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Mayers 3-hitter, timely hits lift Ripon past Summerville
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STOCKTON — Ripon High played enough of the little things in Thursday’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Playoff opener against Summerville.

The Indians (23-3) got a combination of solid pitching, steady defense and timely hitting in their 4-0 win.

Junior hurler Jack Mayer limited the Bears (14-8) to three hits, fanning nine and fending off any possible scoring threats.

“He didn’t allow a (Summerville) runner past second base,” said Ripon coach Jon Manrique of his winning pitcher. “That’s when he brought out his best stuff.”

He also praised catcher Angelo Baciocco.

“He called a great game behind the plate,” Manrique added.

Baciocco and Mayer agreed that their defense made for easier working conditions.

Shortstop Travis Waara, for example, displayed his range on Billy Hebert Field’s all-weather sports turf. He covered plenty of ground while making the throw to first late in the game.

“The ball takes a true hop on this field,” Manrique said.

As for the offense, the Indians did all of the damage in the second inning.

Nick Price set the table with a lead-off triple to the cavernous center field at the legendary ball park.

Baciocco followed by ripping an RBI double to left center. He scored following Donny Cooksey’s base hit, hustling home on a sacrifice bunt executed by Eric Jaquez.

“That was a great play — Eric saw something there,” Manrique said.

An errant throw on a double play try by Summerville enabled Cooksey that third run in the frame. Sammy Sousa, who was safe at first on the throw, stole second and scored on a single by Waara.

From that point on, the game turned into a pitching duel.

Summerville’ Sam Burns, who came in on relief of starter Brad Tyler in the third, matched Mayer for the next five innings. He sat down the first six batters, allowing just two hits.

Mayer closed out the game by striking out the side in seventh inning, trusting in his battery mate.

“I haven’t shuck off Angelo in the last four games,” he said.

Baciocco indicated that Mayer had all of his pitches working against the Bears.

“I like that he tries to be perfect (with his throws),” Baciocco said.

Next up for Ripon is Linden. The two teams square off Saturday at noon in Stockton.