PASCO – The Grizzlies kept their first games of the season tight against the 4A Bulldogs, but weren’t quite able to pull off a win in the doubleheader at Pasco.
“We lost both games, but they were close,” said Sunnyside Coach Terry Shines. “They were good games for the most part.”
Shines praised his pitchers, Joel Ortega in the first game and A.J. Muniz in the second, along with catcher Mason Kupp, for keeping the Grizzlies within reach.
“Our pitching was great,” he said.
The Bulldogs won the first game 4-2 after an eventful sixth inning. Pasco had a two-run lead going into the sixth. Grizzly Tim Martinez walked, Ortega hit a single and Kupp reached first on an error to load the bases. Ryan Pike drove in two with a double to give Sunnyside its first scores of the season and tie the game.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs answered back in the bottom of the inning with two runs.
“We had some errors,” said Shines. “We hit the ball very well, but mostly right at them. We didn’t play in any jamborees, so some of it was first game jitters. We were able to overcome it. We only had five strikeouts, usually we get 10 to 12 in a game.”
Ortega had two hits, Pike had one and Jacob Mendoza also had a hit to give the Grizzlies four hits in the first game. In the nightcap the Grizzlies had seven hits. Mendoza had two, and Martinez, Ortega, Kupp, Hank Fairbairn and Matthew Miller each added a hit.
The second game was closer, with the Grizzlies leading off the first with a run on a sacrifice by Kupp. He scored Sunnyside’s other run in the sixth inning with a fielder’s choice. The Grizzlies eventually lost 3-2.
“I’m proud of how well we played,” said Shines. “We had some errors, but we didn’t let the wheels fall off.”
Shines said his team will be working on hitting grounders and fixing baserunning problems for their next game.
“It was a good start,” he said. “We’ll only get better.”
Sunnyside will host Riverview this coming Tuesday.