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Varsity Bruins Earn First Win On Diamond
After opening the 2009 season with a bittersweet 5-5 tie with McNair High of Stockton, the Riverbank Bruins baseball team made its debut in the win column with a 5-3 victory over Millennium High of Tracy on Friday, Feb. 27.

Riverbank has had little difficulty pushing runs across the plate, scoring 10 runs over their first 13 innings of action. This effort combined with an elevated performance in the field defensively will likely bring the Bruins some success during the season.

Riverbank jumped out on Millennium with a run in the bottom of the third inning, but the lead would not last long as Millennium grabbed its first lead of the game with a two run fourth inning.

The Bruins displayed something that the squad has not displayed in recent seasons, recapturing the lead immediately with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. The direct offensive response would not be all the Bruins would need for the victory, but it surely gave a glimpse of the resiliency the squad hopes to hold on to throughout the season.

Tyler Fipps gave the Bruins a solid outing, keeping the Millennium hitters off balance and holding the Tracy squad to just three runs in six innings of work. Fipps' effort on the hill left the Bruins in great position to win the ball game late and that is exactly what the Trans-Valley League team did in this non-league contest.

The Bruins would solidify their first victory on the young season with a two run bottom of the sixth, giving Riverbank a 5-3 lead and setting Fipps up for the win and giving reliever Paul Gonzalez his first save opportunity of the season.

Gonzalez made good on his attempt, keeping Millennium off of the scoreboard in the final frame and securing the Bruins win one of the long baseball season grind.

Fipps helped his cause with a double and a run scored, while teammate Gonzalo Ramirez came across home plate twice. Returning standout Miguel Hernandez handled the Bruins' catching duties, handling all seven innings of duty behind the plate.

Riverbank will look to stay on the right track as they head to Waterford to take on the Wildcats March 5 at Waterford High. The Bruins' trip to Waterford will be followed by a home game against the Denair Coyotes on March 6 at Riverbank High.

Riverbank will then head to Angels Camp to take on Bret Harte in a March 9 showdown. All three contests are scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. first pitch.