STOCKTON — All good things must come to an end.
Not only did the Sierra baseball season end Thursday with a heartbreaking 6-0 loss to Christian Brothers of Sacramento in the consolation semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III baseball playoffs at Pacific’s Klein Family Field, the sun set on the 41-year career of Jack Thomson — the only skipper the Timberwolves have known in the 22 years of the program.
“When you get in the playoffs, there’s only going to be one team that ends the season with a win,” Thomson said. “That’s it — one. So, you know unless you win the whole thing you are going to end your season with a loss.
“Our kids had a good run in the playoffs, going 3-2. We got by Placer, Los Banos and we beat Christian Brothers the first game. We are very proud of what they accomplished. We were 7-7 at one point and went 11-4 down the stretch against some better competition. We got better and that’s what we are going to hang our hat on.”
Stephen Sedlenick went the distance for the Falcons (24-6), allowing six hits, striking out four while walking one.
“We got a great pitching performance from our junior left hander (Sedlenick) who has not pitched a whole lot this year,” Christian Brothers coach Rich Henning said. “He did a good job, throwing the ball around the plate and keeping them off balance.
“And in the fifth inning, we got some timely hits.”
While Sierra (18-11) managed two hits in just one inning, the Falcons had their breakout inning in a six-hit, five-run fifth including three consecutive RBI singles followed by Jacob Tucker’s two-RBI triple.
Take that fifth inning away and Christian Brothers had an RBI single in the second and two singles in the seventh.
In true Jack Thomson fashion, when asked about his retirement the coach with the most wins in the southern Sac-Joaquin Section at 607 made it not about him, but the players and the administrative support he enjoyed over the decades.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the kids,” Thomson said. “The kids made the run but I enjoyed it.
“I have been blessed being at two good schools with good administrations and good (athletic directors) who were very supportive — I’m going to miss it.”
As he walked off the field for the last time, Thomson said with a grin, “You spend your whole life trying to learn how to grip the baseball, but in the end, it is the baseball that has a grip on you.”