Efficient. Fundamental. Clutch. All were on display Tuesday as the El Dorado High baseball team shut down Cosumnes Oaks 6-2 to post its 22nd victory of the season and maintain its Sierra Valley Conference lead.
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On the heels of a 7-5 come-from-behind victory at Cosumnes Oaks Monday, Tim Hinrichs took the mound for the Cougars and led the way with a complete game, scattering five hits, fanning eight and walking just two.
“I battled, threw strikes, and got my curve back later in the game after I lost it in the middle,” Hinrichs stated matter-of-factly after the game, a game that took under two hours to finish.
El Dorado’s hitters scored in four of the six innings they hit, with four of the runs coming with two outs. Justin Dillon and Chris Swineford opened the scoring in the first with consecutive doubles, both to the gap in left center. Swineford struck again in the third with two outs, singling home Nik Rowen, who had walked and advanced to second on an error.
After Cosumnes Oaks had tied the game in the fourth on two doubles and a successful second-and-home double steal, El Dorado fired back in the bottom of the inning with two runs of its own. Matt Smith and Connor Lacher each singled solidly and after Nick Bonniksen bunted them over and a ground out, Nik Rowen drove Smith and Lacher home with a solid single to right.
“Tim pitched a great game,” said Cougar coach Rusty McDonald. “But I’m also pleased that this team has come to understand finishing the game – here it was the two extra runs in the sixth.”
And so it was: a Matt Smith double to the fence in right center, a Connor Lacher single, and a Nick Bonniksen double down the right field line gave the Cougars two insurance runs — runs that good teams seem to find a way to get late in a game.
Swineford, Smith, and Lacher each had two hits, for six of the team’s 10. With no errors in the field and Hinrichs’ complete game, Coach McDonald certainly appreciated his clutch, fundamental, and efficient team.
El Dorado will close out the regular season Tuesday, May 8 at home against River City.