Sierra downs Mission, hosts NorCal finals Friday

Baseball pitcher

Charles Middleton broke a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning and the Sierra College baseball team held off Mission 8-6 on May 12 to earn a spot in the Northern California finals.

Sierra's Nathan Barry put together a valiant effort, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing six earned runs before Middleton's eighth inning shot to left field put the Wolverines ahead for good. Takashi Umino picked up the win with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Sierra will host Sacramento City in a best-of-three series beginning on Friday, May 18. The winner will advance to the State Championships Final Four on Memorial Day weekend in Fresno.

Isaiah Garcia (2x4, 3 RBI) also added a home run and Matt Lopez, Gianni Bloom and Larry Fonseca drove in runs for the Wolverines. Fonseca (3x4) drove in Logan Wurm for the game's final run, giving Sierra some breathing room in the ninth inning.  Haruto Nakano went 3 for 5.

In Friday's opener, both teams came out swinging with Sierra prevailing 19-10 behind the strength of eight home runs.

Wurm and Middleton each hit two home runs and Isaiah Garcia, Lopez (grand slam), Randy Schab and Dylan Smethurst also added one each.

Back to back home runs from Middleton and Schab put Sierra up 8-0 in the first inning and Garcia and Wurm went back-to-back to push the lead to 12-3 in the third.

Wurm, Smethurst and Middleton went back-to-back-to-back to push the lead to 15-3 in the sixth.

Story by Scott Johnston, photo by Dave Lawicka