The visiting Downey side erased a 3-2 Patterson lead with a two-run top of the sixth inning to hold a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the frame, but the Tigers would not take the lead change lying down, scoring five runs of their own in response, to recapture the lead and move on to an 8-5 victory on Feb. 28 at the Patterson High varsity baseball field.

“That’s what we talked about most of the day yesterday, is I love how they didn’t quit against Ripon, and how they stayed focused and in the game, and being relaxed,” head coach Harley Parson said referencing their loss to Ripon in the previous game. “The kids have talent. They just got to be relaxed and then keep pounding. They showed it. We’re hoping it’s a turnaround, but there’s still a lot of work.”

Patterson’s sixth-inning rally began when freshman Javier Huizar drew a walk to start the frame. Senior Alex Mora reached base on an error, and the bad throw to first permitted Huizar to score to immediately, tie the game at 4-4. Mora legged out two bases on the bad throw, ending up on third base before a bunt single by sophomore Jordan Imada scored Mora, giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead.

A fielder’s choice recorded the first out of the inning on senior Joseph McGarry’s grounder moving, Imada to second base.

Junior Zach Rodriguez followed that up with a single, before junior Cesar Martin hit a dribbler up the middle that found grass in the outfield for a hit. Martin’s single scored Imada, while Rodriguez and Martin moved up to third and second base respectively following the throw to home plate, pushing Patterson ahead 6-4.

A pass ball during senior Ryan Phelps’ at bat led to Rodriguez scoring and Martin advancing to third. Phelps got underneath a pitch and scored Martin in a sacrifice fly, to give Patterson a healthy 8-4 lead.

Rodriguez finished the day going 2-3 at the plate with an RBI and a walk.

Martin also finished 2-3 with an RBI, walk and two stolen bases.

Parson pulled starting pitcher Miguel Alvarez and inserted sophomore Logan McCleery for the top of the seventh inning. Downey was able to tack on a run and load the bases with two outs, but McCleery closed out the game with an 8-5 Patterson victory.

Alvarez went six innings on the mound. He scattered five hits, four earned runs with one walk and four strikeouts.

McCleery recorded two walks, two strikeouts and an unearned run during his one inning in relief. McCleery also went 2-4 at the plate with a double.

Downey senior Anderson Grover pitched the majority of the game for the visitors. Grover pitched four innings, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts. The senior also was 2-4 at the plate with a double and two stolen bases in the loss.

Patterson was scheduled to host Manteca High the following day on March 1, but the game was cancelled due to scheduling errors.

PI sports writer

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