With the Sierra bats on hiatus most of the day Tuesday, Timberwolves pitcher Jason Silva picked up the slack in a big way with a complete-game 2-0 shutout of visiting 15th-seeded Golden Valley in opening-round action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
“Jason Silva pitched a heck of a game today,” Timberwolves coach Travis Thomson said. “He threw a ton of strikes and his secondary pitches were working extremely well. I think that is the reason he got the complete-game shutout because he had more than one pitch going.
“I would like to see more offense besides just one inning, but we did have runners on in five innings with runners making it into scoring position three of those five. We have to keep working on getting that big two-out hit. But all in all, it was a good, clean game. It was playoff baseball.”
Silva was masterful for No. 2 Sierra (21-3-1), striking out nine and allowing just four hits with only three runners making it to scoring position for the Cougars (9-18).
“This is one of the freshest games I have had,” Silva said. “Body wise and mentally too with having a week off really helped as well as feeding off the guys’ energy.
“My change-up has been missing most of the year and finally started working for me today. I think got seven or eight outs off my change-up alone.”
The Timberwolves picked up four of their six hits in second inning and that led to their two runs.
Sierra’s Zion Bell (2 for 3, run) reached on a one-out single and took third on Joseph Lomeli’s single. Bell skipped home on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.
Bell reached base on all three trips to the plate, singling twice and legging out a dropped strike three.
“I was just trying to get the ball in play and make the defense work,” Bell said. “I made the catcher work on that dropped strike three, too.
“We have been practicing on good, two-strike hitting and not trying to do too much and that’s what I did with that line drive.”
Like Lomeli before him, Slyder Blyth went opposite field to the corner in right, good for an RBI double that scored Lomeli for all the runs the Timberwolves would need.
“When I came up, I knew I had a runner on second and I was just trying to move him over,” Blyth said. A single would have worked, but he just put the ball in the right spot.”
Weather permitting, Sierra will host No. 10 Ponderosa of Shingle Springs — 2-0 upset winners over seventh-seeded Christian Brothers on Tuesday — on Thursday at 4 p.m.