BASEBALL: Cougars Drop Opener at Soledad

Boys baseball lost their season opener to Soledad High School last Saturday at Soledad. The Cougars gave up four runs in the 4th inning and another in the 5th, and the Aztecs hung on to beat the Cougars 5-0. However, the Cougars walked away from the defeat with a positive feeling.

“For our first game, I thought we played pretty well,” said head coach David Hager. “The 4th inning was tough. Dustin (Tinsley) struggled with location, and we misplayed a fly ball, which cost us three runs. So it was a ‘what else could go wrong’ type of inning, but, overall, I think the team showed us a lot of good things we can build upon.”

One area where Hager thought was good was the pitching. Senior Dustin Tinsley went four strong innings, gave up five hits, and struck out six Aztecs. Sophomore Ayden Tinsley finished the final two innings, giving up one hit and striking out three Aztecs.

“I was really pleased with Dustin’s performance,” Hager said. “Six strikeouts in four innings was tremendous. He had that one inning where he struggled, and we gave up four runs, but I would say it was of his better outings he’s had in his high school career.”

The Cougars committed three errors on the day, paving the way for longer Soledad turns at the plate. But, overall, Hager thought the Cougar defense was solid and kept them in the game.

“Defensively, we played well,” Hager said. “We had one play that got away from us mentally. However, we took care of the ball when we needed to, and we communicated exceptionally. I was pleased.”

The Cougars managed two hits on the day: a double by Dustin Tinsley and a single from Alejandro Piedra. Weston Ranch collected six bases on balls and one hit by pitcher. In addition, Tinsley and freshman Fernando Vargas each stole a base for the Cougars. The Cougars left seven runners on the bases for the day.

“Again, I was pleased with the effort,” said Hager. “It’s a long season, and we will look to get better in some areas.”

Weston Ranch heads up I-5 for a clash with Lathrop High School today. The first pitches for both the Varsity and JV are scheduled for 3:30.