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On a perfect spring weather Tuesday afternoon, Bay Area high school baseball made its return. The Pittsburg Pirates welcomed the Freedom Falcons for their first games of the season. Both teams have quickly ramped up to get ready for this season, but the Pittsburg Pirates looked to be in midseason form, as they won this game, 10-1.
Right from the start of the game, starting pitcher James Murray set the tone. In the first inning, he only needed 10 pitches for a three-up, three-down inning. The second inning also only included 10 pitches, with two strikeouts, to retire the side. He did the same thing in the third, as he cruised through the lineup and did not allow a baserunner until the fourth inning. Murray finished with five strikeouts and only threw 48 pitches in his four scoreless innings.
The Pirates offense followed behind its starting pitcher and played well all game long. The starting pitcher for the Falcons struggled to find the zone early on, but Tyler White battled. In the first inning, he gave up his lone run on the day, as White and the third baseman collided on an infield pop fly. The second inning was another amazing job to get himself out of a tough situation, as he allowed the one run in his two innings of work. He did throw 48 pitches, however, as he really had to grind through those two innings.
Then insert the smart play from the Pirates. The Pirates’ ability to bunt the ball and do the little things right put pressure on Freedom’s defense. Unfortunately, for Freedom, it made some mistakes that cost it early on. A squeeze play, an error and a balk in the third inning led to Pittsburg taking a 4-0 lead.
As Murray’s night came to a close on the mound, the Falcons looked to take advantage of some possible early season jitters from Adrian Boles. A couple of walks and a clutch base hit by Keys on Freedom put the Falcons on the board for the first time in the game.
The rest of the game, the Pirates proved to be ready for the season opener and blew the game open. More mistakes by the Falcons brought in two runs for the Pirates, as a hit batter and a walk brought in two runs. Then the star of the game proved himself once again, but this time with the bat. Murray lined one hard to the right center field gap that brought in two more runs, making it an 8-1 game in the bottom half of the fifth. The Pirates were not done yet in the fifth, though. One more hit, this time by Michael Weber, brought in the fifth run of the inning and the ninth of the game to make it a 9-1 game.
One more big play as the pinch hitter, and closer of the game, hit an RBI single to make it 10-1, where the score would stand as Guerrero closed it out in the bottom of the 7th.
Some big performers in this game were Keys for Freedom, who went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Casey Threats went 2-for-2 for Pittsburg and drew two walks. Murray was 1-for-3 with the bat and had 2 RBI, also lasting four innings on the mound while allowing zero runs and striking out five. Weber went 1-for-1 and was walked three times.
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