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Thomson collects 500th varsity victory
Sierra helps coach reach milestone at Del Campo
Sierra Highs Jack Thomson, standing back row to the left of the banner, earned his 500th victory as a varsity head coach Friday at Del Campo. - photo by Photo Contributed

Jack Thomson’s 500th career victory came with little drama, but it didn’t make it any less special.

The Sierra High head baseball coach reached the milestone Friday in Fair Oaks, where the Timberwolves pounded Del Campo, 13-3.

Sierra (8-2) led 8-0 after two innings, and starting pitcher Mike Leland cruised from there.

Thomson said he received several congratulatory text messages after the game, a few coming from the1981 Manteca High team — his first as head coach at the varsity level.

“One of them said he was happy to be a part of (win) No. 1,” said Thomson.

That one came from Chris Louie, the father of 2009 Sierra graduate Jordan Louie, who started at catcher for Thomson. Another 81er checking in was Darren Swift, whose sons, Marshall and Brock, have played against Sierra for East Union.

“That’s when you know you’re getting old,” Thomson joked.

He coached Manteca’s ball club until 1994. Sierra opened in the 1994-95 school year and 1996 Thomson became the Timberwolves first, and only, varsity skipper.

“I’m going to remember more than just that (500th win),” Thomson said. “It is something special, and a lot of players and coaches have shared a part in it.”

Thomson said that he didn’t give the looming 500th victory much thought at the start of the season. While talented, the decorated coach anticipated growing pains from his young team that features one freshman and two sophomores.

“The way we’ve played has been a real pleasant surprise,” Thomson said. “The kids have worked hard and are playing well. I didn’t expect it this early in the year, but once we got to be around 5-1 over a week ago I started thinking about it.”

Some of those youngsters contributed to No. 500 Friday.

Freshman Ryan Vazquez was 2-for-2 with an RBI, and sophomore catcher Jake Pruitt finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning.

Standout senior John Waggy plated three runs and drove in two others while clubbing two doubles in three at-bats. Marc Wilson and Makana Ward each added a double.

The Timberwolves roped 10 total hits and scratched across their final three runs in the seventh inning.

Leland held Del Campo (3-4) to five hits and two runs in five innings. Robert LeLaurin closed it out in relief.

“Mike Leland pitched very well,” Thomson said. “He didn’t walk anybody and changed speeds effectively.”

Thomson and the Timberwolves will go after No. 501 next Tuesday at Stagg before heading to Sonora Wednesday for their Valley Oak League opener.

Southern League

Ripon Christian 21, Waterford 5

The Knights (2-1, 2-6-1 overall) amassed 22 hits en route to earning their second straight victory.

Five Ripon Christian batters each accounted for three knocks: Jon Vander Molen was 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs; Dominic Nelson was 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs; Kalvin Prins drove in five runs, plated two and hit two doubles in a 3-for-5 effort; Josh English went 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs; and Danny Vander Molen finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run.

Dustin Van Vliet contributed three runs and two RBIs and went 2-for-3. Chris Saenz was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs.