HUGHSON After being shut out in the first round, the Sonora High School baseball team bounced back with two victories in the Hughson Tournament.
The Wildcats (2-2) fell 3-0 to host Hughson on Thursday, routed Valley Oak League opponent Buhach Colony of Atwater 22-3 on Friday, then scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 6-5 victory over Modesto on Saturday.
Jordan Wiley and Mike Taylor walked to start the Sonora seventh in the finale with the Wildcats trailing 5-4. Wiley, Taylor, and hitter Brian Sipe then executed a bunt-and-run, with Sipe laying his bunt down the third-base line. The throw for Sipe at first got way, and Wiley and Taylor scored.
"No hit, and we win the ballgame," Sonora coach Mike Silva said. "We knew we'd have to play small ball."
Sonora may not have a lot of power, but Silva likes the way his team conducted itself at the plate in the three games.
"We batted .344 for the tournament," he said. "When everybody's hitting like that, everyone wants to get up. We're already batting past what we did last year."
Travis Hendrix, just out from basketball, went 4-for-5 with a double against Buhach, and doubled again in the Modesto game. Colby Jamar went 3-for-5 with a double vs. Buhach, and Tommy Grove and Mitch Smith burned Modesto with two-baggers.
Silva said he also liked his team's play in the field, and that the pitching wasn't bad, either. Justin Hart threw five shutout innings after getting touched up a bit in the first against Hughson, striking out three and walking none.
Josh Townsend was the winning pitcher in the next two games, getting help from Louis McColloch against Buhach on a combined one-hitter.
This week, Sonora visits Riverbank tomorrow and plays in the tough Turlock Tournament from Thursday through Saturday. After that, VOL play begins March 19 with a road game against archrival Oakdale.