Scoreless through six Friday, the series finale between Sierra and visiting Oakdale looked to be heading for extra innings.
With two out in the bottom of the seventh and nobody on for the Timberwolves, No. 8 hitter Deshon Thomas singled as did Tyler Kiser. Both moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, setting up a walk-off, opposite-field single by Matt Dunham, scoring Thomas for the 1-0 win and a season sweep of the defending Valley Oak League champion Mustangs.
“On the hit it was an outside pitch,” Dunham said. “Coach always preaches to go with the outside pitch and think middle away. The first pitch I swung on my butt and the second pitch I kind of adjusted to it and took it ‘oppo.’”
This was the first sweep of Oakdale (2-2 VOL, 8-5 overall) by Sierra (4-0, 12-3-1) in recent memory and quite a feather in the cap for first-year coach Travis Thomson. Coming into the season, the Timberwolves had beaten Oakdale just six times in their last 31 meetings, according to MaxPreps.
“This was exciting,” Thomson said. “A walk-off against Oakdale for the sweep — this is big time for these guys.
“The approach wasn’t great the first few innings but they battled and it was dialed in the last inning. Good teams get production from the 7-8-9 hitters and that’s what we did today.
Slyder Blyth picked up the complete-game victory for the Timberwolves, allowing just two hits and a walk, striking out three and at one point retiring 13 in a row and 17 out of 18..
“I was just throwing the ball and we were playing sound defense behind me,” Blyth said. “We were playing baseball the way we were supposed to, the way it is meant to be played.”
Dunham was part of a stellar defensive effort, chasing down two fly balls in center field.
“I’ve always had a knack for running down fly balls,” Dunham said. “Gotta do a good job of backing up our pitcher Slyder (Blyth).
“Slyder was doing a good job of hitting his spots.”
Sierra shortstop Jesse Ortiz-Martinez (2 for 3) made a highlight-reel catch on a line drive in the fifth inning, robbing Gannon Davis of an extra-base hit.
“I was on my toes the whole game,” Ortiz Martinez said. “I was seeing a lot of action.
“I was just really prepared and I got a good jump on it off of the bat and I made the play.”