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4/5/16

High School Notes

by Editor Rick Cabral

This afternoon at Bradshaw Christian, it appeared there were more scouts than MLB teams. All of them were there to observe Matt Manning, a 6’5” right-handed pitcher for the visiting Sheldon Huskies, whose fastball velocity hits 95 almost effortlessly, and brought out the bevy of radar guns.

 Manning_Sheldon_Cabral

The scene was reminiscent of a number of young high school phenoms to pitch on Sacramento sandlots.

The first to come to mind is Butch Metzger, who we batted against at Kennedy High school and played with on Southside American Legion. Metzger also threw in the 90s and was a 2nd Round selection by San Francisco in the 1970 MLB amateur draft, and was the 1976 Co-Rookie of the Year in the National League (with San Diego).

Manning, who is perhaps more intimidating due to his height advantage, is being touted as a possible first-rounder for his velocity and upside (he's relatively new to pitching, and his curve is still a work in progress). 

Today he threw four innings, allowing one run, three hits while striking out nine and walking two. Sheldon was ahead 3-1 when he left the mound, but the Pride came back to win the game 4-3 in eight innings.

Plus today was just his second time on the mound this season. Manning  starred on Sheldon’s basketball team, which went deep into the section playoffs, causing him to delay normal winter baseball activities. 

His first time on the mound was March 22. In that 12-6 loss to Buchanan he faced only ten batters, pitching one-and-two-thirds innings against the Top 10-ranked team, according to Baseball America. Manning allowed two hits, four runs (two earned), while walking three and fanning four. 

He avoided taking the loss as Sheldon scored four times in the bottom of the second inning, by which time he was off mound duties. 

Baseball America has ranked him in the Top 10 of high school prospects and MaxPreps has ranked him No. 22 among the Top 100 in the country. He is a Loyola Marymount commit. 

Last summer, Manning pitched the ninth inning for the West squad in the PerfectGame All-America contest at Petco Park. He allowed one infield hit and struck out in the prestigious national showcase.




8/16/15

Sheldon's Manning Appears in PG All-American Game

Matt Manning of Sheldon High pitched the ninth inning for the West in the Perfect Game All-American Game in San Diego Saturday night.

The 6'5" right-hander allowed an infield hit and struck out one batter as the East defeated the West 3-1 at Petco Park.


8/15/15

Elk Grove's Carlson Starts in Under Armour All-American HS Game

 Carlson_UA_A-A

Dylan Carlson (above) smokes a single to center field in his second at-bat at the Under Armour All-American game this afternoon at Wrigley Field, Chicago. Carlson, a senior this year at Elk Grove High, was the only the local player to compete in this prestigious prep showcase.

Papa Jeff Carlson--the Herd's long-time head coach--said he's having "an awesome experience" at the major league's second-oldest ballpark on the north side of Chicago.

A highlight of this contest came in the next inning with the National League still trailing 4-2. With the bases loaded and Bo Bichette (son of former big leaguer Dante Bichette) at the plate, a wild pitch and two throwing errors cleared the bases and allowed the Nationals to take a 5-4 league.

 

 

  Presenting...
2014
All-Capitol_Team
logo design by Walt Fitzpatrick and Rick Cabral 

9/20/14

USA 18U Win Gold Despite Hurricane Odile Ordeal

 

 USA 18U Gold
Team 18U USA team after winning the gold medal at
the 2014 COPABE 18U Pan American Championship.



by Editor Rick Cabral

Nick Madrigal, the wunderkind Elk Grove shortstop, earned his second gold medal as the USA team went undefeated in the 2014 COPABE 18U Pan American Championship.

But while accomplishing his dream of winning a second gold medal, Madrigal, his teammates and their families experienced a nightmare as Hurricane Odile struck the Baja Peninsula during the championship game, rendering the American's powerless (in more ways than one) and stranded in La Paz, Mexico, the host city for the tournament.

The USA swept through the tournament defeating teams from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Panama, Guatemala and Ecuador by an aggregate score of 90-1. In the most exciting and competitive contest staged before a sell-out crowd of 16,000, the USA narrowly defeated Cuba 5-4, earning a spot in the medal round.

In the next game against Mexico, the US went up early on a home run by Elih Marrero, who apparently agitated the home crowd as he pointed to the USA on his jersey while rounding second base. In the fifth inning when Marrero came to bat, fans in attendance were heard to chant Hit him in the head,” and the first pitch narrowly missed his helmet. This emptied both benches. Fans were seen throwing cans of beer at the US players, prompting Mexican police to restore order. The USA eventually won 10-0, earning the right to meet Cuba again in the gold medal game.

“Mexico naturally wanted the home team to win,” Nick Madrigal remembered in an exclusive interview with BaseballSacramento. But when we played Cuba, Mexico was also on their side. And it’s the US versus the world, basically. It’s pretty crazy, but awesome playing in that environment.”

Madrigal said the players on the team achieved a special chemistry, leading to their championship run. It was pretty sweet to play together against (Cuba) and win it all.” 

A couple players on the team have fathers with MLB experience, including Ke'Bryan Hayes (father Charlie Hayes) and  Daz Cameron (father Mike Cameron). 

The gold medal championship game scheduled for 7:30 p.m. last Saturday night (9/13) was cancelled around the 3rd inning when Hurricane Odile struck hard, as winds and lightning interrupted play with the U.S. ahead 1-0. Because the American team had already beaten Cuba and were undefeated in the tourney, they were awarded their gold medals and hurried into their buses along with family members where they wre returned to their hotels in La Paz with this warning: don't stay near the windows.

(For more on this aspect of the Madrigal's experience see sidebar below).

What did it mean for Madrigal to earn a second gold medal? “I’m glad I got a chance to do it again this year. I may not have another opportunity. I’ll have that for the rest of my life and never forget this experience. Not many people can say they got a gold medal, and I’m blessed to get two of them. Pretty lucky guy.” Nick won his first gold on the 14U team four years ago. 

 

Nick_Madrigal

Nick Madrigal played error-free throughout the tournament en route to earning his second gold medal for USA baseball.



During the tournament, Madrigal hit .462 and had nine walks and brilliantly served as the team's table setter.”  He was 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts and flawless in the field. All of which earned him a spot on the All-Tournament team.

“I was just happy we got the gold. That’s what we set out to do from day one. We went three weeks straight and got the gold in the end.”

 

 

9/21/14

SIDEBAR: Mike Madrigal’s Hurricane Odile Ordeal

by Editor Rick Cabral

Mike Madrigal is extremely proud of the success of his son, Nick, who has been selected to represent the USA baseball program four consecutive years. It culminated with this year’s showing in which Nick Madrigal played brilliantly at shortstop for the gold medal-winning 18U USA team that went 8-0 in the 2014 COPABE Pan American Championships in La Paz, Mexico.

In the critical match against the always potent team from Cuba, the U.S. won 5-4, earning a spot in the medal round. In the 7th inning, the visiting Cubans plated two runs to tie the game at 4-4. In the bottom half, the U.S. scored the eventual winning run.

Eventually because of that victory, the Americans ensured themselves the gold medal when the championship game against Cuba was interrupted by Hurricane Odile.

“Those games down there (La Paz, Mexico) were some the best baseball games I’ve ever been to, including the (MLB) World Series and playoffs,” the senior Madrigal notes. “The Cubans play like they’re playing for their lives.”

Saturday, September 13:

Saturday’s championship game was interrupted in the third inning by Odile’s predicted presence in Baja, California. Madrigal wondered why the Mexican officials didn’t move the start time to the afternoon when everyone knew the hurricane was bearing down on the peninsula that evening. He believes the contract to televise the night game may have persuaded officials to adhere to the 7:30 p.m. start.

With the United States ahead 1-0 in the third inning, lighting strikes and increasing winds forced tournament officials to cancel the game, award the gold medal to the United States (hurriedly distributing the medals to the team), and sent the teams and their families to their respective hotels with advice to hunker down.

That evening around 1 a.m. the Category 3 hurricane with 125 mile-per-hour sustained maximum winds struck the city of La Paz. When Mike Madrigal arose early on Sunday morning he saw devastation “like something you see on CNN. It was ugly,” he said. He later learned that the hurricane had ripped off the roof of the baseball stadium where they had played the night before.

He drove to the USA team’s hotel, and found the hotel lobby windows blown out. Nick and his teammates had spent part of the night in a hallway that was boarded up for their protection, although water did seep through under the doors. USA team officials said they would depart on the next flight out. But then Mike Madrigal learned that the La Paz airport was closed. He drove his son back to his hotel, as did other American parents.

Back at the hotel, several American men went to a nearby store to buy food and water, and were alarmed when they saw growing numbers of local people lined up for the same supplies. “We knew then we were in trouble,” Madrigal said. “We were getting spooked.”

Monday, September 15:

On Monday they awoke to find the electrical power was out, including wireless service in the area. At 8 a.m. they were told the Mexican military was coming to evacuate them with four buses. Six hours later the USA team contingent of 60 people standing in the parking lot had swelled to 200, as locals and others were also looking to get out.

Early that afternoon help arrive when, as Madrigal described, one “Partridge Family (size) old, beat up bus showed up.” The vehicle was just big enough to take the USA team players and coaches and their three security personnel. The USA team parents jumped in their rentals and followed the bus to a Mexican military base, where a plane reportedly was waiting to take them out. Although the USA team bus was admitted through the gate, the army guards refused to allow the automobiles inside. This was nearly 6 p.m.

The parents then parked their cars in a nearby lot and hurried back to the gate. Once inside they were told the plane had already departed, although the players said they never saw a plane depart.

The USA contingent was told to return at 9 p.m. with assurances another plane would be there to fly them out. When they returned at that time the Mexican authorities announced “there will be no flights at night. Come back at 6 a.m.”

The team was then taken to a nearby elementary school auditorium. “It was like a refugee camp,” Madrigal noted. Although there was a store across the street, many of the parents had run out of cash and credit cards were useless without electrical power. A couple fathers purchased bread, peanut butter and jelly and made sandwiches for the families, who realized they were now facing a dire situation.

Tuesday, September 16:

On Mexican Independence Day, the USA contingent boarded buses and returned to the military base, where they waited on the bus for three hours without food or water.  Meanwhile, local media arrived on the scene to report on the evacuation. Long-time major leaguer Mike Cameron agreed to do an interview, in exchange for the use of a reporter’s satellite phone. With it, he called New York and spoke to officials at Major League Baseball and requested assistance. Apparently they were successful in arranging for U.S. military to rescue the American contingent, but the general in charge of the base held firm that only Mexican planes would land at the airport.

By this point, Madrigal learned that teams from Cuba, Argentina and Nicaragua had already been flown out. Madrigal felt at that point “the Mexican government was (fooling) with us,” he felt in part as retribution for the fracas that developed in the 10-0 win against Mexico, which prevented the host country from advancing to the medal round.

Finally a 40-seat C-130 arrived. It took players from Team Canada and Team USA to Tijuana. The Americans learned that two more planes were being flown in to take the few remaining players and coaches who didn’t depart on the first aircraft, and all the parents. But the airplanes wouldn’t arrive until the following day.

Wednesday, September 17:

On Wednesday, one airplane arrived, and the remaining players, coaches and mothers were loaded aboard. That left about 20 of the fathers from Team USA. “We’ve been without water, power, bathrooms and WiFi since Sunday,” Madrigal says. “We’d been dicked around by the Mexican military for almost three days now.”

When a seat opened up, Madrigal was invited to take it, but he declined to allow the father of another player. That father refused, and Cameron encouraged Madrigal to take the last seat. “That plane (looked to be) two football fields away. (It felt like) I ran a 4.4 (seconds) to that plane, and almost fell twice as my golf bag was around my neck, nearly choking me” Madrigal says with just a hint of weary laughter.

When they arrived in Tijuana late Wednesday they were met by U.S. embassy workers, who gave them food and water. After a brief processing time, they boarded buses that USA Baseball had arranged for them. Although the buses were bound for LAX, Madrigal asked to be let out in San Diego.

He headed straight for the airport, bought a ticket to Sacramento, and tossed his U.S. passport in the trash. “I’ll never leave this country again,” he told BaseballSacramento in an exclusive interview. “They don’t know how good we’ve got it here.”

As it turned out, Madrigal had it better than Cameron and former major leaguer Charlie Hayes (both had sons on the team), who were among the last ones left at the La Paz military base. Although a third aircraft had been promised, when dusk arrived they were told again no flights would leave at night.

Since wireless service had resumed, Cameron got on the phone and called his friend New York Yankee captain Derek Jeter, who arranged for a private jet to pick them up at noon the next day (Thursday). The Mexican military relaxed their edict about not accepting foreign aircraft on their base.

Cameron also posted a tweet that reflected his frustration after experiencing four days in the Odile disaster zone: I'm f***ing stuck in Mexico right now. After the hurricane. Somebody from the USA get us 65 people outta this f***ing place. #odile

“Late that night all the Americans were finally home, safe,” Madrigal reported with exhaustion in his voice.

In telling his story, Mike Madrigal is mystified by the actions of the Mexican government and military. “For all that the U.S. does for Mexico, they didn’t make it easy for us to get out of there.”

But he says the great baseball played by Team USA will always live in his memory.

 




7/8/14

 

Two USA Baseball NTIS Games Slated at SCC Thursday Afternoon  

 

Head out to Sacramento City College Thursday afternoon or evening to watch the elite high school players from Northern California—aged 17 and 16—compete in the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Prospects Games.

