By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sierra avoids Dog bite
Twolves make early lead stand, advance to semis
Placeholder Image

LODI – Fortunately, for Sierra, its bats were hot early as the Timberwolves withstood five seventh-inning runs by Ceres and defeated the Bulldogs 9-6 in first-round action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV baseball playoffs at Zupo Field.

“I thought we started out the game well,” Sierra coach Jack Thomson said. “Leo (Soto) threw well early and we started out strong with our bats, but we did not do a good job of closing the game.”

Dakota Conners got the first of 12 hits for Sierra (21-4) in the first inning with an RBI triple, scoring Ryan Vasquez. Along with Conners, Vasquez (2B, RBI), Kyle Oden (two RBI), and Ian Rodriguez (RBI) were all 2 for 3. Tyler Moss had a two-RBI double and reached base four times, twice via a fielder’s choice and once on an error.

“We knew that they threw a lot of strikes so I was just trying to be aggressive on that triple,” Conners said. “It was a 10- or 11-pitch at-bat that I just stayed aggressive on pitches around the zone and then I got a pitch up and drove it.”

Leo Soto pitched into the sixth inning for the Timberwolves, allowing just one hit through the first four innings and four total.

“I was feeling good the first four innings,” Soto said. “And we jumped on their pitching early that got us a lot of runs early. That was good because things got scary at the end.”

Sierra had two big innings, scoring four runs in the third with the big hit of the frame being an RBI double by Vasquez and Moss’ two-RBI double in the fourth scored Jake Pruitt and Oden with Jake Souza scoring the other Timberwolves run in the fourth on an error.

Defense helped Sierra out of some big jams. In the fifth inning with one across, two out and a runner on third for Ceres (23-7), Timberwolves third baseman Rodriguez dove to his left on a line drive to make a highlight-reel catch, ending the inning and the Bulldogs threat.

Ceres had a runner on second with one out in the sixth when Sierra first baseman Blake Sundquist snagged a line drive and got back to the bag before the Bulldogs baserunner for an inning-ending double play.

The Timberwolves now move on to a best two-out-of-three semifinal with Vista del Lago of Folsom on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Zupo Field.