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Ripons playoff hopes now depend on Hughson
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RIPON — Ripon head coach Mark Whelan will be the biggest Hughson Huskies fan today.

After wrapping up an expected season sweep of Riverbank 10-2 Thursday, the Indians’ Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoff hopes now hinge on today’s Modesto Christian-Hughson Trans Valley League finale in Salida.

Ripon (9-6, 11-11 overall) sits a half game ahead of MC at second place in the standings, but a Hughson loss today would put an end to the Indians’ season since MC has the head-to-head tiebreaking advantage over them.

They did their part Thursday against the TVL’s last-place team, but it wasn’t until a four-run sixth inning that Whelan felt a little comfortable.

“It was senior day and we were coming off an 18-1 win over Riverbank, so the focus wasn’t entirely there today,” Whelan said. “But we got the job done. We knew we had to take care of business on our end and we did that.”

Ripon’s offense may have lacked a little pop with just six hits, but it was supported by five Riverbank errors and a terrific performance from senior pitcher Mike Conway.

Conway rung up nine strikeouts to just one walk and gave up two hits in 6 2/3 innings. Camden Dowhower faced two batters before closing it out.

Dowhower and Kyle Wagner each plated a pair of runs, and Wagner drove in three others. Johnny DeDonatis finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
— Jonamar Jacinto