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Bruin Baseball Teams Busy During Spring Break
Riverbanks Carlos Villapudua slides back into first base, avoiding a pickoff throw in the bottom of the third inning in Thursday varsity baseball action at the Art McRae tournament at Central Valley High School in Ceres. Ric McGinnis/The News

Most Riverbank student athletes were on spring break last week, but Bruin baseball teams were competing in the Art McRae Tournament at Central Valley High School in Ceres.

The four-day contest ended on Thursday, April 5 with the varsity team playing for the championship in the afternoon.

On Monday, Riverbank faced the Vikings of Johansen High School, with Brian Ordonez pitching, according to coach Scott Chambers. He reported that Ordonez pitched five innings, with five strikeouts and just three walks in the 8-4 Riverbank win. He noted catcher Carlos Villapudua had four assists, with two outs on steal attempts and two outs by pickoffs at first base. And he drove in a run on a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Christian Fernandez went 2-for-4, with a bunt single that led to the first Riverbank run and a base hit in his last at bat. The coach said Nik Mayfield went 1-for-2, with two runs batted in on a triple and a line drive to right field. He also walked and was hit by a pitch.

On Tuesday, Chambers said, Carlos Gonzalez started on the mound against the Warriors from Orestimba High School in Newman. The coach said he racked up five strikeouts against two walks, for the 10-6 win. He said Villapudua had two more assists again from behind the plate, catching runners attempting steals. And he went 1-for-2 at the plate, notching two RBIs and a stolen base of his own. Mayfield went 1-for-2 as well, with a double and two walks, all with three stolen bases. Nick Allen also went 1-for-2 and an RBI. Preston Davidson had two base hits and two RBI.

Wednesday’s game was against the home standing Central Valley Hawks. Riverbank came away with a 7-3 win, with Mayfield earning the victory on the mound. Chambers said he got seven strikeouts on just three walks in his five innings of work. Villapudua was behind the plate again, nailing the only attempted steal. At the plate, he went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases. The coach reported that Fernandez was 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. Mayfield did well with the bat also, notching a three-run double in the third inning. First baseman Nick Allen went had a deep hit to left field for a double in the second inning.

Those three wins put the Bruins in the championship game on Thursday. The good weather from last week took a turn that day, with heavy overcast skies ahead of the rain.

Riverbank took on Modesto Christian High School in that final game, with Villapudua taking the mound to start the game. The team held its own in the early going, moving ahead 2-1 by the end of the third inning, but that was the end of their lead.

The Crusaders took over in the top of the fourth, with their bats accounting for seven runs, then two more each in the sixth and seventh innings, to just one more for Riverbank. The final score was 12-3 in favor of Modesto Christian. And on the way home from Ceres that afternoon, raindrops began to fall.

At the same tournament last week, the JV Bruins were able to finish in fourth place.

Action in all spring sports is to resume this week, both with the return of students to campus and TVL play continuing.

On the softball diamond, the Lady Bruins were to host Hughson on Tuesday, after The News went to press, and more baseball is scheduled for today, Wednesday, with the Mountain House Mustangs coming to Riverbank to take on the host Bruins.

RHS boys volleyball players were to travel to Mountain House on Tuesday, as was the Bruin boys golf team. Track and field co-ed teams are to resume action at home Wednesday, welcoming the Hilmar Yellowjackets and tennis resumes on Friday, hosting Mountain House.