The Sierra High Timberwolves came away with the Valley Oak League split Friday thanks to some outstanding pitching by Jakob Gallagher.
But the 6-foot-3 righty was quick to credit his teammates in the 4-1 victory at East Union.
“I’m comfortable throwing knowing that they’re behind me (on defense),” said Gallagher, who, according to his coach Jack Thomsen, was making only his second start of the season.
He played on the Sierra basketball squad that had the longest playoff run ever in the school’s history.
“Hopefully, we’ll get more fine pitching from Jake,” Thomsen said.
Defense played in vital part for both teams.
“We played clean and won when we faced (Sierra) the other day won,” said Lancers coach Dan Triglia. “This time they played well (on defense) while we kicked the ball around.”
East Union (2-4 in VOL, 3-14 overall) had some lapses on the defense including a couple of two-base throwing errors.
Such mistakes overshadowed a fine pitching effort by Lancers senior hurler Lucas Garcia, who went all seven innings, scattering four hits and fanning six.
“Lucas was solid – he kept the ball down and threw with good velocity,” Triglia said.
He gave up a leadoff single to Sierra first baseman Nick Oseguera. But mental lapses coupled with a throwing error led to the unearned runs in the second inning. Nick Lucchetti brought one run in with a sacrifice fly and Ryan Vasquez delivered on an RBI single, making it 3-0 Timberwolves.
Ryan Bergman reached base on an error in the fourth. Two batters later, Vasquez smoked a double up the gap, plating the hard-charging Bergstrom to make it 4-0.
Gallagher had been sailing through the lineup. A leadoff single by East Union’s Joe Botelho in the bottom of the third was quickly erased when Sierra first baseman Anthony Arrendondo initiated the unassisted double play.
Gallagher, like Garcia, also struck out six including the side in the third.
“I came out here with some fire,” he said. “It was very important for us get that split today.”
The only blemish on his outing took place in the fourth as Gabe Chavez led off with a single and eventually scored on an error.
Sierra (5-1 VOL, 11-4-1 overall) kept the damage to a minimum as third baseman Ryan Bergstrom orchestrated the 5-4-3 double play.
In the sixth, Lucchetti made a diving catch in right field for the first out. But East Union responded by loading the bases, getting back-to-back singles by Joe Souza and Garcia. Oseguera, who collected two hits, and reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Gallagher got out of the inning unscathed with a strikeout and a fly ball to center.
Vasquez came in relief of Gallagher, shutting the door on East Union in the seventh.
Weston Ranch 4, Lathrop 3
The Cougars (3-3 in VOL, 8-10 overall) came up with the sweep of Lathrop on Friday.
The Spartans (0-6 in VOL, 3-11) got an RBI single from Armando Perez to take an early 1-0 lead.
Few details were available.
Beyer 14, Ripon 1
At Modesto, Micah Hall tossed four innings of shutout ball to lead Beyer past the Indians during the 46th annual event Friday.
He scattered four hits with no walks and received plenty of run support.
Beyer scored 10 runs in the first innings, with Matt Williams, Jordan Walls, and Jack Large doing most of the damage.
Sammy Souza went 2 for 2 including an RBI in the fifth for Ripon’s lone run.
Jack Mayer was the starting pitcher for the Indians.