Sierra picked up three runs in the top of the first inning Thursday, and hurler Austin Frisk limited visiting Manteca to just two hits on the way to a 7-1 Valley Oak League win at Jack Thomson Field.
The Timberwolves swept their season series with their rival.
“We started off with a bang,” Timberwolves coach Travis Thomson said. “I think getting three runs in the first set the tone and our players turned that into momentum.
“All six innings we got a runner to at least second base. That kept the pressure up and that is hard to pitch and play against when there are runners in scoring position every inning. We are battling in good at-bats and the team approach was there today. We only struck out three times.”
Patience helped Sierra (2-2 VOL) in that pivotal first inning. Zach Fonseca, Santi Duarte and Jeremy Dalen drew one-out walks to load the bases. Frisk singled in Fonseca, Angel Valdez hit a sacrifice fly to plate Duarte and Dalen scooted home on a wild pitch for the 3-0 lead.
Frisk allowed just two hits while walking four and striking out five — four in the last three innings and two in a 1-2-3 seventh, the only 1-2-3 frame of the game. Frisk also scored a run after getting hit by a pitch in the third inning. After working his way to third, he came home on a sacrifice fly by Jackson Brunn.
“I made some adjustments as the game went on,” Frisk said. “I felt my legs getting tired and worked through it.
“Everyone up and down the lineup contributed in different ways. Every single day we are coming more and more together as a team.”
A recent call-up from the junior varsity, Duarte belted a sacrifice fly to plate Zion Bell with an insurance run in the sixth inning.
“We showed up as a team from the beginning today,” Duarte said. “And we showed up late (in the 4-3 win against Manteca) on Tuesday.
“Today we tried to come out and punch them in the nose and make a statement.”
Lucas Krenz came in to pinch hit for the Buffaloes (2-2) in the fifth inning and knocked in Carson Smith. Zach Todd doubled for Manteca in the fourth.
“It seemed like we lacked competitiveness for the first five innings,” Buffaloes coach Mark Ruiz said. “It was the little things. They made the routine plays and we didn’t.”
“That’s pretty much what it came down to, along with just not hitting the ball today.”