RIPON — For the second straight game, the Indians were forced to play catch-up.
Their efforts fell short in the 5-4 non-league loss to visiting Manteca High on Tuesday.
"We have a young team with only three or four returning players," said Ripon High coach Jacob Rodriguez.
Part of that inexperience occurred on the field with some of those young Indians experiencing trouble playing in the cold and gusty winds of the early season.
The Buffaloes (4-3) jumped out to an early lead on Ryan Ward's double in the first inning.
The Indians (2-2) tied it up at 1-1 in the following frame thanks to Vincent Olmo's solo blast, clearing the 375-foot center field fence. Olmo arrived late to the team coming off a postseason run with the basketball team.
"That was his first at-bat and only the second pitch he's seen all season," said Rodriguez of his 6-foot-9 senior first baseman. "It's nice to have Vince back — he's a big part of this team."
Manteca pulled back ahead in the fourth.
Pitcher Isaiah Perez helped his cause by ripping a lead-off double to right, advancing to third on a wild pitch.
With one out, Nathan Gutierrez dropped a bunt, plating pinch runner Tyler Garlets.
Kevin Thornburg and catcher Dominic Day, who threw out a runner trying to steal third an inning earlier, both singled for the Buffaloes during their three-run sixth inning.
Day recently returned to the team, having competed in wrestling.
"We've missed him," said Manteca coach Neil MacDannald of his senior catcher. "Dom is tough — he does a nice job blocking and throwing."
Gutierrez followed with a run-scoring double and Alex Gouveia delivered a two-run double.
The Indians rallied in the home half of the sixth, scoring three runs with the help of a couple of miscues by the Buffaloes coupled with three hits.
Gerald Nix, who was the starting pitcher for Ripon, had an RBI single while Brandon Rainer blasted a two-run double.
Dylan Guice, who was the third Manteca pitcher used, helped shutdown Ripon with help from his defense.
He walked Rainer leading off, but Day threw a strike at second to nail the base runner for the first out.
Nix also walked.
The Buffaloes ended the game with Gouveia coming up with the unassisted double play.
"That's a good team," MacDannald said of the Indians. "They put a real good fight."
Sierra 2, Pitman 0
The Timberwolves managed just three hits in their non-league contest against visiting Pitman but got them all in the third innings when they scored the game’s only runs.
Deshon Thomas led off the third for Sierra (5-0-1) with a double over the left fielder’s head and came in to score on an RBI single by Tyler Kiser. Jesse Ortiz-Martinez then plated Kiser with an RBI single.
Jason Silva threw five no-hit innings of one-hit ball and earned the win today and he struck out four batters. Jake Frisk threw the last two innings and picked up his second save.
“The story of today was Jason Silva on the mound,” Timberwolves coach Travis Thomson said. “He threw the ball well and he was dominant. His mound presence was outstanding and he is competing on every pitch he throws.
“He’s a really good kid and worked really hard this offseason to get where he is now. I’m excited to see what he will do this season.”
Lodi 7, East Union 5
LODI – Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth, the Flames (3-1) took advantage of a leadoff error by the Lancers (4-2) and scored three runs in the frame, holding on for the win at Zupo Field.
Fernando Segura went the first five innings for East Union, allowing four hits and walking four.
“We were not able to mount a rally in the seventh inning,” Lancers coach Gene Ballardo said. “Fernando (Segura) did a good job today. He doesn’t have his best stuff yet but he is getting there.
“He battled through and kept us in the ball game. We easily could have won that game but that error at the end hurt us. We need to close games out, but overall I am proud of our guys.”
Pitman 7, Sierra 6 (8)
Austin Frisk, Ryan Borgeson and Jordan Ordaz doubled for the Timberwolves with Borgeson’s double tying the game in the top of the seventh inning.
Frisk pitched last 3.2 innings and took the loss, but only gave up one run. Mikey Elder added an RBI single.
Manteca 15, Ripon 1
Zack Todd blasted two homers and drove in five runs, finishing 4 for 5 in the one-sided non-league win for Manteca. He also pitched five innings and struck out nine.
Quino Gurrola and Karson Condit both went 3 for 4 and combined for five RBIs.
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