Youth Ball Notes
Sacramento Senior Babe Ruth All-Star Team placed second in the
state tournament in Antioch last week and is advancing to the Babe Ruth Western
Regional Tournament in Watsonville beginning this Thursday.
The All-Star team is comprised of players from five teams within the league that
plays its games at McAuliffe Field near Sacramento State.
The roster includes players from all over the area, including: Sal
Barajas and Danny Duran (Sac City/Johnson High);
Brett Pankow (Ponderosa); Mike Valli (McClatchy);
Maurice Rodriguez (River City); Eldrin Flores
(Christian Bros); Pete Cardinale (Rio Americano) and Alex
Nieto (Natomas High) among others.
This is the third time in the last five years the Sac Senior Babe Ruthers have made
the Regionals and competed for the title. “Our team is very deep and solid,” says
coach Barry Worthington.
Their first game is on Thursday against a team from Arizona.
High School Accolades and Showcases
Photo © Rick
The recognition and awards just keep coming for Rowdy
Tellez of Elk Grove, who has been invited to play in the 2012
Perfect Game All-American Classic, a high school showcase featuring the nation's
The East versus West contest, which will be televised, is scheduled for PETCO
Park in San Diego on August 12.
The contest originally was billed the AFLAC All-American Classic and included
some of today's top stars in the major leagues, including Bryce Harper (Nationals),
Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey (Giants), Jason Heyward (Braves), and Andrew
McCutchen (Pirates) to name a few.
On Tuesday, Tellez learned that he had been selected All-State by Cal-Hi
High School Accolades
Senior Zach Green (Jesuit) and junior Ryan "Rowdy"
Tellez (Elk Grove High) were selected to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State team,
it was announced today.
Second-team All-State honors went to pitcher Ben Eckels (Davis
High) and Josh Pigg (Franklin) as a Multipurpose Player.
Tellez, a junior, also was a finalist for Cal-Hi Sports state Mr. Baseball Player
of the Year.
The three seniors were selected in the recent MLB draft. The Phillies took Green
in the 3rd Round. He signed and is now playing for the Gulf Coast League Phillies.
Eckels went in the 11th Round to Arizona, and is playing in the Arizona Rookie
League. Pigg was selected by Cleveland in the 28th Round and is unsigned.
High School Accolades and Showcases
Cal-Hi Sports has announced several of its All-State teams for the 2012
Among the Underclassmen Division--First Team Cal-Hi selected
Aaron Knapp (Granite Bay) Outfield, Dom Nunez and
Rowdy Tellez of Elk Grove High, Infield and Stephen
Nogosek (Woodcreek), Multipurpose. All four are incoming seniors.
Tellez was a semi-finalist in Cal-Hi State Junior of the Year.
Justin Dillon of El Dorado High was tabbed for the Medium
Also, in its Small School Division, Cal-Hi tabbed Ben Ritchey
(Capital Christian) as a Utility Player.
More good news for Nunez...he made the cut to 28 for the 18U USA Team. Final
roster decisions will be announced later this summer. Nunez last year was a member
of the Gold-medal 16U USA Team
The 40-member 18U Trials were
also announced today following the conclusion of the Tournament of Stars,
and Dom Nunez
(Elk Grove) learned he made the initial cut. Nunez,
an incoming senior for the Herd next year, was a member of last year's 16U USA
Nunez' Elk Grove
teammate Rowdy Tellez
had also received an invitation to the TOS, but had
to decline because he is still recovering from an injury to his left elbow (his
Tellez, who won the Home Run Derby at the Perfect
Game Nationals competition in Minneapolis last week, will be reevaluated by his
doctor in July. Tellez received an automatic invitation to the Area Codes Games in
Long Beach due to his selection to the Oakland Athletics-sponsosred team in
Tellez sustained the elbow
injury in the week leading up to the Division I playoffs. In Elk Grove's first
game, Tellez took the mound, walked the first batter, and was relieved by
after complaining of tightness in his left arm.
Smith allowed no hits for seven innings, and Tellez-Smith shared in the
playoff no-hitter against Napa.
Nunez hit the game winner in
the 1-0 victory.