 

USA Baseball’s NTIS is the process for pre-selecting the nation’s top baseball players for international competition. The Prospects Games held at SCC Thursday represent the second round of a two-year selection process. Select players from this event will be invited to participate in the next round of competition held August 21-24 in Cary, North Carolina at the USA Baseball Training Complex.

 

There will be two games: The 16U group will play at 3:00pm, followed by 17U at 6:00 p.m.

 

Local 16U prospects include Brian Baker (Oak Ridge High); Darren Baker (Jesuit); Kody Garnder, (Rio Americano); Jordan Vujovich (Granite Bay High); Austin Del Chairo (Elk Grove High).


Representing the 17U division are: Grant Dragmire (Bradshaw Christian); Taylor Garcia (Capital Christian); Ryan Kreidler (Davis High); Tyler Malone (Woodcreek); Matt Richardson (Rio Americano); and Jack Weber (Jesuit).

 

They will be competing against some of the finest high school ballplayers in their age group from Northern California.

 

Admission is $5. The concessions stand will be open.

 

The 17U and 16U events will be held Aug. 21-24, 2014, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Based on performance, a minimum of 12 players will be invited to the 2015 17U National Team Development Program (17U NTDP), which recently has seen local players Nick Madrigal, Derek Hill (Number-one pick by the Detroit Tigers in 2014) and Dom Nunez (6th Round pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2013)—all from Elk Grove High, and Mitch Hart (Granite Bay High) selected by the Giants in this year's draft.

Panthers head coach Derek Sullivan is excited to be hosting this event and hopes to bring USA Baseball to Union Stadium on the Sacramento City College campus in the future. 


6/22/14

Madrigal Steps It Up at USA Tournament of Stars

Elk Grove's Nick Madrigal has been through this before, trying out for a USA baseball team.

Madrigal_15U_USA_CARD 

In 2011, he earned a gold medal for the 14U USA team. In fact, the international competition made him miss the first few classes of his freshman year at Elk Grove High.

As a three-time USA player this year he was invited to the Tournament of Stars, a week of competition featuring 108 of the nation's best ballplayers that are international age-eligible for the 18U USA National Team.

Madrigal played for the "Stars," one of four teams that worked out and competed at the USA complex in Cary, North Carolina.  Madrigal  started all four games, mostly at his normal position: shortstop. He was error free throughout the tournament and swung a mean stick, batting .389. In the first three games, he went 5x13, including one stolen base. In the first game, he hit a double, in the second he smacked a cap spinner that nearly decapitated the pitcher, and in game three he went 3-for-6 with an RBI.

In game four, played this afternoon, Madrigal singled and was thrown out attempting to steal second. His second time up he walked, took second and was thrown out again, this time trying to steal third. He went 2-for-5 in the game, and finished the Tournament of Stars 7-for-18, which should solidify his chances for making the USA team for the fourth-straight season.

Asked about his base running, Madrigal laughed in a text message, saying "I made a couple mistakes on the bases today. Overall I think I played alright. I grinded through the week as best as I could."

The tournament, he said, "was amazing. Great competition. Playing against the best players in the country is always fun because you know every game will be competitive and you have to step your game up even more playing against these guys."

Later this summer, Madrigal will learn if he earned the right to play on his fourth consecutive USA team.
 
Check out our piece in 2011 profiling other locals who have played for the red, white and blue in international competition.
 
While the Stars took the Consolation game finishing in 3rd place, the Pride team--which included Sacramento City College coach Deskaheh  Bomberry--won the TOS Championship with a 4-0 mark. Bomberry has served on the Panthers coaching staff for 14 seasons. He played for Cosumnes River and later at Sonoma State University.
 

5/11/14

2014 High School Stats
End of Regular Season


6/7/14

43rd Annual Optimist High School
Baseball All-Star Games @
McAuliffe Fields


The 43rd Annual Optimist High School Baseball All Star Games were held yesterday at McAuliffe Fields. 
 
Game 1 (Small Schools) was won by the South Team 5-1. The South Team MVP was Michael Majeski from Vista del Lago High School. The North Team MVP was Wes Woodward from Colfax High School. The North Team Head Coach was Jeff Wise from Center High School. The South Team Head Coach was Scott Seffens from Vista del Lago High School.

 


Small Schools -- North Squad
2014_Optimist_Small_North


 Small Schools -- South Team

2014_Optimist_Small_South

Game 2 (Large Schools) was won by the North Team 8-2. The North Team MVP was Billy Rockerfeller from Del Oro High School. The South Team MVP was Cameron Keup from Franklin High School. 

The North Team Head Coach was Greg Olsen from Bella Vista High School. The South Team Head Coach was Dan Ariola from Davis High School.

 
 Large Schools -- North Squad


 Large Schools -- South Team

2014_Optimist_Large_South

 

5/31/14

Davis Blue Devils Beat St. Mary's 3-2 in Game Three--Claim Third Section Title

Davis defeated St. Mary's 3-2 today to win the three-game series from the Rams in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I series championship at Klein Family Field at UOP.

Bruce Gallaudet of the David Enterprise-Record has the details.

2014 Davis High_Section Champs

Congrats to Coach Dan Ariola
and the Blue Devils players and their families


Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Championship, UOP

Davis on "Trask" With 7-4 Win Over St. Mary's in Game One of D-1 Series

Matt Trask, allowed three runs early, but knocked in three runs with a double in a six-run sixth inning rally to lead Davis to a 7-4 win over St. Mary's of Stockton to take Game One in the best-of-three series at Klein Family Field on the campus of University of the Pacific. Davis seniors Brett Bloomfield (bound for Kansas) had a pair of hits and John Ariola scored a run, while sophmore Ryan Kreidler knocked in a run to power the Blue Devils' offense.

With another victory tomorrow, Davis will claim its third section title under Dan Ariola. They won Division I championships in 2004 and 2000.

Information courtesy of Sacramento Bee Sports 


 5/28/14

SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION DIVISION I TITLE MATCHUP:

Blue Devils Hope to Claim Their Third Section Baseball Title

The Davis Blue Devils (20-12-1), winners of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division North title take on St. Mary’s of Stockton (20-13) in the section championship this weekend at Klein Family Field on the University of the Pacific campus. 

In Friday’s game, Davis’ UCLA-bound righthander Matt Trask (5-1 / 1.37 ERA) likely will face St. Mary’s senior Alex Patterson (8-4 / 0.88 ERA). 

 

Davis_Trask_P_cabral
Davis righthander Matt Trask posted a 5-1 record with 1.37 ERA in 2014.







On offense, Davis is led by super sophomore shortstop Ryan Kreidler, who is hitting a team-leading .433 with 26 runs batted in. Senior John Ariola is stroking at a .398 average, while Trask is batting .356 with 24 RBI. Senior second baseman Brett Bloomfield is hitting .347 and is the Blue Devils second starter with a 5-4 record and 2.73 ERA. Trey Golston is their main fireman with four saves.

The Rams, meanwhile, are led by Scot Michaels, who is batting .413 with 26 RBI. 

MaxPreps has ranked Davis No. 38 in the state, while St. Mary’s is rated 75th

Davis hasn’t played for the section title since 2004 when they won their last championship. By contrast, St. Mary’s has made this an annual rite of passage, having played in the game seven of the last eight times (counting 2014), and winning the title three straight times (2010-2012). The Rams were defeated last year by a potent Elk Grove High team—led by major league draft prospects Rowdy Tellez and Dom Nunez— in two games. 

Davis won its first section championship in baseball in 2000. Both pennants came under coach Dan Ariola, who took over the Blue Devils program in 1996. Ariola graduated from Davis High in 1980. 

As the number-two seed from the Delta Valley Conference, Davis arrived in the championship by way of the winner’s bracket. They beat Granite Bay and their ace Mitch Hart 2-1 in nine innings, then rattled off three dominant victories over Vacaville, Franklin and Rocklin before meeting a once-defeated Elk Grove team for the city championship.  

On Friday, they lost the first game to Elk Grove 3-2 and two hours later claimed the North title with an impressive 5-2 win behind junior Kris Prince, who had not started a game this season but threw a complete game, five-hitter against the Herd. 

The Rams won six of seven games to get to the championship, including two wins against Tokay last Friday by a combined score of 24-0 in the South title dustup. 

In looking ahead to the best two-out-of-three series this weekend against St. Mary’s Coach Ariola said, “They’re always good and competitive. They’ve got a great program. They expect to get there and to win. It should be a great series.”


 

5/26/13

High School Section Championships
at Sacramento City College

DII: Brown and Williams Give Benicia 2-1 Section Title Win Over Brothers

A two-run homer in the first inning by Fred Williams and dominant pitching by righthander Matt Brown propelled Benicia (27-5 ) to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title with a 2-1 win over Christian Brothers this evening.

Benicia_Williams_HR_cabral
Fred Williams celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run homer
in the first inning that proved to be the game winner in 2-1 victory over
Christian Brothers for the Section Division II Title.


It was a classic battle between two pitchers. CB started lefty Steven Talbert (10-2) and Benicia sent out their ace, Matt Brown (10-1) and both pitchers delivered.



As the visiting team, Brothers leadoff hitter senior Brendon Gormley hit a chopper over third base and immediately rallied the vociferous Falcons crowd. A few pitches in to the next hitter, Benicia catcher Hudson Bishop noticed Gormley had edged too far off and fired a backpick to his first baseman. Gormley was caught in a rundown and tagged out, deflating the Falcons side.

Brothers, however, seemed to rattle Brown, who walked the second batter Anthony Calderon, who took second on a wild pitch. The Falcons third hitter senior Zach Ewertsen knocked in Calderon for an early 1-0 Brothers lead. Brown struck out the next two hitters, setting the tone that would last six more innings. 

In Benicia’s home half of the first, leadoff hitter  Anthony Clyma knocked a safety through the infield and stole second base with ease. Fred Williams, hitting .372 for the season, belted a Talbert fastball over the left field wall to give Benicia a 2-1 lead; his third round-tripper of the year. “When I made contact, I knew it was going out,” Williams said during post-game celebrations. 

From there it was a pitcher’s duel and the better defensive team won. Brothers’ infielders made three errors, though none of those runners scored. But Benicia played flawless defense, and with Brown on the mound, pouring fastballs while mixing in effective breaking pitches, he kept the Falcons off balance, fanning 10 hitters.

Benicia_Brown_P_cabral 

 


Benicia's Winning Pitcher Matt Brown struck out 10 batters.

 CB_Talbert_cabral
Brothers Steven Talbert allowed just two hits to Benicia.

Talbert was equally effective, not allowing the Panthers another hit the rest of the way, while Brothers managed five off Brown. 

The Falcons’ Gormley got his second hit in the fifth inning with two outs. Inexplicably, he wandered off first base a second time and the catcher Bishop fired another perfect throw to first base, trapping Gormley in a rundown. A Benicia parent in the stands commented that Hudson—a three-year varsity catcher—didn’t get many opportunities to throw runners out in the Solano County Athletic Conference because teams knew better than to test his arm. 

Brown—who will pitch for San Jose State next season—struck out the side in the sixth inning, and mowed down the last batter looking to give Benicia its first Division II section title. For Benicia Head Coach Jim Bowles, it was sweet revenge, as Benicia lost the title game last year to Del Campo. The Panthers won Division III titles under Bowles in 2011 and 2005.

Bowles admitted the game came down to pitching and defense. “Give it to both pitchers and defenses. After that first inning, both teams settled down.” 

Williams, today’s big hitter, added, “Matt threw helluva game. Spotted up all his pitches. Couldn’t have asked for a better pitcher in a section championship game.” 

Brothers head coach Rich Henning was gracious in defeat. “It was a great game. Pitchers and defense win big games. Their guy was dominating.” Henning complimented his pitcher, Talbert, who lost his first game of the season and then reeled off 10 consecutive victories, including two superlative performances in the playoffs. “Steve did a great job. Everything we needed him to do,” Henning added. “Scoring against a good pitcher is tough sometimes.” 

Said an emotional Talbert after the game, “Tough one to swallow. Benicia played better and that’s how it happens sometimes.” 


D3: Pioneer Defeats Lincoln 2-0 On Fuentes' Three-Hitter 

Pioneer_Fuentes_Pitcher_Cabral
Pioneer's Anthony Fuentes pitched a shutout in the section title game today against Lincoln, striking out nine while giving up only three hits as his team clinched its first-ever section title.


D5 Capital Christian 6-0 Over Lindhurst - Repeats as D-V Titleist

Tyler Schimpf pitched a three-hitter with a career-high 16 strikeouts as Capital Christian beat Lindhurst 6-0 in the D-V section final at Sacramento City.


For those not on Twitter, we are pleased to run the photo taken by Michael Trask following the terrific double-header on Friday featuring Davis and Elk Grove High Schools. Trask's photo of his son Matt Trask (left) and the Herd's Derek Hill, both seniors, captures the spirit of sportsmanship.

By the smiles on their faces, it's hard to tell Davis came out on top. Great photo. Great players. Great games. The essence of high school athletics. 

  Embedded image permalink
Matt Trask (left) and Derek Hill.
Photo © 2014   Michael Trask

 


5/26/13

High School Section Championships
at Sacramento City College

DII: Brown and Williams Give Benicia 2-1 Section Title Win Over Brothers

A two-run homer in the first inning by Fred Williams and dominant pitching by righthander Matt Brown propelled Benicia (27-5 ) to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title with a 2-1 win over Christian Brothers this evening.

 

 

Benicia_Williams_HR_cabral
Fred Williams celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run homer
in the first inning that proved to be the game winner in 2-1 victory over
Christian Brothers for the Section Division II Title.



