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Sierra capitalizes on outfield error to stun Escalon
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Austin Acker stood at the plate with a full count, the tying run on second and the winning run on first in Sierra High’s half of the seventh inning Friday against visiting Escalon. The first-year varsity player cashed in when what looked like a harmless flyball to centerfield found the grass and gave Sierra a 4-3 comeback win.

Sierra (2-1) got things going in the seventh with a one-out infield single from Alex Arreola. Arreola raced down the line to beat out Escalon’s play on him at first, pulling the Timberwolves one step closer. Rodrigo Contreras followed him with a walk, and a Sierra strikeout left everything on Acker.

Acker got behind in the count early, only to fend off Escalon closer Aaron Pangilinan to a full count. Acker would loft the final offering to centerfield and allow the Escalon centerfielder to turn him into a hero.

“You never take anything for granted,” Sierra head coach Jack Thomson said. “That’s what we told our players, never take anything for granted.

“The key for us was that we pitched well.”

Contreras got the start for the Timberwolves and went three strong innings before giving way to teammate Adrian Valencia. Valencia was the difference, inheriting a 3-2 deficit and holding Escalon scoreless over the final four innings.

“Adrian really pitched well, and Rodrigo battled,” Thomson said. “That is a good team, and it was our pitching that kept us in the game and one mistake that let us win it.”

Contreras’ day was far from over when he left the bump, going to third base and finishing 1-for-3 with a walk at the plate. The junior was on first base when Acker’s ball was hit, but hustle enabled him to score without a throw to win the game.

“I just kept hustling,” Contreras said. “Coach emphasizes that all the time in practice, no matter what just keep hustling. I just wanted to score. I came around and was looking at coach (Thomson) and I saw his eyes get really big.

“When he started really waving me in and I knew I was going to score.”

Senior Dylan DeBrouwer was 1-for3 and was hit by a pitch in his second at bat. Arreola finished up 2-for-4 and scored the tying run before Contreras came around to end it. Escalon was led by shortstop Josh Miguel was 3-for-3 and was walked intentionally once.

Sierra will be on the diamond Wednesday when they host the Modesto Christian Crusaders. The Timberwolves have already faced a couple of challenging programs and hope to close out the preseason getting better with each contest.

“This was a really big win because we still have some pretty good teams to play this preseason,” DeBrouwer said. “We want to keep building, and getting better by the beginning of league.

“We have the type of talent that I feel we can win league with.”

Johansen Tournament
Tokay 2, Manteca 0
Matt Burrows went six solid innings for the Buffaloes, but one earned run and one unearned run allowed Tokay to pull out the 2-0 win Friday.

Burrows scattered four hits and struck out four, but was one of only two Buffaloes to manage multiple hits. Burrows and teammate Gabe Rellamos both finished 2-for-3 for the stagnant Manteca offense.

“We just didn’t hit the ball as a team today,” Manteca head coach Gene Ballardo said. “But I was proud of Matt, he really pitched well.”

Bear Creek 17, Weston Ranch 7
Defensive miscues plagued the Cougars in two big innings, falling to Bear Creek in a mercy-shortened 17-7 loss.

Tyler Scharnow was effective against the Bruins, striking out five batters and only surrendering a single earned run, but four errors in the second and five in the third were too much for Weston Ranch to recover from.

The Cougars trailed 14-3 going into the fourth, and responded with four runs behind a three RBI hit from Elias Vengas.

The Cougars will be on the diamond Monday when they travel to Stockton to take on the McNair Eagles.

Ripon Christian 7, Orestimba 7
The Knights got going offensively, taking a prompt 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but could not fend Orestimba off, settling for a 7-7 tie after Orestimba plated four runs in the bottom of the sixth for the tie. Clayton Prins was 3-for-4 and was hit by a pitch to reach base four times.

Nick Wehrli contributed with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, while teammate Elija English was 2-for-4.  Teammate Dominic Nelson was 1-for-4, but came around to score twice.

Ripon Christian (0-2-1) will continue nonleague action with a matchup with Ripon High Monday.

Central Catholic 5, Ripon 2 (8)
The Indians battled with Central Catholic through seven innings, but getting to extra innings would be Ripon’s downfall in a 5-2 loss to the Raiders in extra innings.

Central Catholic jumped out 2-0 and held the lead until the fourth inning when Ripon tied things up with a Ryan Durrer two-RBI single. Durrer’s single would get the Indians to bonus play, but the team’s offense would not be able to scratch across another.

The Raiders on the other hand exploded in the eight, scoring three runs on three singles and three walks, pulling the squad to victory. Central Catholic pitcher Chris Sauls closed the door on Ripon, going the distance and holding Ripon to just two hits and the two runs.

Ripon (2-1) will be on the field again today, when they travel to Lathrop to take on the Spartans. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.