Sierra High suffered a 6-3 non-league loss Monday to Atwater at Jack Thomson Stadium.
“That’s a good team,” said Timberwolves coach Travis Thomson of the Falcons from the Central California Conference. “In order to beat them, you have to earn it.
“You have to play well against teams like Atwater.”
The Timberwolves (1-2) were dogged by miscues and errors through crucial parts of the game — “Those are areas we need to clean up,” Thomson later said — but still managed to mount a late rally.
Outfielder Deshon Thomas had the big hit, delivering on a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh and final frame.
“We could have easily rolled over being down 6-0,” Thomson said. “(That comeback) showed that no deficit is large enough for us to overcome. I liked the way the game ended.”
He’s hoping for his team to continue playing with that sense of urgency. “Our goal will be to play (our next game) the way we ended this one,” Thomson added.
It was the Falcons (2-0) who posed an early threat by getting the first two batters on board via a walk and an infield hit, respectively.
Sierra got out of that jam unscathed thanks to a warning-track catch in right by Thomas – he battled gusting winds in the sun-drenched field on the drive by Jacob Wiess – and a pick-off at second initiated by starting hurler Jesse Davies Jr.
Atwater scratched out a run in the second inning on Bo Valladao's two-out single that delivered home Gunnar Kale. Prior to that, Timberwolves shortstop Jesse Ortiz-Martinez threw a strike to catcher Kenny Kuwada, getting the putout on the run down.
The Falcons tacked on three more runs on Fernando Ruvalcaba's RBI single coupled with a two-base infield error by Sierra.
The Timberwolves came up with a couple of stellar plays on the field, including Davies Jr. snagging a hard-hit liner on the mound to end the fourth and Matt Dunham's recovery from a hard-hit ball to center by Ruvalcaba. His relay throw helped get the runner at third.
Atwater made it 5-0 in the sixth, with the run coming on Ortiz-Martinez orchestrating the 6-4-3 double play.
A series of errors in the top of the seventh gave the Falcons yet another run.
Sierra opened the bottom half of the inning with pinch hitter Bradley Moorhead delivering a lead-off single. Mauricio Arnoldus followed suit with a base hit. An Atwater error followed by a walk set up Thomas’ double to center.
The Timberwolves, who collected six hits, also got singles from Brendan Rapisura, Kuwada and Ortiz-Martinez.
Atwater had 11 hits.
Ruvalcaba went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI while Valladao, Kale and Isaiah Lenan collected a pair of hits each.
Sierra will host Downey on Thursday.