It was a classic battle between two pitchers. CB started lefty Steven Talbert (10-2) and Benicia sent out their ace, Matt Brown (10-1) and both pitchers delivered.

As the visiting team, Brothers leadoff hitter senior Brendon Gormley hit a chopper over third base and immediately rallied the vociferous Falcons crowd. A few pitches in to the next hitter, Benicia catcher Hudson Bishop noticed Gormley had edged too far off and fired a backpick to his first baseman. Gormley was caught in a rundown and tagged out, deflating the Falcons side.

Brothers, however, seemed to rattle Brown, who walked the second batter Anthony Calderon, who took second on a wild pitch. The Falcons third hitter senior Zach Ewertsen knocked in Calderon for an early 1-0 Brothers lead. Brown struck out the next two hitters, setting the tone that would last six more innings. 

In Benicia’s home half of the first, leadoff hitter Anthony Clyma knocked a safety through the infield and stole second base with ease. Fred Williams, hitting .372 for the season, belted a Talbert fastball over the left field wall to give Benicia a 2-1 lead; his third round-tripper of the year. “When I made contact, I knew it was going out,” Williams said during post-game celebrations. 

From there it was a pitcher’s duel and the better defensive team won. Brothers’ infielders made three errors, though none of those runners scored. But Benicia played flawless defense, and with Brown on the mound, pouring fastballs while mixing in effective breaking pitches, he kept the Falcons off balance, fanning 10 hitters.

 

 

Benicia_Brown_P_cabral 

 


Benicia's Winning Pitcher Matt Brown struck out 10 batters.

 CB_Talbert_cabral
Brothers Steven Talbert allowed just two hits to Benicia.

Talbert was equally effective, not allowing the Panthers another hit the rest of the way, while Brothers managed five off Brown. 

The Falcons’ Gormley got his second hit in the fifth inning with two outs. Inexplicably, he wandered off first base a second time and the catcher Bishop fired another perfect throw to first base, trapping Gormley in a rundown. A Benicia parent in the stands commented that Hudson—a three-year varsity catcher—didn’t get many opportunities to throw runners out in the Solano County Athletic Conference because teams knew better than to test his arm. 

Brown—who will pitch for San Jose State next season—struck out the side in the sixth inning, and mowed down the last batter looking to give Benicia its first Division II section title. For Benicia Head Coach Jim Bowles, it was sweet revenge, as Benicia lost the title game last year to Del Campo. The Panthers won Division III titles under Bowles in 2011 and 2005.

Bowles admitted the game came down to pitching and defense. “Give it to both pitchers and defenses. After that first inning, both teams settled down.” 

Williams, today’s big hitter, added, “Matt threw helluva game. Spotted up all his pitches. Couldn’t have asked for a better pitcher in a section championship game.” 

Brothers head coach Rich Henning was gracious in defeat. “It was a great game. Pitchers and defense win big games. Their guy was dominating.” Henning complimented his pitcher, Talbert, who lost his first game of the season and then reeled off 10 consecutive victories, including two superlative performances in the playoffs. “Steve did a great job. Everything we needed him to do,” Henning added. “Scoring against a good pitcher is tough sometimes.” 

Said an emotional Talbert after the game, “Tough one to swallow. Benicia played better and that’s how it happens sometimes.” 


D3: Pioneer Defeats Lincoln 2-0 On Fuentes' Three-Hitter

 

 

Pioneer_Fuentes_Pitcher_Cabral
Pioneer's Anthony Fuentes pitched a shutout in the section title game today against Lincoln, striking out nine while giving up only three hits as his team clinched its first-ever section title.


D5 Capital Christian 6-0 Over Lindhurst - Repeats as D-V Titleist

Tyler Schimpf pitched a three-hitter with a career-high 16 strikeouts as Capital Christian beat Lindhurst 6-0 in the D-V section final at Sacramento City.



 

For those not on Twitter, we are pleased to run the photo taken by Michael Trask following the terrific double-header on Friday featuring Davis and Elk Grove High Schools. Trask's photo of his son Matt Trask (left) and the Herd's Derek Hill, both seniors, captures the spirit of sportsmanship.

By the smiles on their faces, it's hard to tell Davis came out on top. Great photo. Great players. Great games. The essence of high school athletics. 

  Embedded image permalink
Matt Trask (left) and Derek Hill.
Photo © 2014   Michael Trask

 


Division II Section Championship

CB Alum Henning Leads Brothers into Battle Against Benicia

by Editor Rick Cabral

Twitter @BaseballSac

The return to baseball relevance by Christian Brothers is a testament to head coach Rich Henning, a 1986 alumnus of Christian Brothers, which plays for the Sac-Joaquin Division II section title on Monday. The Falcons haven’t been in this position in 10 years.  

In 2004 and 2002 the Falcons under the late Joe Gill lost the section title game both times, to Woodcreek in ’04 and Folsom in ’02. 

But Henning, fellow alum Paul Carmazzi and their staff think they have a great shot at winning the team’s first-ever section title. “We knew coming into this year that we had loads of senior leadership,” Henning said. “Steven Talbert and Lucas Still (the team’s one-two starters) each have three years on varsity.” 

Henning also pointed to junior shortstop Anthony Calderon a starter as a freshman, plus Joe McNamara, a sophomore as the young guys that support the seniors. 

Talbert, the Capital Valley's Defensive Player of the year with a 10-1 with a 0.99 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 64 innings, will start for the Falcons on Monday. “He’s been exceptional and pitched all the big games for us,” Henning noted. The senior southpaw allowed just four hits, one run and fanned nine in Brothers 4-1 win over Kennedy High to advance to the section title game. He threw a 3-0 shutout in Brother’s first playoff win this season against American Canyon. 

He's backed by Still, who finished with a 6-2 record and 1.58 ERA. Fellow senior Brendon Gormley, the offensive Player of the Year in the CVC with a .372 average,  34 runs scored and 21 stolen bags.  
~ ~

 

CB_Henning_cabral 

Falcons coach Rich Henning conferring wth an assistant coach earlier this season at Joe Marty Field on the Falcons campus. He feels this team's senior class can lead the way to CB's first-ever section title on Monday.

When Henning played at CBS under head coach Ron Limeberger in the old Metro League, the Falcons usually battled for a second or third place finish, as Burbank and McClatchy were the dominant teams in the area at that time. 



“I learned a lot from Ron Limeberger (who graduated from Christian Brothers in 1953 and passed away in 2004),” Henning said. “He was a special guy. He touched a lot of lives while he was here. It’s kind of an honor to be coaching here at Christian Brothers.”  

Henning starred in basketball for the Falcons under head coach Joe Gill (another alum, Bishop Armstrong 1963), and played three baseball seasons under Gill, who coached Southside Junior American Legion for 25 years. “So, it was kind of neat to come back and follow in the footsteps of those guys (Limeberger and Gill) in basketball and baseball.” 

Six years ago, after Henning dropped the head basketball coach position, Falcons Athletic Director Jill Bennett asked if he would take on the baseball job. He said he would consider the position so long as he could recruit Paul Carmazzi (CBS 1974) to “come over and be a part of it.” Carmazzi’s son Paul, Junior had two years left on the varsity. So, when the senior Carmazzi agreed, “it was pretty easy to say yes,” Henning recalls. 

Carmazzi “loves to coach, and it’s been a great fit for all of us,” Henning says of the coaching staff at CBS, which includes Lynn Cooper and Mike Black. “We get along, think alike, and it’s been good for C-B.” 

After CBS, Henning played baseball for Jerry Weinstein at Sacramento City College. It was there he met Paul Carmazzi, an assistant head coach, who was quickly developing a reputation as a hitting guru. 

Henning later pitched in the San Francisco Giants minor league system, including two years at Fresno, the Giants’ Single-A affiliate in the California League. From 1983-85, Henning posted a 15-11 mark with a 3.87 ERA. 

~ ~

Should Christian Brothers prevail Monday, it would mark the school’s first section title ever in baseball. In 1988, Limeberger’s club (playing at the Division I level), won the North section, but lost the section title to Napa in two games. That group of Brothers Boys included future major leaguer Andy Fox, Bo Dodson and Carrie Newton; the latter two were All-Metro selections by the Sacramento Bee. 

But Talbert and company will have their hands full, as the Benicia Panthers are hitting .325 as a team. Plus, they are an experienced group as well, having played (and lost) this game last year to Del Campo. 

Despite Monday’s result, Henning is optimist about the future of the Falcons program. “We’ve got a number of good young players here now, so hopefully we can continue this going in the right direction. It all starts with the players.” 

This year, he’s got ‘em. 


5/23/14

High School: DI North Championship--Union Stadium, Sacramento City College

Game Two: Davis 5, Elk Grove 2:
Late Game Magic and a Prince Propel Blue Devils in Section Title

by Rick Cabral
Twitter @BaseballSac

With their backs against the proverbial (dugout) wall, and Elk Grove's momentum mounting after a 3-2 Game One victory, the Davis Blue Devils were led by a Prince in the nightcap, overtaking the Herd 5-2 to claim their first Section Division I North Championship in 10 years.

The Prince—as in junior Kris Prince—tossed a complete game against a potent offense, limiting Elk Grove to two runs on five hits (three of them by junior Carlos Moseley, who lit it up with his bat today, going 4-for-6 with a home run and two doubles).

The righthander Prince had never started a game and threw just 16.1 innings all season. But head coach Dan Ariola saw Prince sparkle in his last few relief performances and believed he was up to the huge challenge. “We knew it was coming. He’s been working hard. So for him to pitch like that was very impressive.”

The first five innings was a pitcher’s duel between Prince and Elk Grove’s Cody Barnes, who left in the sixth with the bases loaded and the score tied 1-1.

Davis had scored in the first inning when John Ariola led off with a walk, advanced on Brett Bloomfield’s single, took third on a misplay by Barnes, and came home on Matt Trask’s fielder’s choice, a 5-4-3 double play.

In the fifth, the Herd’s designated hitter Landon Gastellum--staring at a 3-2 count--knocked in Ryan Robards to tie the score 1-1. On the previous 2-2 count, Prince missed with a pitch. Davis coach Dan Ariola argued the call should have been a strike. When Gastellum singled, Ariola was thrown out of the game for calling out to the home plate umpire “That run is on you.”

It was the second time Ariola was tossed for arguing balls and strikes in the past two weeks. Pitching coach Marc Kenner took over.

In the top of the sixth inning, Davis' shortstop Ryan Kreidler led off with a single. Barnes then hit the next two batters to load the bases. Elk Grove head coach Jeff Carlson brought in lefthander Chris Martin, who earned a save in the first game.

Nate Curtis smoked a shot up the middle that was heading for centerfield, when Herd shortstop Nick Madrigal gloved it, and backhanded the ball in time to Moseley covering second to get one out. Moseley’s throw to first was late, and Kreidler scored to make it 2-1 Davis.

Catcher Hudson Forrester next hit a comebacker to Martin, who caught the ball then dropped it while attempting to fire home for the force out. Davis scored its third run, and you could feel Uncle “Mo” dancing toward the visitor’s dugout.

But in Elk Grove’s home half, Carlos Moseley had other ideas, launching his second double of the game in the left field corner. Derek Hill, who had a quiet offensive series today, reached first on an error by Kreidler, allowing Moseley to take third. Always a threat on the bases, Hill appeared to get picked off first (he may have lured the Devils with the ploy). While in a rundown, Hill displayed some flashy moves to avoid the tag, and Moseley scampered home as Hill safely returned to first base. But Prince got out of the inning with Davis still leading 3-2.

In the dugout the Davis pitcher went up to coach Kenner and said,“’There’s no way you’re taking me out of this game.’” His pitch count was just above 70, low for six innings. Kenner, a Davis graduate and former Ariola pupil from 1993, agreed. “I said ‘fine.’ That’s the kind of kid you want. You want him to want the ball.”

In the top of the seventh, Davis displayed the never-say-die spirit and plated two more runs. The game essentially was over at that point.

After the game, with Davis’ players celebrating in the background, coach Ariola praised his pitcher and his team. “Unbelievable performance by Kris. My guys played hard and pulled it out. I’m thrilled for them.”

He also apologized for getting throw out of the game. Elk Grove coach Carlson later complimented him, saying, " Ariola pulled my old trick: get thrown out of the game, get everybody energized and it worked for them."

Bloomfield, who had three hits in the nightcap, and pitched well enough in the 3-2 loss in Game One, said of his teammate Prince: “He’s the main reason we won today. He deserves an MVP trophy for the way he pitched today.”

Kreidler, the team’s “Super Soph” who sparkled on offense with two hits, including a monster double to the left center wall, said “It feels real good (to beat Elk Grove). It was our defense and our pitching today. Kris (pitched) his butt off. We played a great game.”

The senior leader Bloomfield noted that Elk Grove seemed to have Davis’ number, winning three of four games until the second championship match tonight. “We were not going to let them beat us this time. We said (before the game) ‘We’re going to jump on their pitchers this game.”

Carlson praised Davis’ team tenacity. “Give them credit, they did a good job at the end of the game. We just ran out of energy (in the last two innings) and made some little mistakes. They capitalized on it, as good teams do.

“I'm real proud of my guys,” he added, ticking off a number of team achievements in 2014: Delta Valley Conference champions, Boras Classic Championship, and wins against several nationally-ranked California teams in the process. They finished the season with a 26-6 overall record.

“This was a great bunch of guys and I’m gonna miss the seniors. And I’m looking forward to next year.”

Davis’ centerfielder John Ariola, who had three hits in the first game, and continued to spark his club with his feisty demeanor (pounding the plate with his bat so hard the thud reverberated all the way up in the Press Box). Ariola summarized Davis’ spirit: “There’s no quit in us. We fight. We battle. We’ve been rolling (lately).

