This time, the Tokay High baseball team hung onto its lead.
On top of that, the Tigers added insurance runs to pick up their first league win of the season, knocking off West 7-3 in Friday’s Tri-City Athletic League game at Zupo Field. The Wolf Pack, however, won the best-of-three series.
“Tonight we got a good start out of our pitcher,” said Tokay coach Pat Macfarlane of sophomore Logan Drummond, who went 4 2/3 innings for the win. “We’ve worked hard in between his starts, on making a few minor adjustments. He listened to them and it paid off tonight.”
Clinging onto a 4-3 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning, Tokay (1-3 in the TCAL, 2-15) used back-to-back doubles to add onto its run total with one out. Jacob Varney drew a walk, and Ty DiDonato came in to pinch-run for Varney. Then Kolton Fernandez singled to left field, a bouncer, which moved DiDonato to second base.
Joseph Barnhardt was next in the Tigers’ lineup. On a 2-2 count, he doubled deep to the left field wall to drive in DiDonato to make it 5-3. Barnhardt didn’t stay on second base too long, nor did Fernandez on third. That is because Ryker Henne doubled to right-center field to drive in his two teammates.
Tokay pitchers Hunter Trull and Varney sat down West (2-4 in the TCAL, 7-7) in the final two innings. They gave up no hits.
The Tigers’ defense also had some good plays; one of which included third baseman Cade Campbell, who made a sliding catch near the pitcher’s mound for an out in the top of the sixth inning. Lew, in center field, Varney at left and Henne at right recorded a combined seven outs, all fly balls.
“We had good relief pitching,” said Macfarlane of Trull and Varney. “We made some good plays. It was a good, all-around effort.”
The Tigers, who led 4-0 entering the top of the fifth, watched West score all of its runs in the top of the fifth inning. Damian Vallejos tripled to left field, and Landon Bryant singled, also to left field. The Wolf Pack also benefited from a Tokay fielding error by the infield — the Tigers’ only error of the game — as the score became 4-3.
Tokay, which had six hits in the game, spread out its runs in the first three innings.
“Everybody is swinging the bats a little bit better,” Macfarlane said.
In the bottom of the third, leading 2-0, Ryan Lew doubled to down the third base line. He moved to third base on a passed ball and scored on a West throwing error; the Wolf Pack was trying to pick off Drummond, who walked after Lew got on board. Drummond later scored in the inning on a passed ball for a 4-0 score.
Fernandez, who scored twice in the game, walked to lead off the second inning. After he stole second base and moved to third on another Wolfpack passed ball, Fernandez touched home plate when Campbell singled the bouncing baseball up the middle for a single that made it 2-0.
The Tigers scored their first run in their first half-inning. Colby Baker walked, moved to second base when Drummond beat out an infield single; the ball rolled slowly toward West pitcher Diego Morales, who relayed the baseball to first base but Drummond called safe by a step.
On the mound, Drummond gave up only two hits and struck out three Wolf Pack batters.
In Wednesday’s game in Tracy, Tokay held a 9-6 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning. But West rallied in its final at-bat and posted a 10-6 victory. The Wolfpack won Monday’s series opener, 5-1, also at Zupo Field.
“We could be 2-1 right now,” said Macfarlane of the Tigers’ games against the Wolf Pack this week.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.