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BASEBALL: Sierra, East Union end season with hard-luck playoff losses
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The top-seeded team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs needed an extra inning to put No. 8 Sierra away on Thursday.

Pioneer Valley League co-champion Marysville walked it off with one out in the eighth inning, as designated hitter Dairius Jacobs knocked in Kayden Ellyson for a 1-0 win that advances the Indians to the semifinal round.

Marysville ace Matthew Haggard threw all eight striking out eight while scattering eight hits.

The Indians (24-5) take on upstart No. 12 Orestimba on Monday. Orestimba (17-9) stunned No. 5 Center, the other PVL champ, 10-4 in the opening round and edged No. 4 Woodland 13-12 on Thursday.

“Definitely a good ball club,” Sierra coach Travis Thomson said of Marysville. “Their pitcher commands three different pitches for strikes, and when you have a pitcher who can throw that many pitches you’re going to be tough to beat.”

Tyler Looney held up on his end of the pitcher’s duel giving up five hits over seven innings for the visiting Timberwolves (12-16).

“He did a fantastic job of battling today,” Thomson said. “The other team had some runners on base and in scoring position and he was able to get out of it. We also had a great defensive day from all of our players today.”

Thomson gave a nod to Angel Valdez for his work at third base.

Jack Cunial pitched the eighth inning for Sierra. Ellyson was jammed on his base hit and advanced on Cole Tyler’s sacrifice bunt. Sierra intentionally walked clean-up batter Maddox Marino, setting up Jacobs’ game-winning hit.

The Timberwolves had chances to score but left at least one runner in scoring positon in four different innings.

Sophomore call-up Troy Morrow went 2 for 3 and hit a one-out, ground-rule double in the seventh. Brendan Rapisura belted a double with two outs in the eighth to put runners on second and third, but Sierra again could not take advantage.

Senior standout Santi Duarte went 2 for 4 in his final game for Sierra.

“We were just one or two hits away from breaking it open and it didn’t happen today,” Thomson said. “We certainly did a good job of getting on base and putting a little bit of pressure on their pressure, it was just not enough.

“That was a game we could win, but we played a good game and I’m super proud of their effort all year,” Thomson added. “Our goal was to be a better team the last half of the season and we reached that goal easily. All credit goes to the players. It’s a great group of guys.”


Calaveras 4, East Union 0

East Union’s Jacob Toste just missed a home run in the top of the first inning, settling for two bases after his deep fly ball hit the top of the fence in left field.

In the bottom half, Calaveras slugger Gus Toffinelli blasted a two-run homer to left, one pitch after he had a catchable pop-up get dropped in foul territory.

That set the tone for the seventh-seeded Lancers (11-12), who were not rewarded for making solid contact all game. Nolan Calmes nearly hammered a three-run homer in the fourth inning, but hooked it a few feet foul. East Union’s Mateo Guevara bashed a pair of doubles, finishing 2 for 3.

Sophomore Zach Grabowski got the start for East Union, and senior Evan Jeffery pitched the final five-plus in relief. Brayden Brim drove in the other two runs for No. 2 Calaveras (25-2), drilling a double in the sixth.

Calaveras hosts No. 11 Galt in the semifinals next Monday.

“We had some pretty loud hits, we just couldn’t string them together,” East Union coach Kris Hensley said. “They played well. There’s really nothing for me to complain about. They did everything I asked of them.

“I told them this may sting for a while, but think of things we had to do to get to this point. We lost our ace (pitcher), had two first-time juniors and seven new starters, and we made it to the second round of the playoffs. That’s a successful season.”