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Swinging start for Aviators

ATWATER -- The unexpected early exit from the playoffs for the Merced College baseball team was tough to take for Kory Vitato.

The smooth-fielding shortstop felt the Blue Devils would be around a lot longer.

"It took awhile to get over," Vitato said. "It really left a bad taste in my mouth.

"That's why it feels really good to get back out there and playing baseball again."

It showed on Wednesday night as Vitato went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Atwater Aviators to an 8-0 win over the Merced Volunteers on Wednesday night at Memorial Ballpark.

Like many of his college teammates, Vitato is using the summer to help get ready for next year.

Vitato will move on to Stanislaus State.

"I'm just trying to get as many reps in on defense and as many swings as I can," Vitato said.

Vitato walked and scored in the first inning to give the Aviators an early 1-0 lead.

He then delivered a two-run single to highlight a four-run second inning that saw Atwater (6-1) extend the lead to 5-0.

The Volunteers defense didn't do much to help out starter Connor Oldcorn.

It doesn't help that the Vols are banged up. Marco Ledesma, Daniel Benson, Art Corona and Tynan Pedretti were all out of the lineup for various reasons.

The Vols hitters again had a tough night against the older Aviators.

Atwater improved to 3-0 against the Vols as five pitchers held Merced to just three hits.

"It's good to see better arms, but you can tell our guys are frustrated," Vols coach Joel Pedretti said.

"These guys are high school all-stars. They're not used to failing this much."

Cameron Edman went 3 for 4 for the Aviators and he was the only Atwater hitter to get the bat on the ball during the final two innings against Vols ace Dylan Floro.

Fresh off getting drafted in the 20th round by the Tampa Bay Rays earlier in the day, Floro arrived to the game late and pitched the final two innings for the Volunteers.

The right-hander struck out five of the six batters he faced.

The Aviators travel to Lodi today.

The Vols (2-6) will be back in action at Merced College on Saturday for a doubleheader against Burlingame at 11 a.m.

At Memorial Ballpark

Merced 000 000 000 -- 0 3 1

Atwater 141 200 00X -- 8 9 1

Connor Oldcorn, Cyle Bettis (5), Dylan Floro (7) and Logan Wilson, Peter Sandino (7); Matt Mazzoni, Sean Fasig (5), Robert Alcala (7) Daniel Doty (8), Jerry Leonardo (9) and Zach Sullivan. WP -- Mazzoni. LP -- Oldcorn.

VOLS -- Oldcorn (2B).

AVIATORS -- Kory Vitato 2-3 (2B, 2 RBI, 3 Runs), David Rohm (2B, RBI), Cameron Edman 3-4 (2B, 3 Runs).

Records: Vols (2-6), Aviators (6-1).