Nick Pino has been begging to swing the bat since he joined the Atwater Aviators.
Pino got his chance Monday night and delivered, going 2 for 4 with four RBIs to lead the Aviators to a 13-1 win over the Merced Volunteers at Merced College.
"I've been bugging (Aviators coach) Rollo (Adams) about it," Pino said. "I'm going to play some outfield at Cuesta College next year, so I've been trying to get in the lineup.
"It's been about half a year since I've seen live pitching. I've taken batting practice the last three months. It was nice to get in there and take some swings."
The Aviators (5-7) broke a scoreless tie with a seven-run fourth inning.
The Volunteers (2-8) opened the door to the big inning with a couple defensive miscues in the outfield.
Pino reached on an error to start the rally and Cain Spaniger hit a ball to right field that was misplayed into a double to set the stage.
Paul Cotler and Bobby Hosmer followed with back-to-back run-scoring hits to give the Aviators a 2-0 lead.
Pino closed the inning with a two-run single. By the time the top of the fourth inning was over, Atwater had sent 11 batters to the plate and collected five hits.
The Aviators batted around again in the fifth inning with Pino again driving in a pair of runs.
Three Aviator pitchers combined to retire the first 16 hitters before Alec McAuley singled to center with one out in the sixth.
The Volunteers, which is an American Legion team comprised of high school and first-year college players, have taken their lumps this summer playing against collegiate teams.
Merced heads to Las Vegas today for an eight-game tournament against other legion teams.
"I want to see some improvement now that we'll be playing kids more their age," said Adams, who also coaches the Volunteers. "I want them to be aggressive and just go out and play baseball.
"I think some of them have been a little timid against these college kids. I want to see our pitchers throw strikes."