TRACY — C.J. Drain scored the eventual-game winning run, then struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth inning as Weston Ranch escaped Kimball with an 8-7 win that that snapped a six-game losing skid for the Cougars.
Manuel Rubio knocked in Drain with a bloop single on a hit-and-run play, with Drain scoring all the way from first base as the Kimball shortstop just missed making an impressive diving catch. Drain pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the win.
Rubio, the starting pitcher, battled through early error that allowed Kimball (3-6 Valley Oak League, 12-8 overall) to score four unearned runs in the first inning. Weston Ranch (3-6, 14-7) never led until the final inning, scoring twice in each of the second and fourth to tie it. The Cougars tied it again with runs in the fifth and the seventh.
“Proud of our guys today,” Weston Ranch coach David Hager said. “We got down early and did an excellent job of chipping away and fighting until the late innings, which has been a struggle for us lately. This was kind of a coming of age for us.”
Larry Martinez led Weston Ranch with a 3-for-4 effort that included a triple, a run and two RBIs. Carlos Drain contributed an RBI double. Rubio gave up one earned run in four innings, and Jordan Severin threw 2 1/3 in relief.
Central Catholic 2,
East Union 0
MODESTO — Sophomore Joe Mundt (six strikeouts, walk) outdueled East Union ace Marco Gonzales (11 strikeouts, two walks, two hit batters) in a battle between second-place teams. Both hurlers pitched four-hitters.
Eagan Fierro plated both runs for the Raiders (6-3, 12-9), first on a wild pitch in the opening frame and then on Austin Escober’s base hit in the third. East Union (5-4, 8-10) had a chance to score in the sixth but came up empty-handed after Eric Flores, who finished 2 for 3, clubbed a one-out double. Neither team committed an error.
“Solid game for both sides, and it was definitely pitching dominated,” East Union coach Dan Triglia said. “Their pitcher did a fantastic job of hitting his spots, changing speeds and controlling the dish. We had trouble putting the ball in play.”
Tyler Graves-Kelso twirled a four-hitter to help the Buffaloes (8-1, 16-5) rebounded from their first VOL loss of the season.
Graves-Kelso was spotted a 5-0 lead after two innings and supported by 10 base hits. Jake Menasco (run), Ronaldo Tijero (triple, two runs, RBI), Kyle Rachels (run, double, RBI) and Zach Chamberlain (run) rapped out two hits apiece. Albert Flores was 2 for 3 with a double for Lathrop (1-8, 4-11-1).
On Tuesday, Central Catholic built an early six-run win and held off the Buffaloes for a 9-3 win.
“Tyler pitched well and we played clean behind him (no errors),” Manteca coach Neil MacDannald said. “I am proud of how we came out ready to play from the beginning today. Randy (Baltazar, Lathrop’s coach), does a great job out there so the challenge was to bounce back quickly. Fortunately, we met the challenge today.”
OAKDALE — Oakdale lefty Austin Manning shut down the Timberwolves, scattering just five hits while striking out 10. The Mustangs (6-3, 15-6) scored all of their runs in the first four innings, getting a homer from Logan Hall in the process.
Derek Rosendin pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Sierra (4-5, 10-8).