LATHROP — Mikey Pereznegron legged out two triples from the leadoff spot, and Austin Plunk threw a complete-game five-hitter as the two seniors led Lathrop High to a commanding 10-1 win over Riverbank on Monday.
Lathrop, which improved to 3-5 with one more pre-league contest remaining, hammered out 10 hits, five of which went for extra bases. Pereznegron finished 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI.
“Mikey did a really good job of setting the tone by hitting the ball hard,” Lathrop coach Randy Baltazar said. “I thought everybody swung the bats pretty well, and I’m happy with how we put the ball in play.”
Keenan Donatelli is proving himself to be worthy of a varsity spot. The versatile freshman, hitting from the 2 hole Monday, went 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs. His bases-loaded single — which drove in two plus another thanks to an error in left field — highlighted Lathrop’s five-run fifth inning. Lathrop led 9-0 and had an opportunity to end it early but left the potential mercy-enforcing run on third.
Preston Rizo (1 for 1, BB, 2 runs) sparked the fifth-inning rally with a one-out triple. Carlos Estrada clubbed a double in a 2-for-4 effort.
“He’s pretty much our utility guy — he plays just about every position for us,” Baltazar said of Donatelli. “He understands the game and came up with some big hits today.”
Plunk, meanwhile, did well to work out of jams throughout. He helped turn an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play in the third after hitting the leadoff batter. He later pitched out of a no-out, bases-loaded threat in the fifth.
Armando Manriquez accounted for two of Riverbank’s five hits in a reserve role. His leadoff single in the top of the sixth led the lone run for the Bruins (3-1), who went on leave two runners in the frame. Manriquez then smashed a two-out double in the seventh.
Plunk fired four strikeouts, walked three and hit three.
“At this point, I think we’re a step or two behind from where we need to be,” Baltazar said. “I’d like our pitchers to go deeper in games, and fortunately Austin was able to eat up some innings today. We didn’t have to use up any bullpen (arms) with another game coming up here (today). We’ll have the rest of the week off to recuperate, because we have some guys who are injured.”
Lathrop hosts Franklin today at 3:30 p.m. before greeting Kimball in the Valley Oak League opener on March 19.
Pacheco 6, Ripon 4
In Los Banos, Ripon (5-5) was done in by five errors, including two in a three-run second inning for Pacheco (6-3).
Frankie Jordangalau went 3 for 4 to pace the Indians. Scott Robison (5.1 innings, 4 earned runs, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts) and Trent Murphy combined for a four-hitter. Robison was also 2 for 3 with two runs and triple at the plate.
Pacheco’s Wyatt Orozco struck out four in a two-inning save.
Central Valley 5,
Weston Ranch 2
In Ceres, the Cougars (1-5) competed well against the 7-1 Hawks but came up short. Central Valley scored three runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined to take a 5-1 cushion into the seventh.
Weston Ranch threatened in the seventh and scored its final run before Jeff Reeves shut the door for a save. Central Valley was held to just two hits but was helped out by three errors.
In Ripon, the Indians erupted for nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings and were aided by six Summerville errors throughout.
Caleb Rodgers plated three runs and drove in two and was also the winning pitcher (7 strikeouts, 5 hits, 3 walks). Zach Horwood was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, two runs and a double.
Ripon Christian 2
At Hughson, the host Huskies (5-3) took a 4-1 lead into the fourth inning and never looked back.
Jon Vander Molen knocked in a run for RC (1-4-1), which otherwise struggled to produce in a combined two-hitter for Hughson’s Bobby Etcheverry (6 innings, 5 strikeouts, 5 walks) and Michael Eastham.