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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Grant Sonke, Ripon Christian baseball
AOW Grant Sonke
Grant Sonke

Ripon Christian’s season ended Tuesday after a 12-11 loss to defending champion Leroy Greene Academy in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI final at Islanders Field, but the Knights’ senior third baseman went out with a bang.

He had a productive four-game run in the playoffs, showing off his pop and speed form the top of the order. Last week, he had a walk-off hit and two home runs in a best-of-three semifinal sweep of Argonaut.

Sonke ended game 1 on May 13 with a clutch single in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifting Ripon Christian to a 4-3 win over eighth-seeded Argonaut. He went 3 for 4 in that game.

“I was just trying to get the ball in the air on that last hit,” Sonke said. “The infield was in and they were looking to go four. I wasn’t thinking of bunting. Coach lets me swing, and I like to swing it.”

Two days later, he came up with the two clutch home runs that sparked the Knights’ 14-6 comeback win at Argonaut. The Mustangs of Jackson staked an early 4-0 lead, but RC responded twice to take leads. The difference was an eight-run seventh inning. Sonke contributed a sacrifice fly to the backbreaking barrage, ending up 3 for 3 with four RBIs on the day.

“He was due for one of these days the way he’s been hitting the ball — it was just a matter of time,” RC coach John de Visser said.

In 17 postseason plate appearances, Sonke went 9 for 13 with six runs, five RBIs, five steals, three walks and the sacrifice fly.