“And we’re not done.”

Davis (20-12-1), which won section titles in 2000 and 2004 under coach Dan Ariola (and pitching coach Kenner), will play against St. Mary’s (21-13). The Rams tonight swept Tokay in two games by a combined score of 24-0 at Klein Family Field on the UOP campus, the site of next weekend's 2014 section title championship series.


Game One: Elk Grove Nips Davis 3-2 In Pitcher's Duel

by Rick Cabral
Twitter @BaseballSac

When Davis and Elk Grove meet on the diamond, it’s always a town-ball battle, but especially in the Section Division I North championship game, where Elk Grove staved off elimination in Game One with a 3-2 win.

Herd starter Austin Del Chairo gave Coach Jeff Carlson exactly what he needed in Game One: five-and-a-third innings, allowing two runs, five hits, four walks and three strikeouts.

In this pitcher’s duel between Del Chairo and Davis’ Brett Bloomfield, Davis opened the scoring in the third inning. Senior John Ariola singled, went to third on Bloomfield’s double to the left field wall. Sophomore Ryan Kreidler hit a fly ball to center field, as Ariola tagged at third. Reminiscent of last night’s defensive gem, Hill got in position, caught and released a perfect throw to home, but Ariola snuck in under the tag to give the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead.

 

 
Ryan Kreidler hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score John Ariola
with the first run for Davis in Game One, won by Elk Grove 3-2.

One inning later, Elk Grove rallied. With one out, last night’s pitcher Ty Madrigal singled. Ryan Robards hit a lazy fly down the right field line. Outfielder Drew Gnos, nearing the fence, dropped the ball, and both runners were safe. Sophomore Erek Bolton walked to load the bases. On a wild pitch, Madrigal stormed home, but Hudson Forrester threw in time to Bloomfield to put out the runner. Sophomore Landon Gastellum hit a soft fly in right field that scored both Robards and Bolton to put the Herd in front, 2-1.

In the fifth, Elk Grove’s Carlos Moseley homered over the left field wall to give the Herd a 3-1 lead. Surprisingly, that was the Herd’s first home run of the year—ironic, considering this time last year Ryan “Rowdy” Tellez was making Union Stadium look Pony League small with his titanic blows in the section championship run.

When Del Chairo faltered in the sixth inning, Coach Carlson wasted no time in bringing in lefthander Chris Martin, who induced a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning, highlighting the strength of this Elk Grove team: Defense.

Martin tossed a gem on Monday when Elk Grove began its climb out of the Loser’s Bracket. He went back to work in the top of the seventh, where never-say-die Davis’ John Ariola singled (his third of the game), but he was stranded when Bloomfield took a called third strike to end the game and give Martin a well-deserved save.

Elk Grove (26-5) took two of three from the Blue Devils in Delta Valley Conference play, thus earning the number-one seed.

The two teams battle one final time this evening. 

 

 Dav_Trask_Flips_cabral

Davis first baseman Matt Trask flips to pitcher Brett Bloomfield
to put out Elk Grove's Nick Madrigal on an attampted bunt in the first game this afternoon, won by Elk Grove 3-2 at Union Stadium.


5/22/14

High School: DI Playoffs--Union Stadium, Sacramento City College

Elk Grove, Behind Ty Madrigal's 4-Hitter, Beats Rocklin 3-1

by Rick Cabral
Twitter @BaseballSac

Elk Grove rolled through the elimination game tonight defeating Rocklin 3-1 behind the four-hit pitching of southpaw, Ty Madrigal. 

Elk Grove drew first blood in the second inning, scoring twice on back-to-back sacrifice flies by juniors Nick Madrigal and Carlos Moseley to take a 2-0 lead. 

As it turned out, that’s all Madrigal (4-1) would need, as he was far better tonight than last Thursday, when in the first inning he walked four batters and gave up four runs to the Thunder, who took the game 4-3. “I was more focused today, and had a better approach.”  

EG_Madrigal,Ty_Pitching_cabral
Ty Madrigal took "a better approach" tonight against Rocklin and Elk Grove prevailed, 3-1 at Union Stadium.

File Photo Rick Cabral




Tonight, Rocklin managed just three hits and no runs until Eric Peterson came up in the 7th inning and blasted Madrigal’s pitch over the left field wall to put Rocklin on the board. But the crafty lefty bore down and retired the last two hitters to preserve a complete game win.

Elk Grove made several outstanding defensive plays to aid their pitcher.

The biggest came in the fourth inning. With runners on third and second base and one out, Blake Laurin hit a high chopper that appeared it might bounce over first baseman Dylan Carlson’s head. Instead, the lanky lefty went up high to snag the ball, checked the runner at third who did not break for home, and stepped on the bag for the second out. He saw that Peterson (who had doubled earlier) ranged off second base. Carlson chased down Peterson—all the while watching the runner at third base—and at the last moment threw to Nick Madrigal who tagged Peterson for the third out.

Said proud papa and head coach Jeff Carlson after the game, “He’s got a lot of football in (Dylan); made him go for the high point of the ball. It was the key defensive play of the game for us.”

Carlson complimented his starting pitcher, who he admitted struggled at times. “He battled through and got out of some jams. He threw strikes and let the defense work behind him. That’s the key.”

In the third inning, with a Rocklin runner at third base poised to score on a fly ball, centerfielder Derek Hill caught it and made a major league one-hop throw home that would have nailed the runner had he challenged Hill's arm. Smart move; great play.

Hill had two hits (double and single) for the Herd, while Rocklin's Peterson led all hitters with the home run and a double. Elk Grove scored their third run in the third inning on a pair of Rocklin infield errors.

Rocklin, the number-one seed from the Sierra Foothill League, concluded its season at 18-13.

Tomorrow, Elk Grove (25-5) continues its quest to repeat as Division I Section champs, but they must beat a fresh Davis team— their arch-nemesis from the Delta Valley Conference—twice in the North final to advance to the section title game.


5/21/14

Division III Playoffs: McAuliffe Park

First game: River Valley 9, Pioneer 3. Second game Pioneer 9, River Valley 8

First game: Lincoln 5, Colfax 3 

RV_Ramirez_P2_cabral
River Valley pitcher Rickey Ramirez struck out 13 and allowed three hits in a 9-3 win against Pioneer in the first elimination game yesterday at McAuliffe Park. Pioneer prevailed 9-8 in the nightcap to advance to the section Division III championship at 3 p.m. Monday against Lincoln, which beat Colfax 5-3 in the first game between those clubs.

Ramirez finished the season 9-2 with 96 strikeouts against 26 walks.


5/20/14 

High School Playoffs 

Division I at Sacramento City College: 

Davis 6-1 Victors Over Rocklin on Trask's 6-Inning Masterpiece 

by Rick Cabral    
Twitter @BaseballSac

All week at the SCC ballyard, talk surrounded the marquee pitching matchup featuring the two stud righthanders: Matt Trask of Davis and Logan Webb of Rocklin. 

Many were leaning in Logan’s direction, due mostly to his overpowering fastball (clocked again tonight under the lights at 94 miles per hour).   

Tonight, Matt Trask pitched the game of his life: a no-hitter through six innings, while his Davis teammates pieced together a 6-1 patchwork of “small ball” that would make Whitey Herzog proud: speed, heads-up play and ability to put the ball in play against a fireballing prospect. Now, the Blue Devils (20-11-1) advance to the Sac-Joaquin Division I North championship.  

Said Davis’ senior leadoff hitter and centerfielder John Ariola who had two hits tonight. “All we heard this week was Logan Webb this and Logan Webb that. And Matt just shoved it (at Rocklin). That was the motivation for us.”  

This pitcher’s duel developed as advertised, as no runner crossed the plate until the Blue Devils scored twice in the top of the fifth inning. Junior Nate Curtis singled and was bunted to second. Jared McNece (who had two hits tonight) hit a chopper to third base. He beat out the throw, which sailed past first base, allowing Curtis to score the first Davis run. McNece advanced to third on a wild pitch by Webb.   

Possibly the play of the game came next. Webb, seeing McNece leading off third base, but not by a wide margin, stepped off the rubber and tried to pick off the runner. The throw sailed up the baseline, McNece scampered home, and Davis had a 2-0 lead.   

The way their pitcher was humming, it was all the Davis Devils would need, as Trask allowed no hits, five walks, one hit batsman, while fanning six in six innings of work, thanks in large part to his Wile E. Coyote changeup (seriously, it seems to pause in midair before dropping off a cliff). Trask's record improved to 5-1. 

In the top of the sixth, Rocklin coach Roc Murray pulled Webb, and Davis scored four more times off two relief pitchers to pad their lead to 6-0. Rocklin managed an unearned run off Trask to make it 6-1.  

In the bottom of the seventh inning, with the anticipation building on whether Trask would be the latest prep hurler to hurl a no-hit game since…no one could remember who was the last, he was dispatched to the field, and Trey Golston came in relief.  

After the game, Davis coach Dan Ariola said Trask was pulled purely because he had reached his pitch count limit of 106. “Rocklin battled him and got his pitch count up.” He applauded Trask’s performance, saying “I’m spoiled. He comes out and gives us that every game.”  

Even Trask didn’t appear fazed by the lost opportunity to complete the no-hitter. “Our coaches won’t risk injury at all,” he said. “I’m happy that we have coaches like that, even if it means taking me out and not finishing a no-no,” the ebullient righthander said, forgetting that the second “no” in no-no refers to a shutout.   

But that’s one we’ll give him tonight, as the big righthander threw his team on his back in one of the most important games this group has ever played in the blue and white.  

“I’m proud of the way our guys competed,” coach Ariola said. He lauded the Rocklin pitcher who challenged the Blue Devils with eye-popping fastballs and sharp sliders. “Webb’s unbelievable. He’s as advertised. I’m proud of how the guys battled.” Webb's record drops to 4-3 on the season with two saves. 

Rocklin, now 18-12, moves to the loser’s bracket on Thursday, where it will face Elk Grove for the right to advance to the championship game on Friday where the Blue Devils await.  

John Ariola, playing his final games at Davis after three years under his father’s stewardship, recited the Devils’ mantra that has echoed through the 2014 playoffs: “We’re rolling right now. And we’re not done yet.” 


Division II at American River College:
Brothers Beats Kennedy 4-1 Behind Talbert's Gem--Advances to Section Title
 

by Rick Cabral    
Twitter @BaseballSac

In a battle of senior southpaws, Christian Brothers rode the big horse—Steven Talbert—to a 4-1 win over Kennedy and advances to the Division II Section title game on Monday against Benicia (15-12). It also ended Coach Marcos Pineda and the Cougars' successful season, who claimed their first Metro League crown in 20 years. 

Talbert, now 10-1 on the season (best in the Sacramento area), struck out nine Kennedy hitters and walked just one.

CB_Talbert_Pitching_cabral

CB Pitcher Steven Talbert pitched a four-hitter against Kennedy to send the Falcons to the Division II Section Title game.


Christian Brothers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Lucas Still RBI single, scoring junior Anthony Calderon. 




Kennedy answered in the bottom of the first, when Talbert walked the first batter. “I was amped up, thinkin’ about the Section (title) game too early,” the pitcher admitted after the game. “Just blanked that out and rode with it.” 

But first the Cougars scored on Adam Takeuchi’s RBI single, tying the game at 1-1.  

Takeuchi, the Kennedy lefthander, gave up a second run in the second inning when senior Mason Stahley (who lead off with a walk) came home when the Cougars’ catcher attempted to pick him off third base and the ball bounced off the third baseman’s glove and into Kennedy’s dugout.  

That was all the support Talbert would need this afternoon, as he limited Kennedy to one run on four hits (three of them singles to Takeuchi). 

The Falcons, however, added two more runs on RBI singles by Still (his second) and Brendon Gormley.      

 CB_Still_RBI_cabral
Lucas Still knocked in two runs today for the Falcons.    

“We’ve done it this way all year,” Falcons coach Rich Henning said. “The big guys stepped it up, with Steven Talbert, Lucas Still and Brennan Gormley (all seniors), and with a great supporting class.” 

Christian Brothers holds its graduation on Friday, giving The Big Three plenty of time to celebrate, recreate and rest before the section title game against Benicia on Monday at Sacramento City College. 

This will be Henning’s first chance at the brass ring. The last time a CBS team played in the Division II championship game was against Woodcreek in 2004 and two years before that against Folsom. They lost both times under head coach Joe Gill. Brothers hasn’t won a title since Ron Limeberger’s 1988 club took the Division I North Section title with Bo Dodson, Cary Newton and Andy Fox (they lost to Napa in the section championship). 

Henning will send Talbert out to pitch once again. “He’s real experienced,” Henning noted. “Nothing fazes him on the mound.” Especially in this playoff run for the Brothers Boys.   

On Monday night, they hope to raise the pennant in celebration.      

Ken_Takeuchi_cabral
Kennedy's Adam Takeuchi battled Brothers on the mound and at the plate,
where he knocked three safeties against rival Steven Talbert.
 


5/19/14

High School--Division I Playoffs: Sacramento City College

Herd Downs Wildcats 6-1

Elk Grove returned to form tonight behind their ace Chris Martin, eliminating Franklin from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North playoffs with a 6-1 victory at Union Stadium.

The Herd lost to Rocklin on Saturday, ending an 18-game winning streak for the then-Number 12 ranked team in the country. 

