Wildcats prep for playoffs, Bulldogs

By Bill Rozak, The Union Democrat

The Sonora Wildcat baseball team will begin its quest on Wednesday for its second-ever section championship.

The Wildcats will open the 2012 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championships with a do-or-die game against a familiar foe, Ceres.

Back when the Wildcats won their section title in 1989, Ceres was a big Valley Oak League rival, finishing in second place behind Sonora.

The two teams also met in postseason where the Wildcats trampled the Bulldogs on their way to the title.

The teams played each other this season with the Wildcats winning 3-2 behind the pitching of Nolan Dambacher and Justin Payne.

On Wednesday, Ceres, now in the Western League, will get a taste of Sonora ace Ryan Stevenson.

The lefty has a 9-2 record on the season with a dominant 1.21 earned run average. He has fanned 93 batters in 57 2/3 innings pitched.

The winner of Wednesday's game, will advance to a best 2 of 3 series against the winner of Manteca and top seed El Dorado which would begin on Saturday.

The first pitch will be thrown at 4 p.m. at Tony Zupo Field in Lodi.

The Union Democrat
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