The difference between winning and losing can be a very fine line.
The Golden Valley baseball team found that out on Friday afternoon.
A dropped ball and a wild pitch proved to be the difference as Turlock defeated GV 4-3 in nine innings at Golden Valley.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
"That's baseball," Golden Valley coach Scott Solis said. "That's how small the difference can be between winning and losing."
Golden Valley reliever Ralf Vasquez appeared to have pitched himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth inning.
The submariner induced a ground ball off the bat of Turlock's Nolan Parks.
GV's Dom Johnson fielded the ball at third base and was about to run to the bag for the force out and the final out of the inning.
However, the ball dropped out of Johnson's glove allowing Turlock to take a 3-2 lead.
Vasquez then threw a wild pitch allowing Colton Pifer to score and suddenly Turlock had a 4-2 lead.
"We matched them pitch for pitch," said Turlock coach Mark de la Motta, whose team improved to 2-4 in the Central California Conference.
"We took advantage of a couple opportunities. We had the same thing happen to us on Wednesday. It was nice to be on the other side this time."
Golden Valley's Eric Spencer tripled and came around to score to cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth.
However, Turlock's Jaime Rodriguez struck out Johnson to end the game.
Golden Valley (3-3 CCC, 9-8 overall) had its opportunities.
Alex Fletcher hit a ball up the middle that looked like it was headed into center field to score two runs, but Turlock shortstop Kevin Kramer made a great play to end the fifth inning.
It was one of two great defensive plays by Turlock in the inning as third baseman Vince Wheeland made a diving play to rob GV's Phillip Greenberg to start the inning.
"They just made a few more plays than us," Solis said. "They also got a couple more hits at the right time."