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6th Annual
Albie Swingin' For Life


Saturday, April 26th
Sacramento City College, Union Stadium

Featuring High School Baseball Matchups:

10AM Valley Christian vs. Antelope

  1PM Oak Ridge vs Franklin

  4PM Elk Grove vs. Rodriguez

  7PM Christian Brothers vs. Jesuit

$8 Adults
$5 Seniors & Students
FREE Admission for Kids Under 5 & Cancer Survivors Wearing Pink

Proceeds Benefit
Albie Aware Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation 
916.927.1592

SABR Sacramento Luncheon
Saturday, April 26

Presentation on
NEILL "WILD HORSE" SHERIDAN

And the Longest Home Run Ever Measured 

Presenters:
Alan O'Connor, Sacramento baseball historian
Ken Rudulph, KMAX-TV
Rick Cabral, Editor, BaseballSacramento.com

Noon
Espanol Restaurant
5723 Folsom Blvd

4/24/14

Hornets Palsha Is Top Reliever

SSU_Palsha

Junior Alex Palsha ranks second in the NCAA allowing just 4.35 hits per nine innings. He also leads the WAC and is tied for 10th in the NCAA with 25 appearances and has a WAC-best 1.34 ERA this season, pitching in a variety of mid to late-game situations and being mostly unhittable. He is 4-0 and has two saves over 40.1 innings of relief, allowing just 19 hits and six earned runs this season with a .144 opponent batting average. The team has not played more than two consecutive contests without Palsha taking the mound and he has thrown as many as three innings on two occasions. In WAC play he has allowed just two earned runs and five hits in 16.1 innings, holding hitters to a .093 average.

Palsha, a transfer from College of San Mateo,  was tabbed Second Team all-Golden Gate Conference in 2013. He made 11 starts and struck out 46 with a 4.19 ERA at CSM.


4/23/14

Final Notes--Oregon State Locals

In reviewing the Career Records at Oregon State, two locals remain high on the lists.

Pitcher Ken Forsch, who prepped at Johnson High, played at Sacramento City, and pitched for the Beavers from 1967-1968 is 4th on the Earned Run Average list with a 2.12 ERA. Starter sophomore Andrew Moore is currently in third place with a 2.08 ERA, but he'll no doubt move up or down with more innings as he continues his career.

First baseman Danny Hayes (Jesuit High) played from 2010-2013 and amassed 45 doubles, good for second on the list. Junior Dylan Davis is one behind with 44, and will make a run at the career record of 49. Hayes, drafted in the 13th Round last year by the Chicago White Sox, is playing in the South Atlantic League on the Kannapolis Intimidators.

Junior Michael Conforto, with four hits in Monday's game at Raley Field, now totals 208 hits for his career, just 30 shy of the school record held by Darwin Barney, who played on three College World Series teams in 2005-2007--the latter two of which claimed the CWS crown. Conforto now has 164 runs batted in for his three-year career, just nine shy of the school record.

Davis and Conforto played on the same high school team in Redmond, Washington.


Remember When

Andrew Tomsky, the Hornets media relations guy, confirmed yesterday that Sac State’s win over Oregon State at Raley Field on Monday was the biggest win in the program’s Division I history as the Beavers came in ranked #4 by USA/Coaches Poll and #5 by Baseball America (which is our standard). 

That win reminded us of a game at Hornet Field against Stanford--nearly 10 years ago to the day, April 24, 2004. The Cardinal, ranked in the Top 10 at the time with a 31-5 record, had been to the College World Series five consecutive seasons. It was loaded with future pros including Sam Fuld, John Mayberry, Jr., Danny Putnam and Jed Lowrie, the Oakland A’s current shortstop. Hornets’ starting pitcher Ethan Katz went the distance and the crowd of 504 was on its feet as he closed out a 2-1 masterpiece.  

Monday’s win over the Beavers—who have at least two top 2014 draft picks in Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis—now takes top shelf. 


4/22/14

Beavers Paddle Hornets 8-1 on “Green Army Day” 

by Editor Rick Cabral

Despite this being “Green Army Day” at Hornet Field this afternoon, the stands were awash in orange and black. And, no, the Giants weren’t in town. 

But the Oregon State Beavers (28-8) were and their fans followed.  

Along with a flock of scouts obviously there to watch the Beavers All-American Michael Conforto, who last night went 4-for-4 with a two-run blast over the right field wall at Raley Field in the 7-6 loss to the Hornets. The junior left fielder is considered by many to be the best collegiate bat in the 2014 draft.

