TURLOCK — When Turlock High baseball coach Mark de la Motte saw the Buhach Colony lineup for their game Wednesday, he did a double-take.
"Other than (Dylan Floro) and (Marco Ledesma), we really didn't know anything about them," he said. "They're all new."
They may be new, but they're still pretty good.
Floro homered and Daniel Bolser went 2 for 2 with a double as the Thunder beat the Bulldogs 4-3 at Turlock High School in their Central California Conference opener.
It's a different Buhach Colony team from last year. That group stormed through the CCC, advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship series. But important pieces, such as Floro and Ledesma, remain.
"We still have a lot of talent," said Floro, who has already signed with Cal State Fullerton. "Most of these guys were here last year. There's different guys on the field but it's the same team in the dugout."
They went down to the wire against Turlock and losing pitcher Vince Wheeland, who went the distance for the Bulldogs. Wheeland was effective for much of the game, holding Buhach Colony to six hits — three of them for extra bases.
Floro homered in the first inning, and Turlock's Kevin Kramer made it 1-1 with a solo home run of his own in the second.
But the Thunder touched Wheeland for three runs in the top of the third, the big hits doubles by Bolser and Ledesma.
The Bulldogs crept back into the game with runs in the bottom of the third and fifth innings, but that would be it.
Floro, who is expected to start on the mound for the Thunder's game against Turlock on Friday, closed out the game with a groundout, line-out and strikeout of Wheeland to end it. Garrett Adams started the game for the Thunder, going five innings. He gave way to Conner Oldcorn and then Floro.
"I'm happy with how our guys battled," de la Motte said. "We've been playing well, and Buhach Colony is a strong team."
It was an early matchup of two of the CCC's expected contenders, but neither side was complaining about the early date.
"You might as well play the best right out of the chute," de la Motte said. "We'll see Floro on Friday and I'll throw everybody we've got at them."
Floro said every game is important.
"We still have 10 more games," he said. "You just play who's in front of you."
Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.