Sierra High’s playoff hopes became a little bit tougher following Friday’s 11-7 Valley Oak League loss to visiting Oakdale.
“We’ll now have to take matters into our own hands,” said Timberwolves coach Jack Thomson.
By that, Sierra (4-6 VOL, 10-9 overall) will have to win out the rest of the way and hope for a little luck.
The Mustangs (7-3, 16-6) all but control their own destiny. They hammered out 12 hits while taking advantage of numerous miscues by the Timberwolves.
Oakdale batted through the order in the first inning, racking up four runs on four hits, a pair of wild pitches and a walk.
Sierra got two back in the home half of the frame.
The Mustangs threatened to make this a game a blowout by scoring four more in second while grabbing an 8-2 advantage.
But the Timberwolves refused to go down without a fight.
“The winds were blowing so we knew that a lot of runs were going to be scored,” Thomson said.
Tanner Peterson had a ground rule double to lead off the bottom of the second.
Tim Brown reached on a bunt. Chris Sperbeck, who made an inning-ending diving catch to end the Mustangs’ threat at the top of frame, singled to load the bases.
Anthony Arrendondo plated a run on a sacrifice fly while Jacob Peterson and Jessie Babauta both drove in runs to close the deficit, 8-7.
Oakdale brought in junior hurler Vito Rodin in on relief.
Neither starter made it past the second inning. Sierra was already thin in that area, having played three games this week.
“Vito was great,” said Oakdale coach Nate Gregory. “He’s worked real hard to get there.”
Rodin kept the Timberwolves in check by not allowing a run in the final five frames.
Sierra will close out VOL play against Lathrop and Weston Ranch.