Sierra High came away with yet another walk-off win on Friday.
This time it took a hit batsman with the bases loaded to pull out a 3-2 victory over visiting East Union in the 10th inning of two evenly matched teams.
Never mind the Lancers' record (1-9, 9-14 overall) in the Valley Oak League.
Travis Thomson, first-year head coach of the VOL champion Timberwolves (12-0, 20-3-1 overall), was quick to acknowledge the solid effort of East Union, which took it to his team in both games this week.
For the Lancers, this was their sixth one-loss game of the season, according to EU coach Gene Ballardo.
The go-ahead run produce an unlikely hero in freshman Branden Rapisura, who was called up as insurance to the infield positions.
"This was his varsity game," Thomson said. "Our guys were very welcoming (of Rapisura)."
His first at-bat occurred as the lead-off in the bottom of the 10th in a 2-2 tie.
Rapisura had two quick strikes called. "I was just looking to keep the ball in play," he recalled.
He did just that, drilling a double down the third base line. From there, Julian Cantu was intentionally walked. Jason Silva dropped a sacrifice bunt but reached base safely on a throwing error, in turn loading the bases.
Jessie Davis Jr. was plucked, bringing in Rapisura with the winning run.
"It's tough to lose again to your in-town rival," said Ballardo, who was proud of how his team played against Sierra in the two games.
His Lancers, in fact, were quick to get on the board with Andrew Morones delivering home Cameron Ceja, who swiped second after reaching base via hit batsman with one out in the first inning.
Sierra answered in the second with Silva safely reaching base on a swinging strike three passed ball. Joe Lomeli doubled and Frankie Vela came through with infield RBI single, tying the game at 1-1.
East Union snapped the tie in the top of the sixth with Ceja getting plucked and advancing on Morones' sacrifice bunt. Andrew Mount's RBI double to left made it 2-1.
In the sixth, Sierra caught a break when Davies made it to first on a two-out error. Deshon Thomas drove him in with a double, knotting things up 2-2.
Not lost in the shuffle were a pair of strong pitching performances by both sides.
EU's Morones went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits with 10 strikeouts before yielding to reliever Jaydin Alvarez, who battled out of a bases-loaded situation in the seventh after giving up a one-out triple to Matt Dunham.
Slyder Blyth for Sierra pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up four hits, two walks and fanning six. Jake Frisk came in and held East Union scoreless despite allowing a pair of runners with one out in both the ninth and 10th innings.
Thomson was especially grateful afterward for the support of the volunteers from the Spreckles Little League, which produced many of his players.
"They taught them how to play the game with love and passion," he said.
Sierra 8, East Union 0
The Timberwolves strung together six straight hits in their seven-run rally in the third inning, and Jakob Lopez scattered four this and two walks over five innings to help compete the series sweep at Agostini Field.
Austin Frisk went 3 for 4 with a double. Zach Fonseca finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a double. Mikey Elder contributed a two-run single.