This time the nation’s number-five ranked collegiate team took care of business beating Sacramento State (25-16) 8-1 behind the pitching and hitting of junior Dylan Davis.

In the top of the first inning Conforto walked, bringing up Davis, the Beavers’ cleanup hitter. Davis blasted southpaw Sam Long’s offering against the parking structure to give himself a 2-0 lead.

Two innings later with pitcher Dallas Chadwick on in relief of Long, Davis knocked in two more runs with a single to put Oregon State ahead 4-0.  

OSU_Davis_Montage_cabral

Oregon State's Dylan Davis did it with his bat and arm today. The junior belted a 2-run homer in the first inning, and pitched four innings of one-hit ball against the Hornets at John Smith Field.

In just his second outing of the year, Davis—normally the team’s right fielder—pitched 4.1 innings, allowing just one hit and no runs. But the 6-foot right-hander walked four, hit two batters, and struck out three while topping out at 95 mph on the radar gun. 

Oregon State left-hander Zach Reser came on in relief of Davis in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and Hornets’ Rhys Hoskins (Jesuit) at the plate. Hoskins struck out looking and David Del Grande tapped out to end the inning. Reser worked four-plus innings for the win. 

Freshman pitcher Chandler Eden of Yuba City was brought in for the last out, throwing one pitch to end the ballgame. Eden last pitched on March 29 against Arizona. In nine appearances this year, he has thrown 7.2 innings for a 7.04 ERA. Locals will remember the last time Eden was on the mound--he tossed a no-hitter against Benicia as the Honkers took the Division III Section Title game at Sacramento City College.

Oregon State pitchers limited the Hornets to five hits all afternoon, with Scotty Burcham getting a pair, and slugger Hoskins impressing with a solo shot in the eighth inning to break up the Beavers’ shutout. Sacramento State made three errors on the day. 

SSU_Hoskins_Hits_cabral

Rhys Hoskins hit his eighth home run of the season for the Hornets only run
in the 8-1 loss to Oregon State.



Long was saddled with his first loss of the season and drops to 5-1 on the year. Another downside for the Hornets this afternoon: leadoff hitter Nathan Lukes (Center High) went hitless, ending his hitting streak at 20 games. 

Today’s 903 attendance easily was the best crowd of the season at John Smith Field. Sacramento State held “Green Army Day” where students wore specially branded “Green Army” T-shirts, ate BBQ ribs and side dishes, while working on their tans in the stands. 

Also in attendance today was Giants Senior Vice President/GM Brian Sabean, who must have felt at home among the sea of orange and black in the stands.

 

SSU_Sabean_cabral

The Giants General Manager Brian Sabean (left) watched the game today at John Smith Field.




Community College News

Following Cosumnes River's sweep of Sacramento City last week, the Big-8 standings underwent a major shakeup.

Back at the top is Delta College with a 12-6 record. One game behind are three teams: Santa Rosa, Sierra and Cosumnes River. Now in fifth place is Sac City with a 10-8 record.

The leaderboard will become clearer after this weeks' matchups, as Delta is visiting CSR today, while Santa Rosa plays at Sierra. Sacramento City goes to Modesto.


4/21/14

Hornets Win 7-6 Thriller Over No.5 Oregon State at Raley Field

by Editor Rick Cabral

OSU_Raley_Field

Oregon State and Sacramento State under the lights at Raley Field where the Hornets prevailed 7-6.

Tonight, No.5-ranked Oregon State found out what the Hornets’ Mid-Week Magic is all about at Raley Field.

Losing 6-1 after two innings, the Hornets chipped away and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a single by Scotty Burcham that scored Rhys Hoskins (Jesuit).

With closer Sutter McLoughlin on the mound in the ninth inning, Oregon State All-American Michael Conforto singled up the middle, placing the tying run on base. McLoughlin fanned cleanup hitter Dylan Davis on three straight pitches, and got the next two hitters to pop out to end the threat. The sophomore pitcher from Rio Americano earned his third win of the season, allowing one hit while striking out two.

The Hornets banged out 16 hits to nine for the Beavers. Burcham and Kyle Moses led the offense by going 3-for-5 with one RBI apiece. Freshman Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) went 3-for-4.

Meantime, after starter Justin Dillon (El Dorado High) gave up six earned runs on four hits after two innings, the Hornets relief corps silenced the Beavers. Hunter Greenwood (2 innings), Brennan Leitao (2 innings), Alex Palsha (1 inning) and McLoughlin (2 innings) together allowed the Beavers just five more hits and no runs over the last seven innings.