Tonight, Elk Grove got off to a productive first inning. Leadoff hitter Nick Madrigal—as he has done all season—reached base on a single. Junior Carlos Moseley doubled, scoring Madrigal with the game’s first run. Senior Derek Hill knocked in Moseley with a single, and scampered to third base on an error by Franklin pitcher Cameron Keup, who entered the contest 7-0 with a 1.27 earned run average.

Hill scored on cleanup hitter Dylan Carlson’s fielder’s choice, and Elk Grove led 3-0.

The Herd’s third inning started off with a Moseley double, followed by an RBI-hit by Hill. Keup clamped down and limited the damage to one run. Elk Grove led 4-0. They added two more in the fourth inning on two Wildcats’ errors.

EG_Moseley_Hits_cabral
Carlos Moseley slugged two doubles and scored twice in leading the Herd to a 6-1 victory against Franklin tonight at Union Stadium.
File photo.

Meantime, Martin (7-2) cruised through another great game, allowing just four hits and one earned run in the sixth inning on two walks and five strikeouts.

Hill led all hitters with a 3-for-3 game, while Mosley went 2-for-2 with two doubles for the winners. Hank LoForte and Jordan Estes each had a pair of hits for Franklin.

On Thursday, Elk Grove (24-5) will take on the loser of tomorrow night’s winner’s bracket game between Davis and Rocklin.

(GameChanger contributed to this report)


5/17/14

High School Division I Playoffs--Union Stadium, Sacramento City College
Rocklin Downs Elk Grove 4-3

Twitter @BaseballSac

A controversial interference call at second base played a pivotal role in Elk Grove’s 4-3 loss to Rocklin this afternoon in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1 NORTH playoffs at Union Stadium.

Elk Grove, the number-one seed from the Delta Valley Conference—and coming into the contest on an 18-game winning streak—faced off against Rocklin, numero uno in the Sierra Foothill League.

The Thundering Herd scored twice in the top of the first inning. Carlos Moseley singled and went to third on senior Derek Hill’s “sun double” that dropped over the fielder’s head in right field. Cleanup hitter Dylan Carlson scored Moseley on a fielder’s choice, and Hill came home on on an RBI-single by junior Brooks Day to make it 2-0 Elk Grove. 

Rocklin_Smith_Pitches_cabral
Rocklin's Ryan Smith was "was just outstanding," according to head coach Roc Murray.

Rocklin rebounded in their half by waiting out Herd starter Ty Madrigal, who walked four batters and gave up an RBI single to Rocklin cleanup hitter, Logan Webb.

With the scored tied 2-2 and the bases loaded, Elk Grove head coach Jeff Carlson relieved Madrigal with Cody Barnes, who gave up two base hits (the second was a bunt that saw Barnes slip while fielding the ball) and Rocklin took a 4-2 lead. Elk Grove's keystone corner duo of Madrigal to Moseley made another 6-4-3 double play to get ouf of the inning.

In the top of the fourth, just as the Herd began to kick up dust against Rocklin starting pitcher Ryan Smith, came the pivotal call.

With one out, Nick Madrigal and Carlos Moseley singled (Madrigal took third on the latter’s hit). Hill—a potential first-rounder in next month’s draft—hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Sam Curtis. He flipped to second for one out, but the relay throw was not in time to get the speedy Hill.

Suddenly, Hill was called out because of interference by the runner, Moseley, sliding into second base. That meant Elk Grove was retired and negated the run scored by Madrigal.

After the game, Coach Carlson said the interference call was a “blatant blown call and took a run off the board.”

If the call hadn’t gone against them, “We got our number-four hitter coming up and the fastest guy in the country (Hill) on first base. We got a great opportunity to keep that rally going and score again. But unfortunately they took it out of our hands. It should never come down to an umpire’s decision,” Carlson argued.

To most objective onlookers, Moseley’s slide was within the rules and Hill easily beat the throw. But between innings the home plate umpire explained to Carlson that Moseley “popped up and hit the fielder in the backside.”

Elk Grove scored once again in the top of the seventh off reliever Logan Webb—who pitched a gem on Thursday against Oak Ridge. But Webb struck out Hill and Day to send the Herd into the loser’s bracket. 

NMad_Safe3b_cabral
Elk Grove's Nick Madrigal slides safely into third base
ahead of the throw to Dylan Smethhurst.

Rocklin didn’t do much offensively to win this game, knocking just three hits—all in the first inning—while making three errors. Smith, the winning pitcher, allowed two runs and seven hits through five innings, while striking out four and walking two batters.

Rocklin coach Roc Murray praised his starter, saying “Smitty was just outstanding and we did a nice job executing early.”

Webb, the fireballing righthander who will start on Tuesday against Davis High, said about Elk Grove “They’re studs and they’re scrappy. We knew it would be a tough matchup.”

Hill, the Herd’s senior captain, quietly said after the game “Battling adversity…it’s how you bounce back from it.”

Elk Grove, ranked number-12 in the nation by Max Preps, drops to 24-5 and will take on Franklin, the number-three seed in the DVC, which lost 14-6 to Davis in the second game at Sacramento City College this afternoon. 


Rocklin's Logan Webb was hit in the helmet on this pitch in the sixth inning of the 4-3 win over Elk Grove today. He was alright, took first base, and later closed out the game for the Thunder.


Davis 14, Franklin 6

In one of the sloppier Division I Playoff games in recent memory, the Davis Blue Devils outlasted Franklin 14-6, as the Wildcats made seven errors in the contest, three by their normally sure-handed shortstop, Hank LoForte.

The teams pounded out 23 hits between them.

Davis, the second-seed from the DVC, played host, and after shutting down Franklin in the first, the Blue Devils came out swinging, scoring five times in their half of the inning. The pesky leadoff hitter John Ariola walked, followed by a bunt single by Brett Bloomfield. Matt Trask lined a single to score Ariola with Davis’ first run.

Nate Curtis hit a two-run double, and later catcher Hudson Forrester (who is destined to run for Congress someday with a name like that) knocked in two more runs to make it 5-0.

Franklin charged back with three runs in the second inning—all with two outs, and then tied the game in the fourth with two more. 

Franklin_Simmons_Scores _cabral
Franklin's Payton Simmons charges home on this base hit by Hank LoForte,
later picked up by Davis shortstop Ryan Kreidler.


Tied 5-5 in the fourth inning, Davis broke open the game by sending 12 hitters to the plate, as they combined five hits with four Franklin errors to add six more runs.

For good measure the Blue Devils padded on three more times in the sixth.

Curtis and Forrester each had three runs batted in, while Trask had a pair of hits and two RBI.

Davis improves to 18-11-1 and moves to the winner’s bracket where they will play the Rocklin Thunder at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20 at Union Stadium.


5/16/14

Early Draft News

by Rick Cabral

Derek Hill, senior outfielder for the Elk Grove Thundering Herd, is projected to be a first-round selection in the upcoming Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

In Baseball America's latest 2014 Draft Preview 2.0, Hill is projected to be taken 20th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays. As BA noted, the Dodgers, picking at Nunber 22, are an intriguing possibility, seeing that Derek's father Orsino Hill is a scout for Los Angeles.

The senior Hill spent 12 seasons in minor league baseball, rising as high as Triple-A.

“It’s an interesting proposition,” Mr. Hill admits about his son being a possible first-round pick and he being a professional baseball scout for the Dodgers. “It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy so much watching Derek play. He’s blessed with a lot of talent,” the father proudly admits, remembering watching his son since T-Ball.

Asked to pinpoint Derek’s greatest assets for the upcoming draft, Orsino says it’s “his intangibles—he just knows how to play the game. He’s very athletic, but he understands the game. And at the higher levels, that’s what separates you.”

The senior Hill played eight seasons in Triple-A, batting .268 for the Reds, Expos, Cubs, White Sox, Athletics and Angels.

“I tell (Derek), ‘I was a good player, but you’re better than I was,’” he says with a chuckle. “’Take it and run with it.’”

As an area scout for the Dodgers Orsino Hill has watched a multitude of talented players, but these last two years he’s played an unusual dual role: scout and father. He admits it’s been “funny” how his fellow scouts have behaved around him. “We just kind of leave it out there. It’s been an interesting year.”

This year, he’s looking forward to the MLB draft for a more personal reason.

Elk Grove teammates Dom Nunez (6th Round Colorado) and Rowdy Tellez (30th Round  Toronto) were drafted and signed in 2013. Herd slugger J.D. Davis, a junior this season at Cal State Fullerton, was picked by Tampa Bay in the 5th Round of 2011 Draft.

On June 5, the first day of the draft, Derek Hill will be in Studio 42 at MLB.tv participating in the draft day celebration along with the nation's other elite ballplayers awaiting their names to be called. If Hill is selected in the first round, he would be the 13th high school player from the local area.

The last local high school player to be selected in the first round was Tony Torcato, first baseman from Woodland, taken 19th overall in the 1998 draft by San Francisco. The last first round pick from the Sacramento area was Tim Wheeler of Sacramento State (and El Camino High), selected 32nd overall in 2009.

Following is a list of local area high school players taken in the 1st Round of the Regular* MLB Draft since it was instituted in 1965:

1998 

Tony Torcato 

1B 

Woodland 

19th overall 

San Francisco 

1993 

Derrek Lee 

1B 

El Camino High 

14th overall 

San Diego 

1983 

Ricky Jordan 

1B 

Grant High 

22nd overall 

Philadelphia 

1980 

Dion James 

OF 

McClatchy 

25th overall 

Milwaukee 

1977 

Drungo Hazewood 

C 

Sac High 

19th overall 

Baltimore 

1974 

Butch Edge 

RHP 

El Camino 

6th overall 

Milwaukee 

1972 

Mike Ondina 

OF 

Cordova 

12th overall 

Chi. White Sox 

1972 

Joel Bishop 

SS 

McClatchy 

16th overall 

Boston 

1972 

Jerry Manuel 

SS 

Cordova 

20th overall 

Detroit 

1971 

Taylor Duncan 

SS 

Grant 

10th overall 

Atlanta 

1967 

Andy Finlay 

OF 

Burbank 

12th overall 

Atlanta 

1966 

Leron Lee 

OF 

Grant 

7th overall 

St. Louis

* In prior years, Majoe League Baseball conducted various “supplemental” drafts held in summer and winter. The MLB Amateur Draft that exists today was known then as “the regular” draft.



5/16/14

High School Notes - Division II

Christian Brothers' lefthander Steven Talbert spun a four-hit shutout last night as the Falcons beat American Canyon 3-0. Zach Balantac had two of the Falcons' five hits, including a triple. Talbert struck out seven, walked three. His record now stands at 9-1, with his only loss to Franklin, 3-2 early in the season.

Kennedy beat Vanden 2-1, as the Cougars are in the playoffs for the first time in 20 years--and moving on. They play CBS in a best two-out-of-three beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. at McAuliffe Field.

 


5/15/14

Davis Trumps Vacaville 10-3. Advances in D-1 Playoffs

by Editor Rick Cabral

Davis High showed its muscle this afternoon, scoring 10 runs on 15 hits, as host team Vacaville made six errors in a 10-3 Blue Devils victory.

The Blue Devils were playing without head coach Dan Ariola, who was serving a one-game suspension for his ejection on Monday’s Play-In Bracket game against Granite Bay, a 2-1 nine-inning thriller that punched Davis’ ticket to the Division I playoffs at Union Stadium at Sacramento City College.

Vacaville drew first blood with one run in the first. Davis tied the game in the second, went ahead 2-1 in the fourth inning, then blew things open, scoring two runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth inning, as Vacaville made five errors that inning.

The Blue Devils were led offensively by seniors Brett Bloomfield 3-for-5 and Trey Golston 3-for-3, and sophomore Ryan Kreidler, who went 2-for 3 with a triple and two runs batted in. “It was a total team effort today,” Kreidler said. All but one of the starters had at least a hit.

Bloomfield (5-3), a senior righthander, tossed 5.2 innings, while allowing Vacaville’s three runs. He was replaced in the sixth by Golston, who came in with the bases loaded, and gave up two singles and a triple before retiring the Bulldogs.

Vacaville junior Tristain Guzman had two hits, including a triple, and pitcher Drew Chitwood had a triple for the losers.

After the game Coach Ariola— dressed in workout clothes and a UC Davis cap—resurfaced with his team. He said he received periodic game updates from an undisclosed location near the ballpark. “I was happy our guys played well,” Ariola said. “We played (practiced) well all week.”

Davis, now 17-11-1, advance to the double elimination portion of the Division I tournament, taking on Franklin on Saturday at 3 p.m.

~ ~ ~

Franklin Bounces Pleasant Grove From Playoffs in Nightcap with 6-5 Win

by Editor Rick Cabral

For the third year in a row, Franklin bounced Pleasant Grove from the Division I playoffs with an impressive 6-5 victory tonight in this single elimination game at Union Stadium.

The Wildcats’ Damien Chavez hit a two-run triple in the fifth inning and winning pitcher Jack Tresemer knocked in Chavez with Franklin’s 6th run, which proved to be the difference in this game.

Pleasant Grove, winners of the Delta River League with a 21-4 record, were unable to contain the Wildcats, who scored six runs from the fourth through the sixth innings.

With the game tied at 1-1, in the top of the fourth inning, Jordan Estes led off with a single and was sacrificed to second base. One out later, Payton Simmons was hit by a pitch, and Pleasant Grove coach Rob Rinaldi ordered Franklin’s Hank LoForte to be intentionally walked. Wildcats’ senior Gabe Abelia hit soft bloop single in shallow centerfield, scoring Estes and Simmons to give Franklin a 3-1 lead.

In the next inning, Franklin scored three runs to take a commanding 6-1 lead.

