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Varsity Bruins Go 1-1 In McRae Tourney
Poor weather kept Riverbank High's varsity baseball team from playing more than two contests in the Art McRae Tournament in Ceres, but the Bruins rebounded from a 6-3 defeat to Livingston by blasting host Central Valley for a 6-0 victory on April 10.

The Bruins were at Hilmar to begin a two-game series with the Yellowjackets on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. Riverbank hosts Hilmar to complete the series on Thursday, April 19.

"Hilmar is a very good team," Riverbank coach Ismael Mercado said. "We are going to work hard in practice and see what we can do. We've got a big week with Hilmar and it was important to build momentum with the tournament."

The Bruins slipped to a 5-0 deficit after two innings against Livingston on April 9. They charged back, however, with three sixth inning runs, but couldn't quite close the gap. Tristan Rogers (four strikeouts) tossed seven tough innings with four earned runs, six hits and three walks allowed. Rogers, Antonio Perez and Sam Gong belted hits in the loss.

A day later, Chad Oliver proved sensational on the mound with a complete game shutout in seven full innings. He allowed only five Central Valley hits and belted a double in the win.

"Chad did a good job," Mercado said. "His off speed pitches did really well and he had control to get ahead of hitters for at bats."

Armando Manriquez hit 2 for 3 in the contest while Perez, Rogers (two runs, RBI) and Noel Sanchez (two runs) hit safely.

"It was a great win for us, especially coming off a day where we struggled against Livingston," Mercado said. "We were able to play good defense and pitch well. When we do that we expect to win."

Riverbank is 6-8 overall, but in the thick of the league playoff race at 3-3 in Trans-Valley League play. Escalon (4-0), Hughson (3-1), and Hilmar (4-2) are just ahead in the conference standings. Escalon faces Orestimba (3-3) this week while Hughson takes on Ripon (1-3).