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Bruin ballplayers post their first win
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A grand slam by Drew Villalobos gave Bruin ballplayers their first win of the season on Saturday, March 12, in a home game against Modesto Christian.

Villalobos towering homer with one out and the bases loaded came in the fifth inning and put the Riverbank High School varsity team ahead at 6-5. The Bruins scored one more run in the sixth to give them a 7-5 win over the Knights.

"Drew got the big one when we needed it," said Riverbank coach Mike Carrigg.

The Bruins were trailing, 5-1, going into the fifth and striking out a lot, eight or nine times. But then the MC pitcher started to walk them, and Mike DalPorto scored on a pass ball to make it 5-2 shortly before Villalobos' homer.

In addition to his effort at bat, Villalobos opened the pitching. Zac Swanson relieved him in the fifth inning.

"That was to close the door. Nobody could touch him. He looked good," said Carrigg.

There were no multiple hits by the Bruins. Daniel DeCroix bunted and was walked a couple of times to score three of their runs.

"We got a lot of gifts from the opposing pitcher, considering we made four errors and struck out 11 times," said the Bruin coach.

After their opening games scheduled against Central Catholic and Sonora were rained out, the Bruins lost by 2-1 to Pitman on the road earlier in the week on Tuesday.

Swanson and Villlabos pitched, did a good job, and only gave up eight hits between them.

"But we left a lot of guys on base," said their coach.

Dalporto went 2-for-3 at bat and hit Riverbank's only RBI in the third inning. That hit with two outs brought Eric Rodriguez home from third base for the Bruins only run.

Pitman hit one of its own in the fourth inning, then broke the tie with another run in the seventh inning.

"We left guys on base in the second and third innings and Pitman got the last run," said Carrigg. "We looked rather slow and were struggling offensively. But it was a good outing for the season's start."

Today, the Bruins will play at home again, this time against Bret Harte. They are then scheduled to go on the road against Linden on Friday and Ripon Christian on Wednesday, March 23, for their first Trans Valley League game.