The game that wasn't one had finished, the gold digital numbers on the Stan Bledsoe Field scoreboard read the terrifying truth -- Eagles 19, Visitor 4 -- and Brad Fontes was relegated to reality.
"This game can definitely be humbling," the Central High baseball coach said after his previously unbeaten Grizzlies were throttled by the state's eighth-ranked Golden Eagles in a Tri-River Athletic Conference opener Friday.
Jacob Alvarez, stoking a 17-hit attack from the top of the lineup, went 4 for 5, scored three times and drove in four and Michael Isom threw 3-2/3 innings of hitless relief as Clovis West (10-1) established further momentum for a TRAC showdown at state No. 11 Buchanan at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"Couldn't ask for anything better going into that game," Eagles coach Kevin Patrick said. "But, come Tuesday night, it will be zero-zero when that game starts."
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It was Patrick who said without reservation this week that Central "had arrived" as a program after going 5-10 in the TRAC a year ago.
But the Grizzlies (9-1) found yet another reality check after gleaning its record against respectable competition, but certainly a cut below what they saw on a warm Friday -- and what they'll continue to see in the TRAC.
"We got caught up in who we were playing and not playing the game of baseball correctly," said Fontes, whose Grizzlies collapsed defensively under continual Clovis West small-ball pressure, making four errors on bunts alone.