Lathrop High entered break Friday with a 20-10 win over visiting Weston Ranch in a non-league affair that went nearly six innings.
The Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the frame, ending it on this blustery windy day with the 10-run rule.
“Our kids showed composure,” said LHS coach Charles Garcia. “It was the first time in a long time that we had a team that came back after being trampled.”
He was referring to the third inning when the Cougars scored eight times in the frame, taking advantage of walks while employing some aggressive base running while momentarily taking the lead.
“That’s what got us here,” Weston Ranch coach David Hager said. “It’s what made us successful — we got away from that.”
Lathrop (3-0) settled down after falling behind, 9-7.
Relief pitcher Noah Martinez handled the Cougars (3-6) with a little help from his defense from the third inning on.
Catcher Michael Pacheco gunned down a runner at third and infielder Eddie Reynoso posted an unassisted put-out at third.
Martinez, who had the game’s only 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, retired sixth straight batters before his hit batsman in sixth followed shortly by Gabriel Melgar’s two-out RBI single.
The Spartans scored twice in the first and five in the fourth.
But it was the Cougars who jumped out to a 1-0 lead — Christian Cortez quickly got into scoring position on a two-base error — in the first inning.
Lathrop returned the favor in the bottom of the first, getting runners on board on an error and walk, respectively, and scoring twice on Weston Ranch miscues.
The Spartans made it 7-1 in the second, rallying for five runs behind three hits, a batsman, and a pair of Cougar errors.
Daniel Navarro delivered a two-run single.
Weston Ranch answered back with an eight-run third.
Andrew Montano opened with a single and Rogelio Ruvalcaba followed by reaching base on an error — both scored following a series of throwing errors by Lathrop.
Cortez had the big hit in the frame, ripping a two-run double to tie the game up at 7-7.
Weston Ranch added two more runs, taking advantage of a throwing error for a 9-7 lead.
In the fourth, the Spartans reclaimed the lead for good by scoring seven times. Reynoso had an RBI single and Kiran Perilla a two-run hit.
The Lathrop tacked on three more runs in fifth — Martinez came through with a two-run single — and finally finished off the Cougars with three in the bottom of the sixth.
Navarro provided the final blow with his two-run hit.
The Spartans collected 11 hits led by Elijah Bermudez, who went 2 for 3 with a double and three RBI. Martinez, Pacheco, Navarro and Perilla each collected two hits.
Jeremiah Estante and Pacheco both scored four times for Lathrop.
The Cougars were playing their fourth game in five days and were betrayed by errors.
“It’s hard to win games when you commit nine errors,” Hager said.
Both teams will now be off for the next few weeks until further notice.