This one was for Stephanie Alvarez.
She’s the mother of East Union High sophomore Jaydin Alvarez, who was the starting pitcher Monday against Lathrop High.
He learned right before the first pitch of his mother being rushed to the hospital.
“My father had to leave, too,” said Alvarez, who went on to pitch a two-hit gem with 15 strikeouts – including fanning the first seven batters he faced in succession – in the 8-0 non-league victory at EU’s Agostini Field.
“I couldn’t have done it without these guys,” he added, pointing to his teammates.
Alvarez learned later that his mother was OK.
Both teams were more than pleased to get this non-league game in at EU’s Agostini Field given the early rainouts during the early season.
“This was the first time we’ve taken the infield,” said Chuck Garcia, who has been with the Spartans’ baseball program for nine years with this being his first year at the helm.
He added: “We’re a young team with a lot of first-year players.”
The Lancers (1-1) scratched out a run in the first and added another in the third. “We started off slow,” said EU coach Gene Ballardo.
Daniel Ruiz led off with a walk and Zach White followed with a base hit in the first inning. Ruiz scored on a fielder’s choice.
Andrew Morones’ triple plated Andrew Mount for the second in the third.
Lathrop (0-1) put together a threat in the top of the third.
Cristofer Landa reached base on an error and Elijah Bermundez and Michael Pacheco both singled. But East Union got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.
The Lancers added four in the fifth. Mount drew an lead-off walk but Matt Julien, who came in on relief of starter Daniel Navarro – he pitched 3 1/3 innings – struck out the next two batters.
Alvarez helped his cause with an RBI single, Fernando Segura walked and Cameron Ceja delivered on a run-scoring double.
Carlos Alvarez plated Ceja with an RBI single.
East Union led 6-0 after five innings, tacking on two more in the sixth by taking advantage of several Spartans’ miscues.
“We stressed a better hitting approach to our batters,” Gallardo said on his offense.
As for his team’s play on the field?
“Jaydin’s pitching helped us a lot today,” he said. “He made it easy for us on defense.”
Enoch 1, Manteca 0
Jacob Hansen led Enoch High of Modesto by keeping the Buffaloes scoreless through five innings.
He was relieved in the fifth by Camron Mercurio, who pitched the final two innings in the non-league affair for the save.
“Hats off to the Eagles,” said Manteca coach Neil MacDannald. “They did all of the little things right – they’re well coached.”
Enoch (1-0) managed five hits. The top hitter was Hunter Brown, who was 2 for 4 with a double.
Manteca (2-2) had three hits. Dylan Gross, who also pitched two innings of shutout ball, was 2 for 2.