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Timberwolves keep pace in the VOL race
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The Sierra Timberwolves have a legitimate shot at closing out the season with one of the Valley Oak League’s three postseason spots. The Timberwolves took the proper steps in claiming one of the berth with an 18-2 win over the Weston Ranch Cougars Friday.

The Cougars were able to keep things close with Sierra for the first three innings, before the Timberwolves broke it wide open with an eight-run fourth and a six-run fifth.

“We put up a good fight,” Weston Ranch head coach Ron Wayman said. “But then they were able to put up a couple of bing innings that we didn’t have an answer for.

“I was pleased with the our effort early, but we just lost focus.”

The Cougars got a hit from Marcus Vega-Tatum and Chris Falcon, while Jared Ferrari handled the bulk of the pitching with three-plus innings pitched and six strikeouts.

Sierra will kick off its most important series of the season Wednesday when they travel across town to take on the East Union Lancers. The Lancers are coming off of a series split with the Manteca Buffaloes, setting up a VOL showdown that will definitely have playoff implications.

The two clubs will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, followed by the VOL season finale at 4 p.m. Friday at Sierra.

Sonora 9, Lathrop 3

In the top of the third the Spartans held a slim 2-1 lead, but the Wildcats would change that in a hurry with a five-run inning, pulling away with the VOL win.

Sonora’s Mark Relei got the win for the Wildcats, going four innings and scattering just five hits for the decision.

Lathrop will try and close out the VOL season with a pair of respectable contests against the Kimball Jaguars. The first installment will come Wednesday with a trip to Tracy for the Spartans.

Manteca 11, East Union 8

The Buffaloes were able to salvage the split, nearly mercy-ruling the Lancers on their way to the VOL win Friday at East Union.

Manteca hurler Jake Corn went 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven in his solid effort. Corn would surrender responsibility to a team of three relievers that closed out the win.

Chris Estrada went 2-for-3 for the Buffaloes, driving in three. He helped Manteca get its offense going with a two-out, two-RBI single. Nate Ehivello also was 2-for-3, driving in a pair. Corn, Alex Jorgensen and Ryan Sumrall all finished 2-for-4, with Sumrall driving in three.

Jesus Esquviel hit a two run homerun for East Union.