STOCKTON – Jack Thomson’s formula for success sounds so simple off the tongue.
“As has been our story this year, when we throw strikes we have played very well,” the longtime Sierra skipper said.
Executing it consistently has been the tricky part.
The final day at the McNair Tournament bore witness to both the up and down nature of the Timberwolves’ pitching.
Sierra (4-3-1) was rocked in Friday’s opener by tournament host McNair but bounced back with a resounding 12-0 victory over Gregori (3-6).
The Timberwolves finished tournament play on the sunny side of the win ledger at 2-1, but remain a club clouded in uncertainty with Valley Oak League play beginning Tuesday.
Pitching is the main culprit and a big reason why Sierra found itself in a 10-run hole to McNair.
The Timberwolves walked six Eagles (5-3) and plunked six more en route to a 13-3 loss.
Brad Tajii and Joseph Collett doubled in the loss.
Sierra bounced back in the second game against the Modesto Metro Conference’s youngest school.
Ty Moss struck out six against one walk in five stellar innings. Ryan Vasquez entered in the sixth and preserved the shutout with a clean appearance.
Jake Souza and Kyle Oden had three hits apiece, while Ian Rodriguez and Dakota Conners went 2 for 3 with doubles.
Jake Pruitt and Vasquez were also 2 for 3.
“I was pleased with our approach in the second game,” Thomson said.
Stagg 10, Weston Ranch 0
Three games in five days left Weston Ranch with little in the bullpen and it showed against Stagg.
Down to its fifth starting pitcher, the Cougars (2-7) struggled to contain Stagg’s offense, which delivered the knockout with a four-run fourth inning.
Freshman Jordan Severin had two of Weston Ranch’s four basehits. Marcus Vega-Tatum tripled and Joe Tillman singled for the Cougars, who have now lost seven of their first nine games.
“We were hitting the ball,” head coach Ron Wayman said, “just couldn’t get them past players.”