But Pleasant Grove, winners of 12 straight, battled back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Senior Matt Stafford (who went 3-for-4 with three RBI), knocked in one run. At that point, Franklin coach Bryan Kilby brought in LoForte to pitch. Eagles’ senior Jordan Yu greeted him with a two-run single to make it 6-4.

Pleasant Grove mounted a mini-rally in their last frame, scoring once, but falling short 6-5.

The contest featured great defense by both sides.

After LoForte singled to open the game, he was caught stealing by Eagles’ catcher Nicco Toni (who finished the season with a 50-percent caught stealing percentage). Franklin catcher Isaiah Morales twice threw runners out at first base, a move called a “backpick.”

In the second inning, Franklin centerfielder Simmons raced to the left center gap to snag Aaron Pierce’s long fly, and held on after colliding with his leftfielder, Isiah Engman.

The play of the game occurred in the third inning when Pleasant Grove's Kyle Freitas doubled to the left field wall. Yu, a runner at first base, raced around third and scampered for home. LoForte took the relay from Engman and fired a strike to the catcher Morales to nail Yu sliding around the plate. Aplay worthy of SportsCenter.

Franklin lost to Pleasant Grove 9-1 in their first game of the season. Now the Wildcats (20-9) move on to face Davis in the 3 p.m. game on Saturday at Union Stadium.


5/14/14

Oak Ridge Rallies to Tie, But Thunder Wins 7-6 in 7th Inning

by Editor Rick Cabral

For six innings, Rocklin righthander Logan Webb dominated Oak Ridge with high hard ones, and sharp sliders, amassing 11 strikeouts in a brilliant performance that saw him hit 94 on the radar guns of scores of scouts and cross checkers who came just to see him in action this afternoon at Union Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College in the Division I playoffs.

In the seventh, Rocklin was on cruise control, as the offense had scored six times by the second inning.  

Rocklin_Webb_cabral
Rocklin pitcher Logan Webb topped 94 with his fastball today,
striking out 11 Trojans in the 7-6 win at Union Stadium.

But just as Rocklin head coach Roc Murray feared, Oak Ridge showed resolve. After Webb walked one batter and his defense made an error in an attempted double play, Murray knew it was time shut down Webb, who was nearing 100 pitches for the afternoon. With one out and runners on first and second, in came reliever Sam Curtis. The Cardiac Kids from El Dorado battled, loaded the bases and scored five times on two walks, a balk and a two-run single by Erik McNeill to tie the game 6-6.

But the Thunder rallied in the bottom of the seventh when 6’5” senior Ryan Smith (who led all hitters with three bingles) rifled a single to center and the next hitter took one for the team, putting Smith in scoring position. Then pinch hitter Kyle Schafer drove in Smith with the game’s winning run.

McNeill and Ty Solis had a pair of hits for Oak Ridge, as did A.J. Sauer for Rocklin.

After the game Murray explained his reasoning for removing Webb, who still looked in control after allowing just five hits and two walks, while fanning 11 hitters. “He’s a tremendous pitcher. But we’re not in the business of wiping guys out.”

Murray then complimented the Oak Ridge team, not just for the comeback, but for the class they displayed in the postgame handshakes. “They were hurting but they were gracious after their loss.”

Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton praised his team for rebounding on the precipice of extinction. “We’ve been doing that all year. No quit in them,” a relaxed Melton said. “Say what you want about our team, the one thing we do great is compete. And compete for the whole game.” Oak Ridge finished the season at 18-10.

Even more casual in the postgame limelight was Logan Webb. The 6’1” strawberry blonde was all smiles after his eye-popping performance: A mid-nineties fastball, locating both pitches (he also spins a sharp slider), and looking the part of a future high draft pick in June.

The two-way star (he played quarterback for the Rocklin football team) said he’s undecided about school next year and views the upcoming draft with excitement. “The whole draft thing is changing things,” he said, failing to hide an exuberant smile. “Exciting stuff.”

Webb, Murray and the rest of the Rocklinites are excited about the chance of moving on in the double-elimination portion of the Division I playoffs. The Thunder improved to 17-11 for the season and play the winner of Elk Grove-Vintage at noon on Saturday at Union Stadium. 


 


Division I

Elk Grove 6, Vintage (Napa) 2

Elk Grove took a 5-0 lead into the sixth and held on for a 6-2 win against Napa’s Vintage High at Union Stadium in the 7 p.m. game. of the Division I Sacramento North section playoffs.

For the Thundering Herd it was their 18th consecutive victory.

Herd southpaw Chris Martin spun another gem, allowing the Crushers three hits and two earned runs in a complete game victory. Martin (6-2), sporting a 0.76 earned run average through 55 innings coming into this game, walked two and struck out seven.

Elk Grove’s offense, one of Northern California’s most productive with a .327 team average, had nine hits scattered throughout its lineup. Juniors Nick Madrigal and Carlos Moseley each had a pair, while the Herd’s big stick was Brooks Day, who knocked in three runs.

Senior Derek Hill, a top draft prospect, didn’t collect a hit tonight, but had one RBI.

Elk Grove (23-4), which hasn’t lost in five weeks, moves on to face Rocklin on Saturday at noon. They are presently ranked 12th in the nation by MaxPreps.

(GameChanger contributed to this report)


5/12/14

McNece’s Walkoff Gives Davis 2-1 Win in 9 Innings Over Granite Bay

by Editor Rick Cabral

For the second straight Monday afternoon, Davis hosted an extra-inning barnburner, but this one was a Play-In Bracket game for the right to advance to the Section Division I Playoffs.   

The game featured two of the area’s top pitchers: Matt Trask of Davis who is UCLA bound and Mitch Hart of Granite Bay who has committed to USC. They pitched the games of their lives, each allowing one run through seven innings, as a multitude of scouts crowded behind the plate for one last radar-gun moment of the big righthanders. 

But it was the light-hitting junior Jared McNece, who knocked the game winner for the Blue Devils in the bottom of the ninth. On a play where he changed the call from the bench.  

DHS_Golston_Scores_cabral

Trey Golston celebrates after scoring the winning run
in Davis' 2-1 win over Granite Bay


With the score tied 1-1 in their half of the ninth, senior Trey Golston laced a double to left centerfield. He was bunted to third base. With one out, Granite Bay head coach Pat Esposito intentionally walked the next hitter to put the double play in order.  

McNece got the signal to execute a “push bunt.” As he squared around, he saw the Grizzles’ first baseman crashing in hard. “I pulled (the bat) back and just tried to slap the ball through toward second base. And it worked out.” Golston slid across home plate with a pop-up slide for the game winner.

Batting just .133 coming in to the game, McNece knew he was taking a chance. But earlier in the season in a similar situation, his bunt was easily fielded by the first baseman and the runner was thrown out. So, he used his brain and his bat to bring home the winning run for Davis, which improved its record to 16-11-1. 

Granite Bay scored one run in the third inning when seniors Vinny Esposito tripled and Zach Hall singled him home. 

Davis trailed until the sixth inning when senior John Ariola was hit by a pitch and was sacrificed to second. Ryan Kreidler hit a fly ball to deep centerfield, but Grant Powers raced toward the ball like a flanker tracking a deep post pattern and hauled it in. The ball was deep enough, however, for Ariola to tag and take third. Trask knocked him home with a single through the infield and tied the score 1-1.  

DHS_Trask_RBI_cabral

Matt Trask singles through the right side to tie the game at 1-1 in the sixth inning.


In the first inning, the Grizzlies had runners on third and second with one out, but Trask bore down and struck out the next two hitters to end the inning. 

Davis also had an opportunity in the third inning. Davis head coach Dan Ariola contested a called strike against leadoff hitter Drew Gnos. He was warned, and was then thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes. Before leaving the field the senior Ariola could he heard arguing “This is a high school playoff game!” Assistant coach Marc Kenner replaced Ariola in the third base's box. Two pitches later, Hart plunked Gnos, giving Davis a runner on first.

John Ariola—the coach's son—playing in his last home game at the Blue Devils ballpark, pounded his bat on the plate more ferociously than usual, and promised himself, “I’m not going to let (Hart) beat me, especially after him getting thrown out,” he said, referring to his father, who had to vacate the field. With two strikes, Ariola fouled off the next four pitches; Blue Devil determination in action.

Then he lined Hart’s next offering down the left field line for a double, placing runners at third and second base. Up stepped Davis’ Super Soph Kreidler, the team’s leading hitter with a .418 average for the regular season. Suddenly, Gnos was charging down the third base line heading for home in an apparent suicide squeeze play. Hart threw the pitch right over the plate, but Kreidler failed to bunt, apparently missing the sign. Catcher Michael Birch easily tagged out Gnos in front of the plate to end the Blue Devils’ rally. The switch in Davis’ coaches at that crucial time may have accounted for the miscommunication, which led to the failed suicide squeeze play.

After the game, as the Blue Devils’ players groomed the diamond for the final time in 2014, the Granite Bay players and coaches huddled for final words and sentiments. As the team retreated toward the dugout, the seniors stayed behind and formed a circle on the right field line, offering consolation to each other, reminiscing about great moments in their careers and wishing each other well. 

After the senior-only huddle broke up, pitcher Mitch Hart—still visibly emotional—stuck around to answer questions. “I knew it was going to be a good battle from the start. He’s (Trask) a good pitcher,” he said of his former travel-squad teammate. “We’re a battle tested team. We play in the SFL (Sierra Foothill League), it’s a tough league. We thought it was going to be a good prep for us in the playoffs, but it didn’t happen this year.” 

The senior pitcher had done everything possible to help his team win, including continuing to play after dislocating his left (non-pitching) shoulder several times in the batter’s box. Hart, who topped out at 92 mph today, allowed six hits, no walks and one earned run, while striking out six hitters.

Grizzlies' pitching coach Jim Barr said Hart probably threw his best game of the season due to the high percentage of strikes (69 of 90 with 22 out of 28 first-pitch strikes).   

GB_Hart_cabral
Mitch Hart, bound for USC next year, allowed Davis just six hits and one run in seven innings.


“Any time you can do that you’re going to have a chance to win. (Hart) was keeping them off balance all day with his stuff,” Barr said. 

On the opposite side, Matt Trask, the future UCLA Bruin, was equally emotional, but for a different reason. He also pitched a great game, with his 90 mph fastball and devasting change up that drops off a cliff like Wile E. Coyote in a Road Runer cartoon, said “It was a great win. Everybody came up…” he said, losing his train of thought in the fevered excitement, happy to know that his career wouldn’t end where it started three years ago. 

Trask and Hart frequently may face off again in Pac-12 competition when the Bruins and Trojans meet on the diamond, unless one signs a pro contract this summer.

Just last Monday, with a chance to clinch the Delta Valley Conference at home game against Elk Grove, the Blue Devils blew a 2-0 lead in the seventh and allowed the Thundering Herd to take the game 6-4 in eight innings.

Today was different.

John Ariola summed it best after everyone had gone home and it was just he and his father sitting alone in the Davis dugout. “It’s not ending here,” he said, recalling the Blue Devils mantra in this game to remember.


 

5/10/14

High School Notes

D-1 Championships will be decided in three of the conferences this week.

In the Delta River, Oak Ridge (15-8) and Pleasant Grove (17-4) are tied with 10-2 marks. Pleasant Grove, after sweeping Jesuit last week, faces Sheldon three times this week. Oak Ridge finishes against Jesuit, which is 6-6 in conference.

Over in the Delta Valley, Elk Grove and Davis are tied at 11-2 and meet twice this week. Blue Devils ace Matt Trask takes the mound for Davis at home on Tuesday, facing off against Herd southpaw, Ty Madrigal. The scene shifts to Elk Grove for Wednesday’s matchup. Davis will clinch the crown with a win in either game, since the Blue Devils beat Elk Grove earlier in the year. Elk Grove is coming off an impressive 6-1 win in the Boras Baseball Classic championship game on Saturday against Temecula Valley (see below).

In the Sierra Foothill League, Granite Bay needs to sweep Rocklin (15-9 / 9-3) which holds a two-game lead in league. The Grizzlies (13-10) are tied with Del Oro (14-10) for second place with 7-5 records, but own the tie-breaker as they took two-of-three from the Golden Eagles in April. (UPDATE: Rocklin wins 1-0--See story below)

The top three teams from each conference will advance to the playoffs, along with schools from the Monticello Empire League beginning Monday May 12.

~ ~ ~

Rocklin Clinches SFL with 1-0 Win Over Granite Bay 

Granite Bay’s Mitch Hart spun a one-hit gem through six and a third innings, but visiting Rocklin won 1-0 in a Sierra Foothill League thriller.  

With the win, Rocklin (16-9 / 10-3 SFL) clinches the Sierra Foothill League championship 

The Thunder scored the winning run in the top of the seventh when Hart loaded the bases with a walk and two hit batsmen. With one out, he then plunked junior Mike Shoenberger, scoring senior Ryan Smith.  

Granite Bay rallied in their final at bat when leadoff batter Vinny Esposito reached on an error and was sacrificed to second. Hart then walked, but Rocklin senior Sam Curtis retired the next two hitters to win the game. 

Rocklin senior Logan Webb pitched five shutout innings, allowing one hit and five walks while fanning six. Curtis relieved in the fifth inning and gave up just one hit and one walk in securing the victory for the Thunder. 

As the SFL champion, and the league’s number one seed, Rocklin earns a bye in the first round of the playoffs next week.

(GameChanger contributed to this report)

~ ~ ~ Commentary ~ ~ ~

MaxPreps posted its California Top 25 rankings today and it prompted a double-take: they've got the Thundering Herd rated 23rd in the state. Normally, they'd take it. But when you consider all the teams ranked above them that Elk Grove (20-4) has beaten recently, it makes one wonder.

