Jacob Faulk delivered a strong performance on the mound as he went the distance for his first complete game of the season and the offense came alive in a 9-3 win over Elliot Christian on Tuesday night at Memorial Ballpark.
The win evened the Falcons’ record at 1-1 in the first two days of the 58th Annual Fran Oneto/Atwater-Winton Lions Easter Baseball Tournament.
Atwater (3-14) rebounded from a sloppy loss to Livingston in which the Falcons made six errors in rainy conditions on Monday night in the tournament opener.
“There was a little rain (on Monday), we started the game a little earlier, not to make excuses but we weren’t in our routine,” said Atwater coach Jarrod Pimentel. “Today we were at the ballpark all day, trying to get the field ready. I think that helped the kids come out more focused.”
Rain washed away two of the four games on Tuesday, forcing Pimentel to juggled the tournament schedule. Six games will be played on Wednesday with Livingston hosting two games at Livingston High at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Faulk scattered eight hits, while striking out nine and giving up just three runs in seven innings.
“My changeup was my best pitch tonight,” Faulk said. “Everybody was swinging early on it. Then I blew them away with my fastball.”
The Falcons jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Cody Rhoads singled and Jacob Weiss followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Faulk then drove in Rhoads with a ground ball to third base.
The Eagles took a brief 2-1 lead in the third inning on a two-run double by Robert Dutcher to left field.
However, the Falcons answered with four runs in the fourth and four more runs in the fifth to open up a 9-2 lead.
Atwater took advantage of two walks and two hit batters in the fourth inning as Cristian Curiel drove in a run with a single and Weis delivered a two-run single during the rally.
Elliot Christian then made four errors in the fifth inning that helped the Falcons plate four more runs. Atwater also pressed the issue with aggressive base running, which forced some errant throws.
“We’re not a power team,’” Faulk said. “We have to use small ball, bunts. We have some fast guys that can get around the bases.”
Atwater will host St. Joseph on Wednesday night at 7. Livingston will host St. Joseph at 1 p.m. and then Elliot Christian at 4.
In the only other game on Tuesday, San Leandro defeated Mountain House 3-0 behind a two-hit shutout by Josh Campuzano. The Pirates senior struck out eight and didn’t allow a walk.