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ATWATER'S GEORGE GETS CALL TO HALL

ATWATER -- Just call Matt Winton's boys party crashers.

The scene was set for a special night as the Atwater High/Atwater-Winton Lions Easter Baseball Tournament turned 50 years old on Monday night.

A big crowd watched as past Atwater MVPs, coaches, Larry Silva Award winners and tournament queens were introduced.

The stage was set for the current Atwater players to go out and put on a show.

However, nobody told Winton or his scrappy Livingston squad.

Livingston scored two runs in the top of the seventh to spoil Atwater's party with a 5-3 win on the opening night of the tournament.

"It's high school baseball," said Winton, whose team improved to 6-10. "You put the ball in play and you never know what will happen."

That's exactly what Livingston did and it took advantage of two costly Atwater errors in the seventh inning.

Two misplayed groundballs on the infield helped Livingston push across two runs.

"We've played pretty solid defense all year," said Atwater coach Jarrod Pimentel, whose team dropped to 9-9.

"Unfortunately we made a couple errors at the end."

The physical mistakes didn't bother Pimentel as much as other things he saw from his team.

"We were flat on our anniversary," Pimentel said. "That really ticks us coaches off. I was excited and wanted to put on a good showing in front of everybody.

"I don't know why we were flat, but I'll try to fix it by tomorrow night."

Colton Beatty started the night off right for Atwater with a solo homer over the right-field fence in the bottom of the first inning.

It was one of the few mistakes by Livingston sophomore Nick Gonzalez.

The right-hander pitched five strong innings for Livingston.

Meanwhile, Livingston's defense didn't make any mistakes behind him.

"We can't make a lot of mistakes because we're not going to strike a lot of guys out," Winton said.

"Nick Gonzalez did a great job. He didn't have great stuff, but when he needed to make a pitch, he made it."

A Fernando Carillo RBI-single and a bases-loaded walk by Charles Brown gave Livingston a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth.

However, Atwater turned three walks into a pair of runs on two sacrifice flies to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, Livingston used a walk and an error to help load the bases with one out.

Carillo then drove in the go-ahead run with a ground ball to shortstop. A ground ball off the bat of Gurpreet Sangha was mishandled allowing Livingston to extend the lead to 5-3.

"We walked four guys in that sixth inning, so we were lucky to get out of that inning giving up just the two runs," Winton said.

"We showed a lot of guts getting back after it for those two runs in the seventh."

Today's Schedule

Patterson vs Linden, 10:30 a.m.

Waterford vs Linden, 1:30 p.m.

Livingston vs Carson, 4:30 p.m.

Atwater vs Moreau, 7:30 p.m.

EASTER LIONS: A photo gallery of the Atwater-Livingston opener and a video of the 50th anniversary celebration will be available this afternoon at www.mercedsunstar.com.

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