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Sierra grinds out four runs in fifth to beat Ceres

T’Wolves boosted by Leasure’s inning-ending double play from RF

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Sierra grinds out four runs in fifth to beat Ceres

Ceres base runner Nick Welsh slides into an out at home plate, which was covered by Sierra catcher Jordan Louie in the fifth inning. Louie received the throw from right fielder Kenny Leasure to end...

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin/


POSTED April 1, 2009 4:08 a.m.
Kenny Leasure was one of the smallest players on the field, but he made one of the game’s biggest plays in Sierra’s 5-4 Valley Oak League win over visiting Ceres Tuesday.

Ceres had just taken a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Martino Bertolotti’s double to right center, putting runners in scoring position with one out.

The Bulldogs (3-4, 7-5 overall) threatened to bust it open with their big hitters looming, but 2007 all-league Offensive Player of the Year Robert Cope and clean-up Tyler Cummings weren’t given a chance.

Facing the sun in right field, Leasure managed to get under Josh Edwards’ deep pop fly near the warning track and knew that Nick Welsh was tagging up at third base.

“At first I didn’t see it, but I just got a good jump on it,” Leasure said. “I got a little momentum going to help me throw it harder and get it down there quick.”

Leasure masterfully executed the inning-ending assist, as he gunned down Welsh at the plate.

“It was a big play and that’s how you win,” Sierra coach Jack Thomson said. “You don’t win because of fancy coaching decisions; you win because you make plays.”

And guess who led off the Timberwolves’ deciding four-run in the bottom half of the inning?

Leasure worked a full-count walk to jump start the scoring burst and scored on a two-error play that followed Jonathan Davis’ sacrifice bunt.

A pitch later, Jacob Angelo roped a shot down the third-base line and legged out double, driving in Davis in the process. The no-out rally continued with Dylan DeBrower getting hit in the helmet by a pitch. He and Angelo both scored on wild pitches.

“That was huge,” Angelo said of Leasure’s lead-off walk. “All the momentum was already on our side and it doubled after that. That was huge for him to make a great play like that and come up and get on base.

“He had a phenomenal day today. He started it off for us, and we couldn’t have done it without him.”

Ceres answered in the sixth with Cummings’ two-run homer to right. He was 3 for 3 with three RBIs.

Angelo finished 2 for 4 to lead Sierra (4-1, 7-4). Jordan Louie drove in the Timberwolves’ first run with a single to left to make it 1-1 in the first.

Andy Scott was solid in his seven innings from the mound, striking out 10 while walking four and scattering six hits. In the seventh, he walked the first batter but recorded consecutive assists to second on grounders toward and clinched the victory with a three-pitch strikeout.

“Andy really gave us a lift, he pitched really well,” Thomson said.

The series ends in Ceres Thursday.

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