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DOWN BUT NOT OUT

T’Wolves stunned at EU, but Ceres provides a life line

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DOWN BUT NOT OUT

East Union's Steven Weddington, 20, celebrates with his teammates after driving in the game-winning run against rival Sierra with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday ...

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED May 8, 2009 2:00 a.m.

It’s not often that soft-spoken Sierra skipper Jack Thomson runs afoul of an umpire.

But Tuesday at Agostini Field, after Wade Morten sent a rocket over the fence in left that looked to have drifted well into foul territory, Thomson had seen enough.

“I wasn’t exactly sure if it was fair or foul,” Morten said. “Hopefully we can get a donation this year and get some taller foul poles or some brighter colors out there.”

The home run, which turned out to be the difference in an 8-7 East Union win, wasn’t signaled at first.

Instead, the home plate umpire looked for help from the field umpire who was standing behind the mound during the play.

Moments later, after a passionate argument, Thomson was tossed from the ball park.

“That was absolutely brutal,” Thomson said. “That ball was 15 feet foul, and then he told (assistant coach) Tom (Ribota) later that he never saw it.

 “I feel bad for our kids, because they did what they needed to do.”

The good news for Sierra, which slipped to 9-5 in Valley Oak League play after Steve Weddington drilled a walk-off single to score Chase Agostini in the bottom of the seventh, is that Ceres beat Central Valley Thursday.

Because of a complicated tiebreaker system which takes into account wins over VOL opponents, the Ceres win means that Sierra and Sonora are now tied in every tiebreaker scenario.

As a result, an 8 a.m. coin flip Saturday at Oakdale High will determine whether the Timberwolves or Wildcats move on to the playoffs.

Thursday afternoon, however, belonged to starter Marshall Swift and his senior teammates, who, for the second time in as many seasons, vanquished their heated rivals on the final day of the season.

“I would’ve been happy if at least we competed, but we came out with a win,” Morten said. “With all of their talk in the papers, it just felt even greater. It felt awesome.”

Andy Scott and Jordan Louie hit back-to-back doubles in a three-run third, and Sierra tied it in the fourth on Kenny Leasure’s RBI double.

Scottie DeBrouwer then made it 7-4, Sierra, with a three-run blast to straightaway center in the fifth.

Things got heated again in the top of the sixth when Swift struck out Louie with runners at first and second.

Swift stormed off the mound after ringing up his ninth and Louie jawed his way back to the dugout.

“Just a little fun,” Swift said with a smile. “After Scottie hit that pretty good shot on two strikes, (Louie) said a little something. So after he struck out, a few words were exchanged.”

The Lancers (6-8 VOL, 11-11) sparked the comeback with two in the home half and tied it an inning later when Jonathan Shepherd singled home Weddington.

“Just a usual game between Sierra and East Union, nothing out of the ordinary,” EU skipper Dan Triglia said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “No, a lot of our kids stepped up big. Marshall Swift is pure guts. Steven Weddington came up big. Andy Garcia had some issues but had a couple of big hits in the end.

“It’s nice to be able to end the season with a big win over a quality program. It was important to us.”

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