OSU head coach Pat Casey—who hadn’t seen his team play in over a week—went with his Sunday starter Jace Fry, who came into the game with a team-leading 7-1 record and a 1.68 earned run average.

In the first inning, the first three Hornets batters reached on singles to load the bases, including Nathan Lukes (Center High), who extended his hitting streak to a WAC-best 20 games. Cleanup hitter Del Grande launched a long blow that just missed the fence for a sacrifice fly to cut the Beavers’ lead to 2-1.

 

SSU_Lukes_Hits_20-game_cabral

Nathan Lukes kept his hitting streak (20 games now) tonight with this infield chopper in the first inning.



By the second inning Oregon State led 6-1, thanks mostly to Conforto, who launched a two-run homer over the right field wall and was 3-for-3 with three RBI by the third inning (He finished 4-for-4 with two walks). He also had a stolen base, quashing notions he is a below-average runner. Conforto is considered one of the top three college position players and also is thought to be the “best bat” among college players eligible for the draft.

In the fourth inning, the Hornets strung together four straight singles, one of which scored Burcham. Lukes then hit into a 1-2-3 double play, but Moses kept the rally going with an infield single scoring Dane Fujinaka, and the Hornets cut the lead in half at 6-3. All three runs against Frye were earned.

Sacramento State added another run in the sixth inning when Fujinaka lead off with a walk, advanced to second on Hunley’s second hit, and scored on an error by new pitcher, Scott Schultz.

In the seventh, the Hornets tied the game when senior Will Soto (Elk Grove High) scored on a fielder choice and Lukes drove in Fujinaka with a single up the middle to make it a 6-6 game.

“Getting down early like that and seeing our guys slowly get back into it, this is a special win,” head coach Reggie Christiansen said after the game. “I’m most proud of how we came from behind--we haven’t done that much this season. Our guys did an unbelievable job.”

Beavers’ sophomore Andrew Moore on the hill in the eighth inning took the loss, bringing his record to 3-3.

Sacramento State improved to 25-15 and 5-0 in midweek games at Raley Field. Oregon State drops to 27-8.

The two clubs are scheduled to meet again tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at John Smith Field, weather permitting.

 

OSU_Conforto_cabral

Oregon State All-American outfielder Michael Conforto lashed this pitch in the first inning to score the Beavers first run. He went 4-for-4 tonight with a 2-run homer and two walks, raising his batting average to .415.



 

(Sac State Media Relations contributed to this report)

 


 

Remember When...

Twenty-five years ago today, moviegoers were introduced to an Iowa corn farmer who was hearing voices and interpreted them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields. He did and out came Shoeless Joe Jackson and the rest of the Chicago Black Sox. The movie, of course, was Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, along with James Earl Jones, as the fictitious American writer, Terence Mann.

The movie popularized the slogan which has since become an anthem in baseball: “If you build it, they will come.”*

Fifteen years ago, an unlikely duo went around the greater Sacramento area spouting that mantra to anyone who would listen. Local businessman Warren Smith and former minor league executive Bob Hemond later joined forces with Art Savage, and together the threesome brought professional baseball back to Sacramento for good in the form of the River Cats.

To read the 40-year odyssey that culminated with their incredible journey,
go here.

* As cinephiles will note, the actual phrase from the movie is "If you build it, HE will come," but the mantra quickly morphed into "they will come" as it became affiliated with various movements.


 

4/20/14

No. 5 Oregon State Plays Sac State at Raley Field Monday Night

Oregon State, rated number-five by Baseball America, is in town to play the Hornets twice in two days. The Beavers last year appeared in the College World Series.

The first game is slated for Monday at 6:30 at Raley Field, while game two will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. at John Smith Field.

Oregon State is the highest-ranked club the Hornets have faced since playing No. 1 Arizona in 2008. The Beavers are led by All-American Michael Conforto, last year's Pac-12 Player of the Year. The junior outfielder is leading his team with a .395 average (27th in Division I) and .546 slugging percentage. He is second on the team with 38 runs batted in.

The Hornets (24-15) are coming off a series victory against Utah Valley. They won the first two with shutouts, but were shut out themselves in Saturday's game 6-0. The main highlight from that one was leadoff hitter Nathan Lukes (Center High) extending his WAC-leading 19-game hitting streak. with a single in the first inning. Nate's two hits in the game amounted to fifty percent of the Hornets overall production, an aberration for this red-hot offensive club in the month of April. 


