Sierra’s baseball team is off and running in the Valley Oak League after blanking Kimball on Monday behind Tyler Looney’s three-hit masterpiece in Tracy.
They’re the only two clubs starting the VOL schedule this week, and the three-game set shifts to Sierra on Wednesday. The Timberwolves (1-0, 4-5 overall) have strung together three straight wins after a challenging start to their pre-league schedule.
They set the tone Monday by scoring a run in the top of the first inning, and that was all Looney needed. The senior righty struck out six and walked none.
“It was a great performance from our ace Looney on the mound, who had four pitches working for him today,” Sierra coach Travis Thomson said. “He battled all game, we didn't allow a walk or commit any errors defensively. It was a very clean game for us as a group.”
The attack did more than enough for its pitcher, tacking on seven more runs in the second inning. Jack Cunial (run, steal), Nikko Guevara (double, walk), Troy Morrow (double, two runs), Angel Valdez (walk, run) and Mitch Van Zwaluwenburg (steal, run) supplied to knocks apiece.
“Offensively, we came out of the gate strong with competitive at-bats and putting the ball in play,” Thomson said. “I think we lined out five times today. The team seems to be buying into an approach at the plate. It's been fun to watch our hitters the last few weeks."
East Union 5, Bear Creek 1
Zach Grabowski, Dylan Lee, Blake Mount, Carson Sanders and A.J. Vasquez each roped a double on the non-league road tilt for East Union (5-2).
Anthony Oteri hit 2 for 3. Grabowski pitched six innings for the win, and Lee closed it out. The Lancers wrap up their pre-league schedule Friday against visiting Weston Ranch.
Mountain House 3, Lathrop 1
The reigning champion Spartans (6-1, 12-4) have finally met their match in the Western Athletic Conference, dropping a 21-25, 16-25, 25-23, 21-25 defeat at Mountain House.
It’s the program’s first varsity loss in the WAC and first in league play since April of 2018 in the Valley Oak League. The 2020 and 21 seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
Senior outside hitter Jerico Santillan had a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Gabriel Fa’ali’i fired 12 kills to go with eight digs.
Marco Palomares added seven kills, and Christian Buerster had six kills and four blocks. Setter Alexander Vere dished out 34 assists, and Lucas Baluyut collected 30 digs.
Manteca 3, Kimball 0
After squeaking out the first set, the Buffaloes (1-0, 8-5) rolled to win their VOL opener in Tracy, 25-23, 25-15, 25-19.
Senior middle Camden Steckler anchored them with 12 kills and eight blocks. Julio Mateo and Nick Grabowski pitched in nine and seven kills, respectively. Marc Bondoc and Cedrick Maglinao gave Kimball (0-1, 9-5) fits from the service line.
Oakdale 7, Manteca 2
The Buffaloes dropped to 0-2 in the VOL after their setback at Oakdale, though coach Frank Fontana was encouraged by the effort following the season-opening loss to first-place Central Catholic.
“We played better today than we did in our opening match of the VOL season,” he said. “If we continue to work hard at practice and improve each day, I think we will be playing some good tennis at the end of the year. And we get to play both Oakdale and CC again, so we will see what happens.”
Sophomore standout Yok Chai Ma defeated Parker Whitemyer 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 1 singles match. Manteca also took the No. 1 doubles match, as Landon Butler and Declan Edwards edged Austin Speiller and Levi Hensley, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1).
There were many other close matches that did not fall Manteca’s way. Michael Osanna (7-5, 0-6, 2-6), Michael Levchenko (1-6, 6-1, 2-6) and Vincent Almeida (1-6, 6-0, 2-6) each lost in three sets in the Nos. 4-6 singles matches. Kevin Navarro-Mendoza and Harian Sepulveda also fell in three 2-6, 6-1, 7-10 at No. 2 doubles.
Sierra 5, Kimball 1
Ryan Macintyre rung up seven strikeouts over six innings in a combined four-hitter for visiting Sierra. Frank Teicheira struck out the side in the seventh.
Wyatt Bauer went 3 for 3 with two doubles, a triple, a walk and an RBI to highlight the attack. Jacob Morrow was 2 for 4 with a run.
Manteca 2, Kimball 1
A.J. Palmer swatted nine kills to help lead Manteca’s 14-25, 25-8, 15-9 comeback victory.
Robert Havener added six kills, and Jesus Gomez served five aces.
Mountain House 2, Lathrop 1
Lathrop was defeated 19-25, 25-18, 7-15 on the road.
Persius Fa’ali’i headed the Spartans’ attack with six kills to go with seven digs. Edmund Balugo had 12 digs and three aces. Jorge Reyes amassed 15 assists and 11 digs.