RIPON — After Ripon Christian batted around in the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday and plated five runs to take a one-run lead, Caleb Terpsma came out from behind the plate to take the mound for the final inning and picked up the save in a 6-5 win for the Knights over visiting Sierra in a post-season Valley Oak League contest.
“Coach asked me if I wanted to go for the save,” Terpsma said. “At first I said no because my legs were like Jell-O because this was my first game catching since eighth grade. But then I told coach I wanted to try and get the save because I wanted to pitch in my last home game.
“So I went out, got the save and I enjoyed it.”
Timberwolves pitcher Jakob Lopez stymied Ripon Christian (10-9 VOL, 12-9 overall) the first time through the order, carrying a perfect game into the fourth inning. Terpsma broke up that perfect bid in the fourth, singling down the left-field line and eventually coming in to score on Joseph DeBruyn’s single to draw the Knights within 5-1.
“I was sitting on a first-pitch fast ball,” Terpsma said. “But he gave me a curve ball and I was able to wait on it a little bit and then poke it over the third baseman’s head.”
DeBruyn (2 for 3, two RBI) got the five-run sixth going for Ripon Christian when he singled in Will Gilbert who led off the inning with a walk. Nine batters in a row reached for the Knights in the sixth on just four hits.
“We have played these guys already and we faced this pitcher last time so seeing him again it made it easier to hit off of him,” DeBruyn said. “I knew what he was going to throw so once I got on time after that it was just putting the ball in play.”
With the two teams meeting at Sierra on Thursday to wrap up the year, Ripon Christian coach John de Visser is thrilled with how his team did in the pandemic-assembled VOL. The Knights normally play in the Southern League.
“We are guaranteed .500 in our only year in the VOL,” de Visser said. “Not in my wildest dreams if you would have asked me at the beginning of the year would I have said there was any way we would get to 10 wins, but we are here. This is just exponentially more difficult baseball than we normally have to play.
“Today I was able to get all the guys in and that was a lot of fun.”
Sierra (10-9 VOL) took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth behind a three-run third inning. Santi Duarte led off the third with a single and was doubled to third by Zach Fonseca (2 for 3, RBI, double). Both came in to score on Zac Cook’s triple and Cook came home on Angel Valdez’s sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead.
“We started off playing pretty well,” Timberwolves coach Travis Thomson said. “But we didn’t finish that way. We are trying to get a consistent effort on defense and a consistent approach at the plate. It is a work in progress.
“It’s a good thing we have summer league and we will get s few more games in.”
Ripon Christian 3, Sierra 0
RIPON — The Ripon Christian boys volleyball team swept a competitive Sierra squad on Tuesday, 25-21, 26-24, 25-21 in VOL action.
“We were down a couple of key players,” Knights coach Dylan Zuidervaart said. “But our younger guys definitely stepped up.
“They have some big shoes to fill next year and I am glad they are getting some time on the court and bonding together as a team.”
Joel Van Groningen led the Knights attack with 20 kills and Preston Zuidervaart dished up 20 assists.
The two teams meet again today to round up the VOL campaign at 5 p.m. at Sierra.