marroquin and Sean Rainwater led off with back-to-back singles before Lopes drew a walk against Mundt to load the bases for Patterson.

Palazzo struck out the first two batters he faced and then got the third out of the inning when the home-plate umpire ruled that the Tigers interfered with the catcher, hindering a play at the plate.

A passed ball appeared to allow Marroquin to score from third base, but the umpire said Patterson's batter interfered on the play at home, leaving the Raiders' catcher no opportunity to make a play for the ball.

Central Catholic added three more runs in the top of the seventh for insurance, while Patterson went down in order to end the game.

Patterson continues league play at home at 4 p.m. Friday, April 27, against Los Banos High (4-4 WAC).

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