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BASEBALL: Back into the swing
Sierra solid all-around in bounce-back win
Bulletin baseball 2019
Sierra's Steven Eaves gets the tag down on Modesto's Leonard Bauer. - photo by Photo By Sean Kahler
A two-out, two-RBI bloop single by Modesto’s Trent Prokes in the fifth inning Wednesday broke up Zion Bell’s shutout, but the Sierra bats gave him plenty of support in a 9-3 non-league win for the host Timberwolves.
“It was a step in the right direction especially after our loss on Tuesday,” Sierra coach Travis Thomson said, referring to his club’s frustrating 5-4 loss at Downey. “It’s tough to pitch in these elements and Zion (Bell) did pretty well. Slyder Blyth did pretty well too.”
Bell had a one-hitter going into the fifth, and some tight defense gave him two out with nobody on in that inning. Dayton Guzman was hit by a pitch to start the frame for the Panthers (3-5) but was picked off by catcher Julian Cantu. Ethan Adamson followed with a slow grounder to second baseman Tyler Kiser, who flipped the ball out of his glove to Blyth at first for the out.
“Our middle infielders work hard in practice,” Thomson said. “That’s a play I see him (Kiser) work on in practice so when game time comes, he is ready for it. It was good to see him have success at it because it is something they work on.
“Tyler Kiser and (shortstop) Jesse Ortiz-Martinez are good up the middle. They create some stability for us.”
Bell finished with three strikeouts and did not give up a hit until a two-out single in the fourth.
“I was concentrating on first-pitch strikes,” Bell said. “You have to pound the zone and let the defense work. I had a lot of fly balls and ground balls and the defense had me there.”
Pinch-hit RBI singles by Steven Eaves (two RBI) and Frankie Vela highlighted a four-run fifth inning for the Timberwolves (7-2-1).
Designated hitter Louis Aquila also had an RBI single in the fifth for Sierra to go with his 3-for-4, two-RBI, two-run outing.
“I think I was seeing it really well at the plate today,” Aquila said. “I flied out my first at-bat but in my last two at-bats he threw me inside and I was able to turn on it.”
Ortiz-Martinez reached base four times and scored three runs, belting a first-inning double and adding a pair of walks. Cantu was 2 for 3 with a pair of runs and Joseph Lomeli scored twice.
Blyth came on to pitch the sixth and the seventh innings, retiring six of the seven batters he faced, striking out one and allowing a hit and a run.