STOCKTON – Anything worth doing once is worth doing twice.
With No. 5 Sierra leading top-seeded Christian Brothers of Sacramento by a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh Saturday in quarterfinal action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III baseball playoffs, the Timberwolves thought they had the game won when J.T. Ortiz-Martinez caught an infield pop fly, but a catcher’s interference call negated the play.
Jared Bagley induced the next batter to fly out to Joseph Lomeli in right field to end the game and give Sierra a thrilling 9-8 win at University of the Pacific’s Klein Family Field.
The game ended with the Falcons (22-6) having the tying run at third and winning run at second.
The Timberwolves (18-9) scored a run in the top of the seventh on a ground ball by Bagley, scoring Slyder Blyth who was hit by a pitch and bunted to second by Hunter Frisk.
“The run in the top of the seventh was huge and it ended up being the difference,” Sierra coach Jack Thomson said. “We try to make it a priority to be a better team in May than we were in March and April. We have seen a good deal of growth in our players and it is showing up in games.
“Our pitchers didn’t have their best command today but did a great job battling and keeping us in the game.”
Sierra tied the game at 2-2 in the third on a bases-loaded two-run single by Ortiz-Martinez, scoring Bagley (2 for 4, two RBI) and David Reyes. Sierra scored three runs in both the third and fourth innings, Christian Brothers cut the lead to 8-7 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run throwing error and a ground out to third.
Chase Sperbeck went 2 for 3 with two RBI for the Timberwolves and Mateo Molieri doubled.
Sierra faces No. 6 Beyer of Modesto on Tuesday at Klein Family Field at 7 p.m.
Ripon Christian 10,
Rio Vista 5
SACRAMENTO – In a quarterfinal game that saw 26 combined hits – 13 for each team – the Knights racked up six extra-base hits at McAuliffe Ballpark.
“There were a lot of hits in this game,” Knights coach John De Visser said. “A lot more than I am accustomed to.”
No. 4 Ripon Christian (17-6-1) scored three runs on both the fourth and fifth innings, but it was the three fifth-inning runs behind three extra-base hits and a sacrifice fly that broke the game open and put the Knights ahead 10-4.
Willem Hoekstra (2 for 5, three RBI, triple) had the big hit of the Ripon Christian fifth that saw doubles by Nolan Lingley (2 for 3, double, three runs) and Jadon Vander Molen (3 for 5, double, two runs). Declan Van Vuren (two RBI) added a sacrifice fly.
Caleb Terpsma (2 for 5, double) and Ian Vrieling each had an RBI for Ripon Christian.
After falling behind 10-4 the No. 1 Rams (17-7) managed just one more run, and that was in the bottom of the seventh.
The Knights travel back to Sacramento on Tuesday to face second-seeded Bradshaw Christian at 7 p.m.