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Timberwolves score early, halt Johansen comeback
Sierra High’s Jason Angelo tries to get into third base under the tag Tuesday in the Timberwolves’ win over Johansen High.
For the first four innings of Sierra’ varsity baseball game with the Johansen Vikings it seemed like the normal steps to a lopsided win were taking shape, but in the top of the inning the Vikings changed the script and Sierra needed a late insurance run in an 8-5 win Tuesday.

The Timberwolves got things in motion in their half of the first, when Dominic Alejandre led off with a walk and Caleb Young followed him with a single. Then with two outs, Bret Wilson (2-for-4, RBI) and Jason Angelo stroked back-to-back RBI singles, with Angelo’s plating two and giving Sierra a 3-0 lead.

“We’ve really been putting a lot of emphasis on when you have a guy in scoring position you have to be ready to hit,” Sierra head coach Jack Thomson said. “So if you get a fastball up there on the first pitch you better be ready to get after it, and that is exactly what Bret and Jason did. Those two guys have made a lot of progress.

“They have bought into what we’re doing.”

Sierra closed the first with a four run lead and added another three runs in the fourth inning on a Alejandre-Young inspired rally. A walk and another Young hit put Sierra back in business, only to get cashed in on a two-out, two RBI Alex Arreola hit.

“It was the first time that him and I have been a one-two punch at the top,” Young said. “And it really just worked for us. It really worked for both of us. I felt good out there and Dom almost got on every time.

“It just happened to flow for us.”

The pair combined for four runs scored and reached base all but one time. The offense the two stored up didn’t seem as if it would last when Johansen broke loose for a four-run fifth. The Vikings used three hits, two walks and two costly errors to change a 7-0 route into a ballgame.

“There’s no question that we let them right back into the game,” Thomson said. “We were able to make a great play at second, but then you have to finish it; then we drop a fly ball, not holding the runner and boom, it’s 7-4. In the middle innings we got kind of sloppy and complacent and let them back in the game.

“You’re not going to be able to do that in league.”

Sierra would surrender no more, getting solid relief pitching from Mike Leland and Dylan Bebrouwer. Debrouwer made things interesting in the sixth, but set the Vikings down in order in the seventh for the save. Young got the start for Sierra, tossing three innings of scoreless ball before being lifted in the fourth.

Young was also Sierra’s hottest bat, going 3-for-4 and scoring twice, while Arreola finished 2-for-4 with a run. Wilson also was 2-for-4.

Sierra (4-2) will be off until the Valley Oak League opener next Wednesday in Lathrop.