Cal-Hi Sports Awards
Speaking of Tellez, he was a
semi-finalist in this year's Cal-Hi Sports' State Junior of the Year award, which went to a
player from San Diego. This marks the first time in four years that a Sacramento
area product wasn't selected for an award by Cal-Hi
Last year, Tellez was tabbed
as the Sophomore of the Year. In 2010 J.D. Davis won
Junior of the Year, and the year prior Jake Rodriguez took
the same award. All three players came out of the Elk Grove High program coached by
San Diego region cleaned up
in the 2012 awards categories. According to Mark Tennis of Cal-Hi Sports, of those
named as a top state player in baseball, four are from the CIF San Diego
Cal-Hi Sports has yet to name
its All-State Team.
Club Ball Team Led by Hornets Head Coach Reggie Christiansen
Story and pictures by Rick Cabral 06/20/12
If you wander by Sac State
this summer and see a group of boys playin’ ball in green and gold uniforms with
Reggie Christiansen directing them, don’t be surprised. It’s
not the Hornets.
It’s the Sacramento Stingers,
a club team created by Sac State’s head coach who, in just his second season,
took Sac State from worst to first. The Hornets claimed a share of the Western
Athletic Conference championship, and were one inning away from going to the
NCAA Regional Playoffs.
But if you listen carefully to
Christiansen, the Stingers are all about player development, not winning
You could fool the li’l
Hornets, however, because they’re winnin’ like crazy, compiling an 18-3 record
to date. Recently, they swept through a pre-qualifying tournament for the Don
Mattingly World Series, going 6-0. As a team, they’re hitting .339 and the
pitching staff has logged a 1.26 earned run average.
The 17U team is comprised of
local all-stars from high schools throughout the area, many of them incoming
They’re led by pitchers
Anthony Castaneda (above, Woodland
Christian), Sam Long (Rosemont),
Gabe Meza (Granite Bay HS),
Austin Root* (Oak Ridge) and
Ben Ritchey* (Capital Christian),
among several other top hurlers.
sticks for the Stingers are catcher Tanner
Ales (Oak Ridge), first baseman Grant
Heisinger* (Bradshaw Christian), infielder Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers), and
utilityman Mauricio Dubon* (Capital
Christian), who took home the most valuable player in the recent
Christiansen stresses player
development is key. “I think it’s a great experience for these kids to, not just
play games, but get better.”
The Stingers were conceived
last summer after Christiansen substituted for an El Dorado Hills Vipers coach
who couldn’t make it to a San Diego tournament that Reggie and Sac State
assistant Tommy Nicholson were going to watch anyway. “It was
an unbelievable experience,” Christiansen says.
He returned home and set out
to field a summer club team, just as volleyball, lacrosse and soccer teams had
done before them. “We’re one of the first ones to do it in baseball (in this
region). You don’t see many Division 1 coaches coaching a club team in the
For six months, he and the
University’s Compliance Director worked closely with the NCAA to navigate
through the maze of recruitment guidelines.
For instance, to attract
players Christiansen had to avoid direct contact, so he notified local area high
school coaches, who recommended their players. He even had to set up a separate
email apart from his CSU Sacramento account to eschew the appearance of
And while talking with his
players, the Hornet head coach cannot even discuss “what I do for a
“It’s much more difficult for
us than that team over there,” he said, pointing to an opponent in between
double-headers. “It’s been a bit of a struggle that way.”
But Christiansen is happy with
the early results. “It’s been a great experience. I’m enjoying it a
Mauricio Dubon (#34) drove in a run with this
in a recent Stingers game at Sac State.
He says that for about half
the cost of other travel ball teams, the Stingers offer an affordable
“From an economic standpoint, summer travel teams are pricing out some kids from
playing baseball,” the long-time baseball coach says. Stingers players pay $600 for
a roster spot and $170 for uniforms.
Plus, Stingers players receive instruction from a Division 1 head coach and top
assistants. Christiansen regularly schedules 90-minute practices that are run just
like his Hornet program. Several parents have praised the program, reporting their
sons said it has been some of the best baseball instruction they’ve ever
Plus, Christiansen and his
staff avail themselves as a resource about the inner workings of college
recruitment, which some parents have never experienced.
should be surprised if the program helps Sac State land even more good players
Prior to taking the head job at Sac State, Christiansen served as the Hornets’
assistant head coach under John Smith, after guiding South Dakota State from
2005-2008. He served as an assistant at Kansas and got his first head coaching job
at Menlo College.
Meantime, the Stingers have a slate of games scheduled through the end of July when
they will travel to Port Lucie, Florida for the Don Mattingly World
* Made the All-Capitol
Team selected by BaseballSacramento.com