LATHROP – The Lathrop baseball team didn’t need to beat Ryan Stevenson.
It just needed to outlast the Mother Lode’s best player and Sonora’s fiery ace, which it did in a thrilling 2-1 victory in 10 innings on Wednesday.
Stevenson was his usual dominant self, striking out seven Spartans while allowing one run.
But he wouldn’t factor in the end result.
Reliever Evan Estes plunked Lathrop’s Preston Rizo to start the 10th inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Keenan Donatelli moved Rizo into scoring position, Chuckie Garcia laced the game-winning hit through a hole on the left side.
Come on down, Rizo.
“I’m really proud of how the team kept their composure and was able to play the game,” Lathrop coach Randy Baltazar said. “Ryan Stevenson is not a walk in the park and is one of the top pitchers in the VOL, and to keep the game close was a testament to the attitude of our ball club.”
On this day, Stevenson was outperformed by two Lathrop pitchers
Austin Plunk and reliever Michael Pereznegron each worked five innings, combining for 17 strikeouts in a two-hit gem.
“Austin and Mikey did a great job on the mound commanding the strike zone and all three of their pitches,” Baltazar said.
The Wildcats plated their only run in the third inning, scoring on a double steal to make it 1-0.
Lathrop answered in the fourth when Pereznegron singled off Stevenson, advanced to second on a balk and stole third. He’d score on a passed ball.
The Spartans will look for the series sweep today at Sonora High.
East Union 205, Lathrop (forfeit)
Will Brink shot an even-par 36 that featured three consecutive birdies at the start of his round.
Still, the East Union ace wasn’t the star of Wednesday’s Valley Oak League dual with Lathrop at Manteca Park Golf Course.
That honor belonged to freshman Trevor Baum.
Making his varsity debut, Baum shot a solid 44 to round out the Lancers’ scoring. All the more remarkable: Baum has been playing golf for only seven months.
“He was nervous,” East Union coach Dennis Wells said. “When I pulled him in afterwards, he was pretty happy.”
Jack Couch shot a 40, Jordan Lund 42 and Eric Lewis 43 for the Lancers, now 5-1 in conference duals.
Lathrop, which arrived with only four golfers, was led by Geoff Fallon’s 59.
Oakdale 113, Sierra 57
Jeremy Coronado and Trevor Fast were Sierra’s only event winners.
Coronado out-touched Ben Kirby in the 50 freestyle, winning by four-hundredths of a second.
Fast was just that in the 100 free, posting the only sub-52 second time.
Sierra 7, Lathrop 2
Sierra showed no ill-effects from Tuesday’s shutout loss to Manteca.
The Timberwolves rebounded with a 7-2 victory over Lathrop at the Manteca Tennis Center.
Sierra won six of the seven singles competitions, including straight-set victories by Keegan D’Souza, Michael Alcantar and Alvino Diaz.
The Timberwolves also won two of three doubles matches.
No. 1 singles player Ivan Alegado and the doubles team of Andy Moana and Gilberto Duran rallied from a set down to secure Lathrop’s only points.
Track and Field
Manteca 84, Weston Ranch 43
John McDonald highlighted Weston Ranch’s afternoon by winning the boys varsity 200-meter dash with an impressive 22.19.
Sierra 93, East Union 43
Sierra’s Justin Patton won the long jump and the 400. Nick Valdez won the hurdles and Onix Paredes broke a school record with a 15-foot jump in the pole vault.
East Union’s Nick Pulos won the triple jump.
Sonora 77, Lathrop 59
KV Singh won the high jump, discus and shot put for the Spartans.
Oakdale 85, Sierra 84
The visiting Mustangs secured the Valley Oak League win in the meet’s final event.
Oakdale took first and third in the 400-yard freestyle relay, holding off the Timberwolves in a dual that went back and forth.
Sierra, which led at three different points, got first-place finishes from Amy Windschitl in the 500 free and Marissa Machado in the 100 breaststroke.
Track and Field
Manteca 61,Weston Ranch 48
Weston Ranch will compete Saturday at the Delta Invite at Delta College in Stockton.
East Union 73, Sierra 58
Jordan McNeal and Haley Cook won the 100- and 200-meter sprints for the Lancers, who handed Sierra its first Valley Oak League loss.
Haley Silva swept the distance events (800/1,600/3,200) for the Timberwolves, while Valerie Nestor was first in the shot put and discus.
Lathrop 80, Sonora 36
Sophoa Serrano won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and buoyed the winning 400 relay.