No. 1-rated St Francis (Mountain View) lost to Elk Grove 2-1 in the NorCal championship of the Boras Classic on 4/17 (granted, St. Francisco beat Elk Grove earlier in the year, but that was in February). The Herd defeated No. 4 ranked Temecula Valley 6-1 on Saturday in the Boras Classic state championship at UOP. They edged the No. 14-ranked team Buchanan (Clovis) 2-1 on 4/16 in the same tournament.

The California rankings are especially perplexing, when one considers MaxPreps rated Elk Grove No. 19 in the nation just last week. The Thundering Herd has won its last 15 contests, last losing on 4/4 to Matt Trask and Davis (who they face tomorrow).

Good thing head coach Jeff Carlson last week reminded his guys not to look at the rankings--until the final game is won. That's good advice.

Otherwise, one could get whiplash.


5/6/14

Elk Grove Rallies to Win 6-4 in Davis

For Davis High, everything was going according to plan.

It was Senior Day, they had ace pitcher Matt Trask on the mound, and in the seventh inning were enjoying a 2-0 lead. A victory would give the Blue Devils the 2014 Delta Valley Conference title for the second straight year.

But Elk Grove’s Nick Madrigal had other ideas.

As the Herd’s leadoff hitter approached the plate with teammates pawing at third and second base, he tried to forget he’d gone hitless against Trask all afternoon, reminding himself to “settle down, see the ball—hit the ball.” The scrappy junior did just that and lined the first pitch he saw into left field to tie the game. 

EG_Madrigal_2RBI_cabral
Nick Madrigal knocked in two runs on this eighth-inning pitch.


With the scored tied at 2-2 in the top of eighth inning, similar situation—same result, only this time the Oregon State-bound shortstop smoked a base hit to right field putting Elk Grove ahead 4-2.

The next batter Carlos Moseley doubled to center field, scoring Austin Del Chiaro and Madrigal to give Elk Grove a four-run cushion, before Moseley was thrown out at third base, and tossed from the game for an aggressive slide. Turns out Elk Grove would need the extra two runs.

Davis came back in their half of the eighth to score twice off Herd reliever Cody Barnes, but Elk Grove shut the door and notched the victory, their 21st of the season.

The contest was a pitcher’s duel, with Trask breezing through six innings, and junior Ty Madrigal having a strong outing for Elk Grove. The Blue Devils scored once in the bottom of the second when junior Nate Curtis raced home from third base on a delayed steal. Davis scored a run in the third inning when senior John Ariola came home on sophomore Ryan Kreidler’s single to center field.

The way Trask was pitching, a 2-0 lead looked huge. The 6’3” UCLA-bound senior had beaten them earlier in the year, and appeared headed for his second win against the Herd until Madrigal drove home the tying runs in the seventh. Davis head coach Dan Ariola brought in Kreidler to pitch and he shut down the seventh-inning rally.

In the home half of the seventh, with two outs and Drew Gnos on first base, John Ariola doubled in the gap and it looked deep enough to score Gnos. But Elk Grove’s scintillating centerfielder Derek Hill tracked down the ball, threw to Nick Madrigal, who fired a strike in time to nail Gnos at the plate.

Elk Grove took that momentum into their at-bat in the eighth and scored four runs to win the game, and give us another end-of-season classic between Elk Grove and Davis. The two schools, with their fervent, die-hard fans and equally scrappy “never-say-die” teams, represent a modern-day version of “town ball.”

“I’m very proud of the guys, the way they came back,” an exhausted Jeff Carlson said after the game. “We faced a next-level pitcher (Trask) and to be able to come back on him was just outstanding.”

Carlson was spent from contesting numerous calls by the men in blue, particularly a play involving an at-bat in the fourth inning by his son Dylan Carlson, who hit a moonshot off Trask that easily cleared the right field wall. The umpires, however, ruled the ball was foul, and the Elk Grove coach argued vehemently, but to no avail.

After the game, Carlson had cooled enough to say good things about the hero of the day. “Nick Madrigal came up clutch,” he said of his shortstop. “He’d struggled in earlier at bats in the game, got a good pitch to hit, and does what he does. That’s what we expect of him.”

The Herd coach also credited Barnes with another key outing on the mound.

In addition to Madrigal and Moseley, Hill and designated hitter Ryan Robards each had a pair of hits. Senior Brett Bloomfield had three hits for the losing team.

Tomorrow’s game between the two school switches to Elk Grove and will decide the champion of the Delta Valley Conference. It should be another good ‘un. 

EG_Carlson_Blast_cabral
Dylan Carlson blasted this offering from Matt Trask over the right field wall, but it was ruled foul. Trask got Carlson looking on the next pitch.


High School Notes

Division II Playoff Forecast

In the Capital Valley Conference, Christian Brothers (19-6 / 13-1 CVC) snagged the title last week and has a four game lead over Oakmont and Bella Vista which are tied for second place with 9-5 records. Of CB’s six losses, four were to Division I teams.

In the Metro League, with one more win Kennedy (9-2) can claim its first crown in 20 years. McClatchy and Sacramento are close behind at 8-3 and play each other on Wednesday. The winner of that game will be tied for second place with Rosemont, which finished league play at 9-3. If Burbank should beat Kennedy, it’ll be tie-breaker city.

The Solano County Athletic Conference includes Benicia-- last year’s title winner—on top with Vanden and American Canyon chasing the second place spot.

The tournament begins Monday with one play-in game followed by the playoffs at American River College beginning Wednesday May 14.


5/3/14

Boras Baseball Classic Champsionship
Elk Grove 6, Temecula Valley 1
Klein Family Field, University of the Pacific

Herd Claims “Mythical” State Championship Trophy
with 6-1 Win Over Temecula Valley
 

You could understand if the boys from Elk Grove didn’t thunder out of bed this morning, after last night’s 12-inning come-from-behind win at Laguna Creek, their fourth contest of the week. While many of the Herd ballplayers may have preferred to go to the ol’ swimming hole for some well-deserved R&R, instead they piled in their cars, motored down to University of the Pacific for their matchup with Temecula Valley for the Boras Baseball Classic Championship.

The winner would take home the mythical “state championship” trophy.

Elk Grove (20-4) is surely glad they didn’t sleep in this morning, for the Thundering Herd scored six times in the fifth inning and held on for a 6-1 win in the Second Annual Boras Championship game at Klein Family Field on the UOP campus.

With their pitching staff stretched thin, Elk Grove started Chris Martin on the mound, with plans to limit him to three innings. The southpaw did his job, limiting the Golden Bears to one walk and one hit, a double down the left field line by Temecula’s leadoff hitter David Maldonado in the third inning.

Elk Grove had a chance to score in their half of the first inning, when junior Nick Madrigal led off with a single. With one out and Madrigal at third, senior Derek Hill hit a fly down the right field line. Madrigal tagged and sped home when Temecula’s A.J. Sawyer caught the ball, but the throw beat the speedy runner by a step for the inning-ending rally killer.

To start the fourth, Elk Grove head coach Jeff Carlson brought in sophomore Austin Del Chiaro from left field to pitch. The righthander walked the first batter Kyle Plantier, who advanced to second on Sawyer’s single. Del Chiaro then picked off Plantier at second base. The next batter lined out sharply to Madrigal at shortsop, and in his attempt to pick off Sawyer who was retreating back to the bag, the throw sailed over first baseman Dylan Carlson’s head and Sawyer moved to second. Alec Garrett hit a two-out single to drive in Sawyer with the first run of the game.

In the fifth, Del Chiaro allowed a one-out single. But the next batter hit into a 4-6-3 double play to quash the rally. It was Elk Grove’s second double play of the afternoon involving Madrigal and his sidekick second baseman Carlos Moseley, who form one of the finest keystone combinations in Northern California.

 

EG_DC_POat2nd_cabral 

EG_Carlson_2RBI_cabral 

 EG_NMad_Scores_cabral

 EG_DelChiaro_cabral

  Elk Grove pitcher Austin Del Chiaro (upper left) celebrates with a fist pump after picking off Temecula Valley's Kyle Plantier with the help of Nick Madrigal at second base. Upper right Dylan Carlson (No. 6) hits the game winner, scoring Nick Madrigal (lower left) with Elk Grove's third run. Del Chiaro (lower right) allowed four hits and one unearned run in four innings for the Herd.

With out in the fifth inning, and down 1-0, Elk Grove junior Landon Gastellum took first on a hit-by-pitch. Del Chiaro then singled. Nick Madrigal was intentionally walked after working the count to 3-2, loading the bases.

Moseley knocked in the first Herd run with a single to tie the game. Hill, who was leading all hitters (Division I-III) with a .583 average coming into the game, struck out looking. Carlson, the coach’s son, then shot a ringing single to right field, scoring Del Chiaro and Madrigal who scooted home with the Herd’s third run.

Next, Junior Brooks Day doubled down the left field line, driving in Moseley and Carlson, who was running on the pitch. He raced home all the way from first with Elk Grove’s fifth run. Junior Ty Madrigal made it 6-1 when he knocked in Day.

Carlson, Day and Ty Madrigal each collected a pair of hits, with Carlson's second one the decisive blow. Voted Offensive Player of the Boras Classic tournament, Dylan Carlson offered this about the win: “It was huge. We played great all tournament. It was great to capitalize on this long week. Glad to come through for the team right there. It was a big win today.” Teammate Del Chiaro, who now leads the pitching staff with a 6-1 record, was voted Defensive Player of the tournament.

After the game, Coach Carlson echoed his son’s view. “It’s been a long week. It’s been a grind. But I’m really proud of the way the kids came out, played hard with that energy and enthusiasm. Just believing they could win this type of game.”

Asked if the mythical state championship as crowned by the Boras Classic is meaningful, the head coach waxed political. “You can say it’s a state championship, but there are some outstanding teams in Northern California and Southern California. It just means we can compete at a very high level for high school and stay at that level with our guys. It’s something to be proud of.”

Last year, Pleasant Grove trounced Elk Grove 11-1 in the NorCal championship then lost to Mater Dei 8-0 in the 1st Boras Classic at UOP.

Ranked this week by MaxPreps at No. 19 in the nation Carlson put such listings in perspective. “It’s an honor for the program to be recognized nationally. But like I told the (team), ‘Those rankings don’t meaning anything. It’s how you finish the year. We’re not putting up the number one until we win that last game of the season.'”

Elk Grove is the reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion, so they know something about hoisting the trophy.

Carlson was reminded that the last time he brought an Elk Grove team to UOP they lost twice to St. Mary’s of Stockton in the section title matchup, the second game by a score of 20-13. “We scored 20 runs and lost both games,” he said, shaking his head at the memory. “So, it’s good to come back and get a victory on this field. Nice setting. Nice yard.”

He hopes to return in June when the Section Division I tournament culminates with a best two-of-three between Sacramento and San Joaquin section winners.

Meantime, the Thundering Herd are looking to next week when they play two games against Davis High for the Delta Valley Conference title.

No rest for the weary. But they're diggin' it. 

EG_Boras_Champs2_cabral
Elk Grove Celebrating the 2014 Boras Baseball Classic Championship at UOP. 


 





4/29/14

High School Notes

Elk Grove Stomps Franklin 11-3 

Elk Grove southpaw Ty Madrigal took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but the Franklin Wildcats rallied for three runs as the Herd won 11-3.

Madrigal allowed a leadoff single to Jordan Estes in the seventh inning to spoil his no-hitter. Then the junior pitcher walked two more hitters (sandwiched around a fly out) as the Wildcats threatened. An error by the pitcher’s brother Nick Madrigal and a fielder’s choice plated two Franklin runs.

Elk Grove then brought in Skyler Quam to pitch, but he allowed a bases-loaded walk, which added another run. What looked like a potential whitewash resulted in a contested affair by the never-say-die Wildcats, which scored three runs in their final at-bat.

The two teams battled yesterday through nine innings when the Herd pulled out a walk-off 6-5 victory. Today’s win gives Elk Grove the series against its long-time rival. The Herd improve to 17-4 overall and 9-2 in Delta Valley Conference.

Elk Grove put up four runs in the second inning. With two outs Franklin pitcher Isiah Engman loaded the bases on three walks. Junior Carlos Moseley singled to drive in two runs, followed by Derek Hill’s triple that scored two more for the Herd.

Leading 8-0 after six, Elk Grove padded its lead, scoring three more runs in the seventh inning, to go ahead 11-0. The Herd exploded for 14 hits, led by the senior Hill, who had one of his best offensive days this year, going 4-for-4 with the triple and three runs batted in. Moseley and junior Brooks Day each had a pair of hits and two RBI for the Herd.

Elk Grove has two more conference games this week against Laguna Creek before meeting Temecula Valley on Saturday in the Boras Classic state championship.


 4/28/14 

Elk Grove Wins 6-5 in 9 Innings at Home Against Franklin

Derek Hill scored on Ty Madrigal’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning to give host Elk Grove an important 6-5 Delta Valley Conference victory over long-time rival Franklin High.

The two teams were tied at 5-5 after the Herd thundered back from a 5-1 deficit with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

EG_Hill_Doubles_cabral

Derek Hill slides safely into second base after his RBI double scored Nick Madrigal in the third inning. Franklin's Damien Chavez awaits the throw.

Starting pitchers senior Cameron Keup (5-0) for Franklin and junior Chris Martin (2-1) for Elk Grove each went seven innings for their clubs.

Herd sophomore Austin Del Chiaro relieved Martin in the eighth and tossed two hitless shutout innings to earn the win. He is now the Herd’s staff leader with a 4-1 record.

