Wildcat baseball opens season with rout of Ripon Christian

The Union Democrat Sports Department

The Sonora Wildcats opened their baseball season on Friday with an impressive 17-0 victory over Ripon Christian.

Dylan Fernandes and Ryan Stevenson each had three hits and Bradley Begley added a double, triple and three RBIs to help Sonora defeat its host.

"We really came out focused," said Wildcat head coach Scott Johnson. "We had a real good pre-game warmup and then we jumped on them."

The Wildcats scored five runs in the first inning.

Karson Canaday worked a six-pitch walk, Wyatt Johnson tripled, Dylan Fernandes doubled, Bradley Begley tripled and Curtis Kellogg added a sacrifice fly.

In the top of the second, the Wildcats added five more and made sure it was going to be a long day for their opponents.

Junior Ryan Stevenson started his first varsity game and fired two scoreless innings, striking out four while allowing one hit to earn the victory.

"Stevenson had a real good outing," said Johnson. "We're kind of limiting how many pitches they're throwing right now since it's early in the season."

The Wildcats added three more runs in the third and scored four times in the fifth.

For Sonora (1-0), Wyatt Johnson scored twice and had two RBIs, Stevenson drove in two runs, Canaday scored twice, Kellogg scored three runs, Justin Payne went 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI and Ryan Dills went 1-for-2.

Wyatt Johnson pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout in relief of Stevenson.

Canaday pitched perfectly the final two innings, striking out four of the six hitters he faced.

"Our infield played really good defense," said Coach Johnson. "It was really a solid effort. Everybody got to play - it was a great first outing."

The Wildcats have a brutal week upcoming starting on Tuesday with their home opener vs. Pitman.

This will be the first time Pitman has made the trip to Sonora in the past eight years due to the weather. They've been rained out four previous times.

On Wednesday, the Cats will host Escalon, the defending Division IV state champions. Both games start at 5:30 p.m.

"This week will show us where we are that's for sure," said Coach Johnson. "Pitman, Escalon and then Ceres on Saturday, it will be a key week for us."

The Union Democrat
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