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Ceres pulls out victory over EU in extra innings

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POSTED May 7, 2010 2:49 a.m.
Things weren’t looking good for Steven Gigli after he turned the ball over to East Union head coach Dan Triglia in the third inning and made the short walk from the mound to shortstop.
But that didn’t mean he was done helping his team fight its way back into a battle against Valley Oak League playoff contender Ceres High.

After the Bulldogs managed to break a tie in the top of the sixth for what looked like the game’s final run, Gigli – who was already 2 for 4 at that point with a pair of runs scored – belted a two-out home run to tie the game in the seventh and send it into extra innings.

Unfortunately, a base-running snafu earlier in the inning took away any chance of putting the Lancers far enough ahead for comfort, and Ceres would answer back in the top of the eighth with a pinch-hit two-RBI double by Chad Atchinson that would be too much for East Union to overcome, falling 10-8.

In the eyes of Triglia however, the loss could have been a whole lot worse.

“We put the ball in play very well today, and we were effective against their pitcher and that’s what you want to do. Sometimes things just don’t fall your way,” he said. “But I was proud of our guys and the way they battled at the plate. You want to put the ball in play and make them get you out, and that’s something that we did today.”

After the Lancers (5-9 VOL, 10-14 overall) matched Ceres’ first inning run, Gigli ran into trouble when facing the heart of the Bulldog order in the second inning after allowing a single and a double that would lead to three runs – at least one of which came on a base-running gaff when the Lancers focused on tracking down a base runner between first and second and neglected to throw out the runner on third that cruised easily to home.

Ceres (9-5, 15-9-1) would again tack on three runs in the third inning before Brett Riley stepped into a relief role facing a six-run deficit.

And Riley was lights out for the six innings that he pitched, allowing only three earned runs and fanning seven batters.

“When he went in, he was basically trying to play the role of stopper and hold them to as few runs as possible,” Triglia said. “He has really good command of his pitches and did a good job mixing it up. It really was a fantastic outing for him.”

While Riley would have liked to have come away with the win, allowing only three runs through the remainder of the contest and striking out seven batters, he said, was one of his best outings of the year.

“I just went up there trying to throw strikes and throw the swing of the batters off,” Riley said. “Sometimes baseball is a game of tough breaks, and this just happened to be one of them. I had a great defense behind me, and we did a good job at the plate coming back, but we just fell a little bit short.”

Sierra 6, Central Valley 5
CERES – Sometimes late production is better than no production at all.

Sierra (7-6, 12-10) managed to string together five of its eight hits in the seventh inning Thursday to complete the sweep over the Central Valley Hawks (5-8, 11-12).

Starting pitcher Kenny Leasure drove in two runs on a one-out double that scored both Caleb Young and Steve Detmers.

Rounding out Sierra’s offensive production was Young with a pair of RBIs and Jonathan Davis, who finished 2 for 3 with a double.

Bryce Willis picked up the win after pitching the final three innings of the game and allowing only one run.

“I was pleased that we continued to battle today, and hung in there against their pitchers,” Sierra head coach Jack Thomson said. “We squared up on six or seven balls but some of them were just right at people. I thought our approach at the plate was much better today.”

Sonora 7, Weston Ranch 0
STOCKTON – The stellar defense and the spot-on pitching of the Sonora Wildcats were too much for Weston Ranch Thursday.

Christian Vasquez finished 1 for 2 at the plate for Weston Ranch with a double, but proved to be lone offensive bright spot for the Cougars.

“Sonora is a really solid team defensively, and they have some great pitchers,” Weston Ranch head coach Dave Smith said. “We competed a lot better than we did on Tuesday, but we just weren’t able to get anything going.”
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