Watsonville High starting pitcher Chris Rivera works during the third inning against Alisal High in a Monterey Bay League Pacific matchup Friday night in Watsonville.
WATSONVILLE -- Not even the brisk spring weather was enough to cool down Watsonville High’s powerful offensive performance including the one run scored and one RBI contributed by junior starting pitcher Chris Rivera.
Oh, he also pitched five innings and gave up one run on two hits, one more than he would hit all night.
And don’t forget the 10 strikeouts with no walks given up.
But despite giving his defense an easy time on the field, Rivera still gave his teammates the credit they deserved in a smashing 17-1 Monterey Bay League Pacific win over Alisal High on Friday night.
“I think in order to capture the entire essence of this game you have to get an entire team interview at the same time,” Rivera said. “It wasn’t just me up there, it was everybody. I played the smallest role possible, I had my run support from everyone in the lineup.”
The Wildcatz (3-1, 2-0) tallied 13 hits led by catcher Ryan Olmeda who went 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored and coach James Gomez said this was a much better start then the previous matchup against Alisal (2-2, 0-2) on Wednesday.
“Baseball’s a game where you have to preform each night,” Gomez said. “I think our focus was a lot better today and we were into the game from the first inning. We just came out and did a great job.”
Rivera got off to a shaky start in the first inning when Trojan leadoff hitter Carlos Vera got on base after a line drive went off the pitcher’s glove and shortly after J.J. Solis brought in his teammate on his only hit of the game.
It would also be the last run and hit Rivera would give up. The Wildcatz junior starting pitcher struck out the next two batters.
“When I’m up there I have my own game plan going into it,” Rivera said. “But then when I have my run support and things are going good, things just get better.”
Watsonville High also got off to a fast start in the first inning after Rivera reached first base on one of Alisal’s four errors and ended up on third after nabbing both of his steals to set himself up in scoring position.
By the time the Trojans knew it the score was 5-1 and a pitching change was needed with no outs and runners on second and third base. It didn’t matter much and the Wildcatz put up four more runs to take a commanding 9-1 lead.
Rivera had plenty of run support going into the second inning and would never have to look back the rest of the night.
“It’s typical of Chris, he’s going to give us a chance to win every time he steps on the mound,” said Wildcatz Head Coach James Gomez. “He usually gets stronger as the game goes on and with that run support of course you’re going to settle down.”
Watsonville scored two more times in second and added six in the following inning to extend the lead at 17-1.
Rivera finished 1 for 3 and David Ortiz contributed two runs scored and a RBI on a 2 for 4 performance for the Wildcatz and the team bounced back in spite of the rocky start.
“I have full confidence in my team to comeback and rebuttal from that,” Rivera said. “I wasn’t worried about that first inning, I was just a little shaky trying to get everything all out but we came back and took care of that.”
Watsonville will try to pick up its third straight win when they host Pajaro Valley Monday at 6 p.m.
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