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Timberwolves stay on track with must-have win over Sonora
Dylan DeBrouwer went the distance for the Timberwolves, striking out five in Sierra’s 7-4 win over Sonora Tuesday.
For a moment, it seemed as if the Sonora Wildcats would decrease Sierra’s chances at pulling in one of the three Valley Oak League playoff spots up for grabs during the stretch run. Only Dylan DeBrouwer had other plans, going the distance for the Timberwolves in a 7-4 win Tuesday.

DeBrouwer cruised for seven innings, shrugging off a minor setback in the third inning to hold Sonora quiet over the game’s final four frames for the win. DeBrouwer also was dominant at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and scoring Sierra’s final insurance run with two outs in the sixth.

“He did a good job and we needed a good effort from him today,” Sierra head coach Jack Thomson said. “He’s supposed to be our guy and he was able to do a good job out there today. We played a lot better today, but we still get into a mode where we sort of coast.”

Sierra was able to outshine Sonora’s one-run first inning with a four spot of its own. Getting four consecutive hits from Alex Arreola, Caleb Young, DeBrouwer and Nathan O’Leary, with DeBrouwer and O’Leary poking doubles. Bret Wilson and Rodrigo Contreras both drove in runs with hits, building a pseudo-comfortable 4-1 lead.

The Timberwolves would go down easy in the second and Sonora would tie things up in the third, taking advantage of a crucial two-out error with a deep homerun hit by Sonora starting catcher Dylan Fernandez. Fernandez’ bomb knotted the game at four, forcing the Timberwolves back into a sense of urgency in the box.

“When we get those leads we need to continue to pound away; instead of being up 4-1, make it 7, or 8-1,” Thomson said. “When you let a team hang around they start to feel they should beat you. I thought we had a chance to put it away when we got bases loaded in the sixth, then it’s bases loaded with two outs and I’m thinking that if we don’t score here and they get a little bit of momentum.

“Anything can happen.”

Contreras made sure that would not be the case, picking up a clutch two-out hit in the sixth to drive in DeBrouwer for his second RBI of the game. Sonora would lead off the seventh with a bunt single, but DeBrouwer was able to retire the next three batters for the complete game victory.

“This was a real important game because we needed this one to stay in the playoff race,” DeBrouwer said. “Since my sophomore year we have come so close to the playoffs’ and have kind of fallen off at the end, so it is very important to me that my senior year we are able to get over that hump.”

DeBrouwer struck out five and surrendered all four of Sonora’s runs after two-out errors.

Sierra will continue with its fight-to-the-end mantra at 4 p.m. when they host the winless Weston Ranch Cougars. The Timberwolves will meet up for a home-home with Weston Ranch and then squeeze in a makeup with the Lathrop Spartans before closing the VOL scheduled with a two-game set with the East Union Lancers.

“We started off 3-0, but then we hit that stretch (Manteca, Oakdale) and all of a sudden we’re 4-4,” Thomson said. “If we can get after over the next three games, then we are 8-4 heading into the final week of league and everything looks good.”