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Hawks conclude baseball season
Central Valley posts 11-14-2 record, ties for fourth in WAC
Senior Brandon Hale contributed at pitcher for the first time this season during Central Valleys 11-4 loss to Los Banos on May 9 in Ceres. The Hawks led 3-2 when Hale exited the game in the third inning. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School's varsity baseball team closed out the Western Athletic Conference season with back-to-back losses to third-place Los Banos.

The Hawks compiled an 11-14-2 overall record and tied for fourth place with crosstown-rival Ceres High in the WAC (3-9-0) this year.

The Tigers improved to 16-6-0 on the year and finished in a tie for second with Patterson (19-6-1, 9-3-0) in the conference standings.

"Our goal for the year was to get better," Central Valley head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. "We showed signs. But we weren't consistent. We didn't play to our ability. Defensively, we struggled all year. That was our downfall. Almost every team in our league had an overall winning record. That says a lot about the competition."

The Hawks lost their WAC finale, 10-0, to the Tigers on May 10 in Los Banos.

Mike Lopez accounted for all three of Central Valley's hits.

Lopez also pitched.

He had three strikeouts and three walks in four innings.

Mikie gave up three earned runs and six hits.

The Tigers totaled 12 hits.

"They were good," Goblirsch said.

Seniors Mikie Lopez, Devon Bolivar, Moses Ghiorso, Brandon Hale, Robert Nieto, Adrian Perez, Johnny Pittman and Andrew Sen competed at home for the final time during Central Valley's 11-4 loss to visiting Los Banos on May 9.

"They all started and played the whole game," Goblirsch said. "I wanted to reward them. They worked hard."

Brandon hadn't pitched all season prior to starting against Los Banos.

The Hawks led 3-2 when Hale exited the game.

Hale allowed three hits and two runs with two strikeouts and four walks in 21/3 innings.

"I talked with him Monday morning about pitching," Goblirsch said. "He was pretty excited. He did really well. He exceeded my expectations."

Hale helped his own cause by knocking in one run on offense.

Central Valley was limited to four hits.

Ghiorso batted 1-for-2 with one RBI and one run.

Sen batted 1-for-3 with one RBI.

Leandro Mercado batted 1-for-2 with one run.

Lopez collected one RBI and one run.

Perez scored once.

Nieto singled.

Los Banos battled back from a 4-1 deficit.

The Tigers scored four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, and one in the seventh.

Central Valley made five errors.

"We played really well for the first four innings," Goblirsch said. "Then we fell apart."

The Hawks snapped an 18-game WAC losing streak dating back to the 2014 season this year.

Central Valley also upset two of the top three teams in conference play, including Patterson (9-3) and Livingston (5-7).

The Hawks lost all 12 of their league games in 2015.

"I'm definitely excited about our young talent," Goblirsch said. "Moving forward, we have a good core to start with. It doesn't matter who's on the other side. If we don't do what we're supposed to do, we're not going to be successful."