LATHROP – East Union’s Justin Nieto pitched a gem during Thursday’s Valley Oak League matchup against host Lathrop.
Nieto went the distance and tossed nine strikeouts, giving up three runs on four total hits.
“I thought our kids came out a little flat,” Lathrop head coach Randy Baltazar said. “But not to take anything away from East Union, they did a good job of pitching (Nieto).”
Lucas Garcia of the Lancers (3-3 VOL, 9-8 overall) went 1 for 3 with a triple in the fifth inning. Jordan Kron (2 for 5) hit a three-run home run in the fifth as well as EU pulled away.
Lathrop fell to 2-4 VOL, 6-9 overall. The Spartans were led by Michael Pereznegron (2 for 3, double and run) and Austin Plunk (1 for 3, triple, RBI). Keenan Donatelli finished 1 for 3 with a single.
“We had to stay away from the big inning, and it seemed as if we were trying to push some runs across the plate,” Baltazar said. “EU answered back with a few of their own.”
Lathrop’s next game will be at Manteca on Tuesday at 4 p.m., while EU will be on the road at Sonora.
Kimball 9, Sierra 8
Sierra suffered a tough VOL defeat at the hands of Kimball Tracy, who held off a Timberwolf comeback and escaped with the victory.
The Timberwolves loaded the bases with one out left in the game, but were unable to push the game-tying run across.
Sierra (4-2 in league, 11-6-1 overall) trailed 7-0 after the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the third, the T’Wolves cut their deficit to four by scoring three. Sierra cut its deficit to one run in the bottom of the fifth with a three-run double by Ian Rodriguez (2 for 3, home run, double, four RBIs).
Joseph Collett was 2 for 4 with an RBI and Gerald Parente finished 2 for 4 with an RBI and a double.
Sierra will resume VOL play on Tuesday with a road game at Oakdale at 4 p.m.
Oakdale 12, Weston Ranch 0
Weston Ranch couldn’t quite keep pace with Oakdale, who cruised to a shutout and were uplifted by a grand slam from Hondo Aripoka.
The Cougars (0-6 VOL, 0-14 overall) trailed by a score after the first inning and trailed 6-0 after two.
In the fifth inning, Oakdale (5-1 VOL) tacked on six more runs to make up the final. Weston Ranch’s Juan Ramos went 1 for 2 from the plate.
The Cougars will continue searching for their first league win on Tuesday at Kimball Tracy at 4 p.m.
East Union 12, Lathrop 2
Kyle Emerson went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs during a rout of Lathrop.
Matthew Bacyuani finished 1 for 1 with a RBI and a walk. Gabriel Saceda finished 1 for 1 with two RBIs and Gabe Chavez (eight strikeouts, four hits) earned the victory from the hill. Marco Gonzalez came in and got the save.