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BASEBALL AT ITS FINEST

T’Wolves snap Manteca’s eight-game win streak

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BASEBALL AT ITS FINEST

Sierra's Dylan Debrouwer slides into third base after using heads-up base running to put himself in position to score the winning run in the Timberwolves' 1-0 win over Manteca Tuesday.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED April 7, 2010 3:20 a.m.
The only thing more Sierra High starting pitcher Dylan Debrouwer could have done was assist the umpire crew, pitching seven innings of shutout baseball and scoring the winning run in the Timberwolves’ 1-0 Valley Oak League win over Manteca High Tuesday.

Debrouwer led off the bottom of the sixth with a line-drive base hit to left, was perfectly advanced on Joey Valencia’s sacrifice bunt and gave Sierra the lead when sophomore John Waggy calmly stroked a Matt Burrows off-speed offering into leftfield to plate Debrouwer for the game-winning RBI.

Both teams found themselves intertwined in a scoreless battle, but Sierra’s execution in the final two frames proved to be the difference in the intracity showdown.

“It was a good baseball game,” Sierra head coach Jack Thomson said. “We both had a couple of opportunitites that we didn’t take care of, but we got the one extra opportunity and John Waggy got another big hit.

“That’s three of our last four games where he has gotten a big hit for us to break a tie.”

Waggy was 0 for 2 heading into his final at bat against Manteca starter Burrows. Burrows had induced a ground out and a pop-up to the catcher in their previous two meetings, but Waggy was able to win the battle when it counted most.

“There was obviously some pressure up there when you’re trying to get a clutch two-out hit,” Waggy said. “He came at me with a first pitch curveball and I knew he was going to come at me with it again to try and get me to roll over.

“He came at me with another one and I just stayed back and got a pretty good hack on it.”

The clean base hit to left put Burrows in a position that he hasn’t seen too many times this season. He got Alex Arreola to pop-out and walked to the dugout trailing 1-0. The Buffaloes would instantly rejuvenate their chances, drawing a leadoff walk off Debrouwer, but an untimely base running blunder stripped Manteca of its best shot at a comeback.

“I don’t have any excuses for our team,” Manteca head coach Gen Ballardo said. “We just didn’t get it done today. We just have to go and get it done on Thursday.

“For Matt Burrows, I thought he pitched very well today.”

Burrows unquestionably gave his Buffalo teammates a chance to win, holding Sierra to just four hits, all of which were singles. Kenny Leasure and Arreola got Sierra’s only two hits until the sixth inning. Burrows’ only misfortunes came in that sixth, yet they proved to be fatal.

“We can take nothing away from Manteca, they really played well,” Thomson said. “They probably didn’t deserve to lose a game like that, but somebody had to.”

The loss was not only the Buffaloes first loss in VOL play, but it was the team’s first loss since a 6-2 loss to Davis back on March 10. Burrows went the distance for Manteca, striking out five. The Buffaloes couldn’t capitalize on their best shot at a run, getting back-to-back hits to lead off the sixth from Matt Barber and Daniel Miramontes, but a groundout and a strikeout foiled Manteca’s shot.

The Buffaloes (4-1, 9-5-1) will have no choice but the shake the ill effects of the loss immediately, with the Timberwolves coming to their place Thursday at 4 p.m.

“I am not really worried about our kids responding,” Ballardo said after the tough loss. “They are going to be just fine. They will come back fighting just like they always do.

“We’ll be fine; it was a great baseball game today.”
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