4/18/14

HORNETS BLANK UTAH VALLEY 10-0 IN SEVEN INNINGS

(Sac State Media Relations)

Freshman Sam Long threw his second 7-inning shutout of the season and the Hornets struck for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 10-0 win over Utah Valley in seven innings, with the game called after the top of the 7th inning due to the WAC mercy rule.

SSU_SamLong_Delivers_cabral

Hornets' starter Sam Long threw a 7-inning shutout against Utah Valley today.

The victory was the fourth time this season that Sacramento State (24-14, 12-2 WAC) won a conference game via the mercy rule. It was the second straight shutout for the Hornets against Utah Valley (14-22, 7-7 WAC), which is the first time in the 12-year NCAA Div. I history of the program that it was shut out in consecutive games.

Long (Del Campo) also threw a seven-inning shutout in an 11-0 Hornet mercy rule win at New Mexico State on March 29. On Friday he allowed just four hits, all singles, with five strikeouts and no walks, facing just three batters over the minimum. Long improved to 5-0 while the team is now 9-0 in games he has started this season.

Sacramento State scored a pair of early runs, with sophomore Dane Fujinaka bringing in junior Scotty Burcham on a sacrifice bunt in the second inning and junior Rhys Hoskins (Jesuit) driving in sophomore Nathan Lukes (Center High) with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Senior Clay Cederquist then brought home Burcham with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make the score 3-0 with two outs in the inning. The next seven Hornet hitters would reach base with four straight singles before a walk, a 2-run double from senior David Del Grande, and a two-run home run off the bat of senior Will Soto to bring the advantage to 10-0. Long allowed a leadoff single but nothing more in the top of the seventh to end the contest.

The Hornet pitchers have allowed just nine singles (no extra-base hits) with 15 strikeouts and four walks in 16 scoreless innings over the first two games of the weekend series. Sacramento State had a season-high six stolen bases in the game, including five steals in the 8-run sixth inning.

Eight of the nine Hornet starters had a hit, eight scored runs, and seven had RBIs. Del Grande and Burcham each had two hits while junior Kyle Moses had three hits with a run, an RBI and his seventh stolen base (tied for the team lead with Lukes). Lukes had a single in the sixth inning to extend his WAC-best hitting streak to 18 straight games (scored twice and stole his seventh base) while Soto has now hit in 15 straight.

SSU_Lukes_Connects_cabral

Nathan Lukes shows off a picture-perfect swing
as he extended his hitting streak today to a WAC-best 18 games.

Designated hitter Mark Krueger was the only Wolverine to have multiple hits in the game. Utah Valley starter Ryan Evans was strong through his first five innings of work but ended up being tagged with six earned runs over 5.2 innings while two UVU relievers combined to allow four runs while getting just one out.

Sacramento State goes for its fourth WAC series sweep of the season on Saturday with first pitch at 2 p.m. at John Smith Field.

  

Pros

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Background

For decades, Sacramento has been a hotbed of tremendous baseball talent. A few of the locals performing in the Major Leagues at present from the greater Sacramento area* include J.P. Howell, Dustin Pedroia, Derrek Lee, Manny Parra and many more.

Among the hundreds of former professional players who have hailed from around here (and this is not an exhaustive list) include: Dusty Baker, Larry Bowa, Ken and Bob Forsch, Stan Hack, Woody Held, David Hernandez, Derrek Lee, Joe Marty, Butch Metzger, Steve Sax, Greg Vaughn, Fernando Vina and many others.

Numerous MLB managers have come out of Sacramento, including:
Dusty Baker (SF Giants, Chicago Cubs and now Cincinnati Reds)
Larry Bowa (San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies)
Jerry Manuel (Chicago White Sox and New York Mets)
Buck Martinez (Toronto Blue Jays)
Johnny McNamara (6 teams)

Many top-name big league players barnstormed through Sacramento from the teens through the early '60s. Among the barnstormers, none were bigger than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who performed as the Bustin' Babes and Larrupin Lous here in Sacramento in 1927 (you can read more about that tour at ThePitchBook.com).

After runnin' the bases here, if you would like to submit material that you believe should be included at BaseballSacramento.com, please send an email to
RAC (at) baseballsacramento (dot) com.

Also be sure to check out the All-Time Top 50 Players from Sacramento in the History section.
 

Enjoy!

Editor
Rick Cabral

* The "greater Sacramento baseball area" extends west to Woodland, north to Yuba City, east to Grass Valley and south to the San Joaquin County line.

Updated 4/24/14
All contents © Rick Cabral, 2010-2014

 




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