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Atwater’s Pimentel comes up big in baseball tournament win

Wyatt Pimentel will own bragging rights over his good friend Cole Brown until at least their next hunting trip.

Pimentel collected two hits, including an RBI-double off Brown to lead Atwater to a 9-1 win over Livingston on Monday night, the first day of the 55th annual Fran Oneto Atwater-Winton Lions Easter Tournament at Memorial Ballpark.

Pimentel and Brown have known each other since their days at Ballico Elementary School. Knowing that they were going to face each other in the tournament, they’ve been exchanging text messages all week.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Pimentel said. “We went to middle school together. We go hunting together.”

Brown got the better of Pimentel in his first at-bat, recording a strikeout. Pimentel then got a break in his next at-bat as his grounder up the middle skipped over Brown’s glove, allowing him to beat out an infield single.

Pimentel then highlighted the Falcons’ three-run fourth inning with a run-scoring double down the left-field line.

“I finally read a pitch really well and stayed on it,” Pimentel said. “I punched it to left field. I probably would have got a triple if I wasn’t so slow. I couldn’t go 0 for 3 against him tonight. That would have been a sin. There will probably be a lot of trash talking later on tonight at Pizza Hut.”

It was a memorable night for Pimentel, playing for the first time in a tournament that he used to attend every year while growing up.

A large crowd came out to watch the traditional Monday night matchup of Livingston against Atwater.

The Wolves (5-13) struck first as Eddie Avila led off the game with a single against Atwater starter Ryan Sanchez and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to right by C.J. Avila.

Livingston gave the run back to Atwater in the bottom of the third. With runners on the corners, Sanchez stole second base. Wolves catcher Josh Penrod tried to fake a throw to second, but the ball slipped out of his hand, allowing Omar Sanchez to score from third base to tie the game at 1-1.

A wild pitch and an error helped Atwater (13-5) take a 3-1 lead in the fourth. Wyatt Pimentel then followed with his run-scoring double to extend the lead to 4-1.

“Wyatt’s worked hard outside of baseball practice on his swing,” said Atwater coach Jarrod Pimentel. “It’s pretty special for him tonight, especially being just a sophomore. He’s had some big hits for us.”

The Falcons put the game out of reach with a five-run sixth inning with Chewy Duran and JoJo Ochoa delivering run-scoring singles.

Victor Tiscareno came on in the fourth inning and pitched the final four innings to pick up the win. He struck out eight batters, including seven consecutive at one point.

Earlier in the tournament, Los Banos’ Corbin Lillihahl doubled, homered and drove in three runs to lead the Tigers to a 12-7 win over Minarets. Minarets defeated Pacheco 4-2, despite a two-run double by the Panthers’ Daniel Martinez. Moreau defeated St. Joseph 6-0 in the other game.