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Sierra ace delivers
TWolves in playoff hunt behind Scotts one-hitter
Sierra second baseman Dylan DeBrouwer rushes his throw to first for an out. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
Andy Scott had just walked his sixth batter of the day, sending East Union’s potential tying run to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs in the top of the seventh.

If Scott was rattled, he didn’t show it. And his battery mate, Jordan Louie, had all the faith in him as he signaled each pitch.

Scott cemented host Sierra’s needed 3-0 victory with a strikeout, booking his eighth of the game to highlight a one-hitter blemished only by the walks.

Scott admitted after the game that his “best stuff” wasn’t always there, but Louie knew it would come at the right time.

“Andy will come in and pitch lights out in pressure situations,” said Louie, who spotted Scott a lead with a leadoff bomb over the left-field fence in the second.

“Having grown up and played a lot together, that’s one thing I know that’s never been a problem for him. Whenever the pressure’s on, he always buckles down and comes through for us.”

The win draws a second-place tie with Sonora in the Valley Oak League. Sonora blew an early 4-1 advantage and lost to three-time champion Oakdale 7-4 on Tuesday.

If Oakdale and Sierra complete the sweeps, Sierra (9-4, 15-8 overall) earns the conference’s second and final Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV postseason bid that eluded the Timberwolves last year.

Needing just a split in their final two-game series of 2008 for a berth, East Union ended up winning both in come-from-behind fashion to punch its ticket to the playoffs, where it made an improbable run to the section finals.

“Last year was not going to happen again,” Scott said. “I wasn’t going to let them beat me, no way.”

But for last year to not fully happen again, a win Thursday at East Union’s Agostini Field is a must.
“We’re only halfway done and our kids understand that,” Sierra coach Jack Thomson said. “We’ll probably need to score more than three runs on Thursday.”

Sierra scratched across all of its runs in the second inning. A pair of two-out errors let Sierra tack on Louie’s solo shot. Dylan DeBrouwer smacked a double to help spark the rally.
Other than the second, East Union southpaw pitcher Frank Bailey was terrific. He struck out eight in six innings, walking just one while scattering five hits. Jacob Angelo (doubled) and Louie were each 2 for 3 for the Timberwolves.

Pitching wasn’t the issue for the Lancers, but their punchless offense was. Some of that may have been attributed to a pre-game injury sustained by clean-up hitter Garrett Fisher, who watched from the dugout while nursing a sore foot. Fisher was batting .317 going into the series with team-highs six home runs and 26 RBIs.

Marshall Swift broke up Scott’s no-hitter with an infield hit in the sixth inning.

“We were never able to generate any kind of offense,” East Union coach Dan Triglia said. “We didn’t get a guy past second base and didn’t put any pressure on them whatsoever.

“Hopefully we’ll bring a better approach at the plate (on Thursday) and put the ball in play.”