Welcome back to baseball, Jordan Kron.
The East Union standout turned on the first pitch he saw on Wednesday afternoon, yanking a solo home run over the left-center field fence.
It was all the run support he and the Lancers would need in a season-opening 1-0 victory over Lodi at Agostini Field.
“He’s always anxious to play baseball,” East Union coach Dan Triglia said of Kron, whose blast came with two outs in the first inning. “He had a great season with basketball, but it was fantastic having him back out here with the guys.
“He sets the tempo for us.”
Kron and two pitchers protected the slim lead.
The UC Riverside-bound senior faced 11 batters in his first start of the season. He struck out three, walked one and allowed just one hit in three innings.
Jake Danhoff and Anthony Flores finished off the three-hitter with four innings of relief and outfielder Jesus Esquivel ended the game – and a mild Lodi threat – with a diving catch.
“For the first game, it was solid pitching and really good defense behind him,” Triglia said. “I told the kids after the game that if we get good pitching and good defense we’ll be in every single game.”
Manteca 11, Beyer 6
Johansen 2, Manteca 1
MODESTO – Gene Ballardo was pleased with how his pitching answered the challenge of a doubleheader to open the Viking Classic on Wednesday.
Jake Corn gave up two hits and fanned six in his season debut and the Buffaloes exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning en route to an 11-6 victory over Beyer High in the morning game.
Michael Garibay went 2-for-4 with a two-run double and Buddy Reeder launched a two-run homer over the left field fence.
Corn was shaky early, but found his form. He was tagged with four earned runs, largely the result of two hit batsmen.
“He settled down and got into a groove and did what only Jake can do,” Ballardo said.
When the Buffaloes returned to the diamond for their second game, their hitting did not.
Manteca wasted a dazzling performance by Joe Menzel, who worked into the seventh. He allowed one earned run on three hits to Johansen, which won with a walkoff flare single to right.
Manteca is 3-1.
“You got to beat that team,” Ballardo said. “You can’t come out and beat a powerhouse and lay flat the second game. You have to take that momentum and roll it into the next.”
Turlock 7, Sierra 0
The Timberwolves got a taste of Valley Oak League play in their loss to a perennial Division I playoff team.
Turlock’s Nick Voumard and Dakota Edwards combined for 10 strikeouts in a two-hit shutout.
“We faced some really good pitching,” Sierra coach Jack Thomson said, “but that’s going to be the norm. We’re going to see some really good pitching in league.”
Joseph Collett and Gerald Parente singled for Sierra, which failed to match Turlock’s pitching prowess.
The Timberwolves either walked or beaned six batters in the first three innings of the game.
“We need to find some strike-throwers,” Thomson said.