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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Eli Terpsma, Ripon Christian baseball
AOW Eli Terpsma
Eli Terpsma

Another day, another Sac-Joaquin Section championship for the Knights’ multi-sport standout.

He added a baseball banner to his impressive senior résumé on Tuesday, when Ripon Christian (22-7) knocked off top-seeded Turlock Christian 11-3 in the SJS Division VII final at Islanders Field in Lathrop.

Terpsma went 2 for 3 with an RBI, two runs scored and pitched five shutout innings in relief with seven strikeouts against one walk and a hit.

It’s the second time in this postseason run that Terpsma has come through in long relief. In last week’s best-of-three semifinal against No. 2 Woodland Christian, he threw five innings and struck out five in rubber match won by the Knights on Friday, 8-5.

The week started with Woodland Christian rolling 13-3 on Monday, May 15. Two days later at RC, the Knights responded with an 11-3 rout behind Terpsma’s 4-for-4 effort in which he hit a double and plated four runs.

“Last week, that first game we got 10-run ruled,” Terpsma said. “That really started a fire in our team. We were mad at ourselves, but we didn’t get down on ourselves.

“We came back with quite the intensity and played as hard as we could and as focused as we could. If we string together one or two hits, it’s going to be five or six. Like coach (Jon) de Visser says, there’s no team that’s going to shut us down for seven innings, and that’s something that showed the last few games.”

Terpsma is 9 for 16 in the playoffs. He was also 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs in the 16-3, opening-round drubbing of Rio Vista.

A versatile athlete at 6 feet, 3 inches, Terpsma plays different positions when not pitching for Ripon Christian. He has also starred in lead roles for the Section championship football and basketball teams.

He is headed to The Master’s University in Santa Clarita for basketball.

“He is the complete package of an athlete,” de Visser said. “He chose basketball for the next level, but there is no doubt in my mind he could do baseball, as well. And the game is just so slow for him. On the mound, at the plate and on the bases — it is just fun to watch an athlete that plays that fast.”