MERCED - Junior varsity pitcher Jordan Cortez was nearly perfect on the mound for the Tigers on Tuesday as his team tangled with Livingston High School in the second game of the Merced Union High School District's Sophomore Easter Classic tourney.
Cortez fired a no-hitter striking out nine Livingston batters as Los Baños' offense rolled over the Wolves 11-0 in four and a half innings.
"We played a lot better today and were more sound fundamentally," said junior varsity coach Mike Bonillas. The team lost its first game of the tourney against Pitman High School 10-6 on Monday after eight unearned runs by the Pride erased a 4-0, first-inning Los Baños lead.
Right fielder Fredrick Dillion got things going for the Tigers against Livingston with a one-out single in the bottom of the third inning that he parlayed into a run by stealing second, advancing to third as the Wolves' throw to second base floated into the outfield and crossing the plate on an errant throw to third.
But it was in the bottom of the fourth inning that the Tigers' bats came alive.
Issac Robledo launched the first pitch of Los Baños' half of the inning into left field for a double and scored when Chris Maxey singled to left. After Anthony Honesto walked, Cortez singled to load the bases.
Jalen Bourbon battled to a full count before ripping a triple to center field clearing the bases and putting the Tigers ahead by five runs. Mario Eguia brought Bourbon home by beating the throw to first after hitting the ball to the infield. Dillion and Thomas Rowell both singled to load the bases again, still with no outs.
Javelle Beasley was hit by a pitch forcing Eguia home, Dillion scored from third on a wild pitch and Robledo drew a walk at his second at-bat of the inning to load the bases for a third time.
Maxey came to the plate and fought the Wolves' pitcher to a full count before smacking a double deep to left field that cleared the bases and put the Tigers' final three runs in the books.
Honesto reached base again in the fourth on a throwing error to first and Cortez walked to load the bases yet again. But a pair of strike outs and a ground out from the next three Los Baños batters stranded three and ended the team's slug fest.
Cortez made short work of the Wolves in the top of the fifth inning, striking out the side to end the contest. An error by the Tigers at the top of the second inning that put a Livingston batter of first base spoiled Cortez' shot at a perfect game.
Maxey hit 2-3 with a double and four RBIs. Dillion also batted 2-3.