The Valley Oak League baseball title belongs solely to Sierra High.
The Timberwolves (10-0, 18-3-1 overall) clinched the league crown with a 6-2 victory at Weston Ranch on Friday.
“It was important for us to take care of business today,” said Sierra coach Travis Thomson, who received post-game congratulations from his team – the players once again ceremoniously drenched him again by dumping the Gatorade bucket – assistant coaches, friends and family including his father and long-time baseball coach at the school Jack Thomson.
Travis Thomson added: “You can’t take anything for granted, especially since we have a tough East Union team to face next week.”
Weston Ranch (1-8 VOL, 8-12) also proved to be a tough competitor by taking an early 1-0 lead.
Anthony Aguilar singled but was replaced on the base path by Anthony Faulk in the first inning. Faulk advanced on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice, scoring on another wild pitch.
Sierra then rallied for four runs in the third.
Deshon Thomas and Steve Eaves, who got on board via singles. Both scored on a two-base throwing error and a Matt Dunham sacrifice fly, respectively.
Louis Aquila’s two-run single plated Tyler Kiser and Jessie Ortiz-Martinez.
“If you give good teams free bases, they’ll beat you every single time,” said Cougars coach David Hagar.
He saw more of that in the fourth when a two-out error in outfield led to two more runs for the Timberwolves.
Down 6-1, Weston Ranch got one run back in the bottom half of the frame. Carlos Drain, who had a one-out single, raced home on Amier Bowen’s triple to right.
Sierra centerfielder Dunham robbed Austin Cappas of possible extra bases with a running over-the-shoulder grab earlier in the inning.
Thomson credited his starting southpaw hurler Slyder Blyth, who scattered seven hits with one earned run and three strikeouts to earn the win.
“Slyder knows that Matt can go out there and make that catch. He’s comfortable pitching with his defense behind him,” Thomson said.
The Timberwolves were further helped out defensively when shortstop Ortiz-Martinez initiated a 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the sixth.
The Cougars also settled down defensively with catcher Carlos Drain nailing a runner attempting to swipe second with a strong throw in the top half of the sixth inning.
Weston Ranch will travel to Hughson for a non-league game on Tuesday and will host El Capitan of Merced on Thursday.
Weston Ranch 10, Sierra 0
The Cougars behind the pitching of Jakob Lopez easily handled the Timberwolves in an abbreviated five-inning affair.
The Weston Ranch hurler went the distance, surrendering one hit while striking out five to claim the win.
Sonny Elder chipped in with two RBI single.