For the Patterson Irrigator
Patterson High’s varsity baseball team lost 3-0 against the Livingston Wolves Monday afternoon, May 5, dropping their league record to 0-11, despite putting up a hard fought ball game on their home turf at Patterson High School.
Starting pitcher Andrew Basaluda, a senior at Patterson High, started out shaky with a four-hit, two-run first inning, but then settled in for the rest of the game, allowing only a total of two hits and one run throughout the remaining six innings.
Although Patterson got off to a rocky start at the top of the first, the Tigers were able to stop Livingston’s progression by fighting off the wolves throughout the rest of the match.
Keeping the advancing runs in mind, Basaluda showcased his combative nature by providing a strong at-bat for the Tigers. He went two for three with two solid singles, and made a nice defensive play to stop a runner from scoring at home in the first inning.
But the damage was already done. The Tigers were unable to catch up after falling behind Livingston’s early 2-0 lead, and despite several efforts to get the boys across home plate, many were left on their bags, stranded and annoyed with the evening’s proceedings.
After the first inning, the game settled into a defensive battle with both teams procuring three up and three down throughout the entire inning until the top of the fourth.
A single by Livingston broke the streak, but Andrew and his team shut down the threat immediately, leaving the runner stuck on first. With a newfound sense of urgency, the momentum of the game picked up immensely.
Patterson broke their three-out streak at bat when senior Jake Thompson came to the plate, hitting a drive down into right field for a single. Kevin Phelps, a junior, added to the mounting pressure and exhilaration by hitting a line drive to an unprepared Livingston short shop. Unable to handle the oncoming hit, the Tigers’ destroyed Livingston’s hopes to turn a double play as both secured a bag at first and second.
With two on and one out, the stakes were high for the Wolves. What made matters worse for Livingston was the fact that the Livingston pitcher had a balk called against him. He stopped in the middle of his throw, thinking the umpire had called time.
The error advanced the runners to second and third, posing a harsh threat for the contenders.
Although the odds were in Patterson’s favor, the Tigers were unable to eek a run. Senior Trevor struck out while Sophomore Thomas Turner popped the ball up for an easy clasp by the catcher. The threat was over, and it seemed to stay so until the seventh inning.
Junior Garrett Fowler, who normally plays catcher, was positioned at third base for the first time in his career. As a result, he made some throwing errors that allowed Livingston to tack on another run late in the game. While his defense was very good at the position, the long throw from third kept sailing high, allowing base runners to reach first without much contention.
Fowler had a chance to make up for it, however, when Patterson threatened Livingston yet again in the bottom of the seventh.
With a two out rally on the field, and runners on second and third, it looked to be a promising game that perked spectator’s interests. Garrett would have the chance to either make or break the team’s advances and the game’s standings.
But, ahead in the count, Garrett was hit in the ribs by an inside fastball and was awarded first base. He may not have knocked in the runs necessary to win the game but what it had done was load the basses.
Livingston changed pitchers shortly after, showing their concern. There were two balls and no strikes on the count, but the new pitcher ended up fighting back with a three-strike pitch that ended the game.
The Tigers faced Livingston once more on Tuesday, May 6 at Livingston High School for their last league game. The scores were unavailable as of press time.
As this year comes to a close for the seniors, Zac Jepson, Trevor Troxler, Andrew Basal Zantino Bustos, Jake Thompson, T.J. Jack, Jacob Gomez, and Jordan Canseco, they leave behind some promising players.
Freshman Santiago Cantu looks to make a name for himself at short stop with both a strong presence with the bat and defensive play. Fowler will also have another year to improve his skills at third, and junior Kevin Phelps will be a large target at first for his senior year.
Promising players are also expected to turn up in next year’s roster from the junior varsity team.
Randy Sawyer is the temporary sports writer for the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at RandySaw1@gvni.com.