Jake Peterson threw a complete-game shutout Monday for Sierra and led the Timberwolves to a 5-0 Valley Oak League win over visiting Weston Ranch, keeping Timberwolves playoff hopes alive with one league game remaining.
Peterson sprinkled five hits over the seven innings, striking out three.
“I threw my off-speed for strikes,” Peterson said. “They did well to put the ball in play but our defense played well.
“Working on getting better direction on my fastball allowed me to get a little more run and helped line drives turn into ground balls.”
Sierra (7-6 VOL, 13-9 overall) got all of its runs in the first two innings. Chase Sperbeck (double, two runs) led the game off with a double and came in when Anthony Arredondo’s grounder was too hot to handle. Nick Oseguera singled in Arredondo and Oseguera scored on a Tanner Peterson single for a 3-0 lead.
“We saw fast balls early in the count and took advantage of it,” Arredondo said. “But then we didn’t pick up the intensity later in the game.”
In the second inning, Arredondo (2 for 3, double, RBI) doubled in Sperbeck who had reached on a fielder’s choice and Arredondo scored on a wild pitch for what proved to be the last run of the game.
“Our at-bats after the second inning were not very good,” Sierra coach Jack Thomson said. “A lot of front-foot, long fly balls, and even though we got come guys on, we would have been able to get a couple of more runs but we couldn’t get the hit we needed.”
With only three strikeouts, the Cougars (4-9, 15-10) had no problem putting the ball in play, but the Sierra defense kept Weston Ranch from mounting an attack.
The Cougars dropped two close games to East Union last week to knock themselves out of the playoff hunt.
“I think mentally we are fatigued,” Weston Ranch coach David Hager said. “I think the two battles we had with them really mentally exhausted us and it showed today. Coming back after that (3-2 loss) on Saturday where we lost our hope for the playoffs mentally defeated us. We have to learn to be stronger and we have to learn to play this game the right way and respect this game the right way.”
Carlos Drain was 2 for 3 with a double for Weston Ranch.
Sierra remains a game behind East Union because the Lancers defeated Manteca on Monday. East Union and the Buffaloes play again on Wednesday as do the Timberwolves and the Cougars.
Central Catholic 17,
LATHROP — The Raiders (8-4, 14-10) had just five hits but took advantage of 14 walks and four hit batters. Austin Escobar slugged a three-run homer in the second and finished 2 for 3 with four RBIs.
Nathan Clark gave up two hits — doubles from Brian Baltazar and Albert Flores — and struck out seven in the mercy-shortened win.