Franklin’s Isiah Engman (2-1), who came in to pitch the ninth, was saddled with the loss.

Franklin opened the scoring in the first inning when Hank LoForte singled, was sacrificed to second, and scored on Engman’s RBI single.

Elk Grove answered in the first when the shortstop LoForte couldn’t get to Nick Madrigal’s infield chopper in time. Madrigal advancd to third on a fielder’s choice and then scored on Hill’s first RBI. 

 

EG_NMad_Chopper_cabral
Nick Madrigal beats out this high chopper in the third inning and eventually scored on Derek Hill's double.

 
The Wildcats erupted for four runs in the third inning. LoForte started things off with a walk, went to third on senior Gabe Abdelia’s double and scored on Keup’s fielder’s choice. A single by Issiah Morales plated one run and a double by Damien Chavez scored two more runs to give Franklin the 5-1 lead.



Elk Grove’s junior shortstop Nick Madrigal went 4-for-5 and scored two runs, both of them courtesy of senior Derek Hill.

LoForte went 2-for-4 and Chavez had the two-RBI double for Franklin.

With the win, Elk Grove improves to 16-4 and 8-2 in conference, while Franklin drops 14-8 and 6-4. Tomorrow the two teams meet for the rubber match at Franklin, which defeated the Herd earlier this year. 

 

Engman_Safe_3b_cabral
Elk Grove third baseman Brooks Day waits for the ball (see yellow circle) as Isiah Engman slides in safe at third base in the first inning of Elk Grove's 6-5 win over Franklin.





High School News

4/17/14

Boras Classic NorCal Championship April 17 2014

In defeating St. Francis 2-1 for the Northern California championship tonight at McAuliffe Field, Elk Grove may have given head coach Jeff Carlson something he’s never seen in his 15 years coaching the Herd. 

Losing 1-0 in the fifth inning, and Lancers pitcher Blake Billinger still firing bullets, Elk Grove’s Max Hull took one for the team and headed to first base. The Herd’s junior Nick Madrigal hit a perfect double play ball to third baseman Tyler Deason, who fired a strike to second base to get Hull. But second baseman Andrew Martinez couldn’t get the ball out in time and Madrigal was safe at first.

Elk Grove’s next batter junior Carlos Moseley hit a double down the left field line and the Herd had runners on third and second with one out. Up stepped sophomore Dylan Carlson, who had earlier smoked a triple. Bellinger flung a curve in the dirt that went to the screen and Madrigal scampered home with the tying run. Carlson then drew a full-count walk. 

St. Francis head coach Mike Oakland brought in relief pitcher Patrick McMullen to quell the damage. Billinger, in his first outing in 2014, looked like an ace on the hill until he tired in the fifth.

But the reliever McMullen gave up a pair of walks to juniors Brooks Day and Ty Madrigal, which forced home Moseley with the eventual winning run in one of the wackiest ways an Elk Grove team has ever won such an important game, according to Carlson. 

The Herd head coach was especially pleased with the effort of his pitchers: Starter Dustin Jack, a junior in his first varsity start, went four innings, allowed one run on six hits. “He came out against a nationally-ranked opponent and did what he had to do.” Senior Cody Barnes relieved in the fifth inning and threw three hitless innings for the win.  

With two outs in the fifth inning, Barnes took a smash off the shin, hobbled to the ball and threw out the runner at first for the third out.

“Cody took one off the leg, showed some toughness, sealed the deal, and was awesome,” Carlson said in praising his winning pitcher. 

Elk Grove won this game on pitching and defense, as the offense banged out only four hits. Rare for the Thundering Herd. 

The turning point came in the sixth inning when St. Francis’ leadoff hitter Deason reached on a walk. Junior Conor Thane was ordered to bunt, but the Elk Grove corners came crashing hard. Herd first baseman Carlson fielded the bunt on a bounce and fired a strike to second base to nip the lead runner. It was a close play, and had the ball been a fraction later, the Lancers would have had runners at second and first with none out.  

Instead Barnes induced two lazy fly outs and the Herd silenced the comeback rally.

Earlier in the season, St. Francis beat Elk Grove 2-1 in Mountain View, so tonight's win was sweet revenge for the Elk Grove Herd. "It feels good to beat a quality opponent, they're a nationally ranked club,, they're outstanding," Carlson said. "For our guys to be able to compete at that level in this atmosphere, I'm just real proud of of them."

Entering the tournament, St. Francis was ranked 15th in the MaxPreps Top 25 national poll. To get to the NorCal championship game, the Lancers (16-3) defeated Yuba City 2-0, Pleasant Grove 3-2 and Clovis West 3-0 last night on a two-hit shutout, 14-strikeout game by lefthander John Gavin.

By contrast, Elk Grove (12-4) was lucky to make it through the first round, as Rio Americano pasted seven runs early, but the Herd finally won 8-7. Later that day, Elk Grove topped Granite Bay 9-4. Last night, behind the sterling pitching of southpaw Chris Martin, they beat Buchanan of Clovis— MaxPreps’ number-sixth ranked team in the nation—by 3-1.

Martin was selected Player of the Tournament.

Elk Grove will meet the Southern California bracket winner Temecula Valley at noon May 3 at Klein Family Field on the University of the Pacific campus for the state championship of the Second Annual Boras Classic.

Last year, Elk Grove reached the inaugural NorCal championship game but was pounded 11-1 by Pleasant Grove, which went on to lose the championship game to Mater Dei 8-0 at UOP.

Other Boras Classic games:

Pleasant Grove defeated Buchanan 10-2 to earn third place in the NorCal Bracket, while Oak Ridge beat Clovis West 7-5 for fifth place.



 

4/16/14

Boras Classic Semi-Finals

Elk Grove 3, Buchanan 1

The Elk Grove Thundering Herd advanced to the Northern California championship bracket with a 3-1 win over Buchanan of Clovis tonight in the Boras Classic at McAuliffe Field. 

Buchanan, national prep champions from 2011, came into tonight’s game Number Six in the nation in the MaxPreps Top 25 High School Rankings. Elk Grove is not ranked nationally. 

Once again, Elk Grove’s leadoff hitter junior Nick Madrigal started things off with a hot smash off the glove of Buchanan’s third baseman for a base hit. One out later, Elk Grove’s super sophomore Dylan Carlson smoked a ball to first base, which was misplayed, allowing Madrigal to come around third and score the Herd’s first run.  

With two outs and Carlson on first, junior Ty Madrigal’s grounder was fielded by the Buchanan short stop, who threw wildly past first base, and Carlson scored Elk Grove’s second run of the inning. 

Ryan Robards then doubled to deep centerfield, scoring Madrigal for the Herd’s third run. 

Buchanan made its fourth error on junior Carlos Moseley’s third inning grounder. But on the next play they pulled off a pro-style web gem when senior first baseman Aaron Aruda cleanly fielded another hot smash off the bat of Carlson, threw a strike to shortstop Korby Batesole, who stepped on second base and returned the throw in time to nip the runner for a 1-6-1 double play. 

Elk Grove pitcher Chris Martin hurled a gem tonight. The junior southpaw stifled Buchanan for most of the night, allowing just four hits and one unearned run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly. 

The Bears, however, made things interesting in the last of the seventh inning. Martin quickly got two groundouts and was ready to close the game when Buchanan loaded the bases. The Elk Grove defense took charge to end the game and advance to the NorCal championship game.

Missing from the Elk Grove lineup tonight was star center fielder senior Derek Hill, who is out with a hamstring injury. Junior James Day filled in nicely, making several tough catches out in centerfield under the lights at McAuliffe Field. 

Elk Grove (11-4) plays tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against St. Francis in the Northern California championship. St. Francis is ranked 15th in the MaxPreps Top 25 national poll. 

The winner of that game will play the Southern California champion Temecula Valley for the state championship at University of the Pacific on May 3 in a televised game. 

-- 

St. Francis 3, Clovis West 0 

In the other semi-final matchup, St. Francis pitcher John Gavin spun a two-hit shutout and struck out 14 batters as the Lancers silenced the Golden Eagles on Diamond Two at McAuliffe Field. Gavin is a left-handed senior. 

Seniors Blake Billinger and Daniel Yu each had run producing doubles to lead the St. Francis offense.  




 

Day Two at the Boras Classic

Davis 5, Stockdale 4

Senior Matt Trask and sophomore Ryan Kreidler each went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in to lead Davis to a 5-4 win over the Stockdale Mustangs in the early contest today.

Davis advanced to the winner’s bracket to face Clovis West.


Davis Loses to Clovis West 5-3

Davis Blue Devils could not hold a 3-2 lead as Clovis West of Fresno scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning to win 5-3.

Ryan Kreidler came on in relief of Pierre Tujo in the climactic sixth inning. With the score knotted at 3 runs, a Davis infield error allowed the Golden Eagles to score twice and ice the game.

Matt Trask knocked in three Davis runs with a double and a single to lead the Blue Devils offense.

 

 

Davis_Trask 

Matt Trask doubled on this pitch, driving in two runs
in the 5-3 loss to Clovis West.





Clovis West advances to the quarter final game against St. Francis of Mountain View. Davis now moves to loser’s bracket.


4/14/14

Second Annual Boras Classic

Sixteen teams from Northern California are featured in the Second Annual Boras Baseball Classic at McAuliffe Field. The Boras Classic is the brainchild of power agent Scott Boras of Elk Grove, who has represented some of the elite stars in Major League Baseball. Elk Grove High, Boras' alma mater, is the host school for the Northern California tournament.

JSerra Catholic is the host for the Southern California tournament which was held two weeks ago and won by Temecula Valley. They will face the Northern California winner on May 3 at noon at Klein Family Field on the campus of the University of the Pacific.



 


Game 1: Elk Grove 8, Rio Americano 7

In Game 1, host Elk Grove (9-4) charged back from a 7-0 deficit to tie the game with seven runs in the fifth inning, then plated the winning run in the sixth to defeat Rio Americano 8-7.

The Herd’s leading hitter Derek Hill smashed a three-run triple (his third of the season) to ignite the seven-run frenzy. Hill, a senior and one of the area’s stars in 2014, admitted “it felt great to contribute to the team,” after earlier at bats where he was “kind of worrying about myself, instead of doing it for the team.”

In the sixth inning, junior Nick Madrigal started the rally with a walk, followed by infield singles by junior Carlos Mosely and Hill. Sophomore cleanup hitter Dylan Carlson’s sacrifice fly scored Madrigal with the eventual winning run.

The Raiders had a chance to tie in the sixth when Elk Grove reliever Austin Del Chiaro hit two batters, but didn’t allow a runner past second base. He retired the side in the seventh for the win.

Asked if his triple was among his high school career highlights Hill, who has verballed to Oregon, said “It’s up there. Obviously, we needed to battle back.”

Josh Savea’s two-run double was the Raiders key hit in their seven-run rally.

Elk Grove head coach Jeff Carlson admitted “We didn’t do a very good job coming out raising our game; that’s my fault. We weren’t prepared enough and it showed early. But I was proud of how they responded with the seven (runs in the fifth inning). We could have folded up ship and been in the loser’s bracket. We got some key hits, rallied, and came back. And that’s a sign of an outstanding team when you’re able to do that.”


Game 2: Granite Bay 7, Christian Brothers 0

Granite Bay pitcher Matt Steindorf threw a one hitter as his team defeated Christian Brothers 5-0 in Game Two of the Boras Classic.

Grant Powers and Zach Hall each went 2-for-3 and Michael Birch had a tw0-run single for the Grizzlies offense.

Granite Bay improved to 8-6.


Game 13 – Winner’s Bracket Elk Grove 9, Granite Bay 4

In the first winner’s bracket game of the tournament, host Elk Grove worked Granite Bay’s star pitcher Mitch Hart for five runs in the third inning and held on for a 9-4 victory to advance in the winner’s bracket.

The Grizzlies took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off starting pitcher Ty Madrigal when Hart lined a two-run single to center field, scoring leadoff hitter Devin Lehman (walk) and Zach Hall (outfield error).

In the third inning, with Hart topping out with a 92-miles-per-hour fastball, the Herd patiently attacked the star pitcher who is committed to USC. With one on and one out, Herd leadoff hitter Nick Madrigal singled to left field (he doubled off Hart in the first inning). Junior Carlos Mosely singled to load the bases. Up came Derek Hill, who had fanned in the first inning. Hart uncorked a wild pitch, but Grizzlies' catcher Nick Stoneman threw out Austin Del Chiaro (below) trying to score with the pitcher covering. 

 

 Hart_Tags_Runner

Hart then walked Hill on a full count to load the bases again.

Elk Grove’s sophomore first baseman Dylan Carlson smoked a single to right field scoring two runs to tie the game. Junior Brooks Day put the Herd in front with a single.

By this point, Hart was tiring and his control erratic. Sophomore Ryan Robards (who went 3-for-4) drove in two more runs with a single and Elk Grove stormed in front 5-2.

 

EG_Carlson_2RBI 

Elk Grove's Dylan Carlson singles in two runs to tie the game 2-2. The Herd managed six earned runs off Grizzlies' pitcher Mitch Hart.




The top of the Herd lineup all had multiple hits, starting with Nick Madrigal, who went 3-for-4. Twin brother Ty, after struggling in the first inning, went 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned), four hits, three walks, while striking out four batters for the win.

Elk Grove (10-4) advances to the winner’s bracket quarter final on Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

 

Hall_Safe_Home 

Granite Bay runner Zach Hall slides safe at home under the tag of catcher Erek Bolton to give the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Elk Grove went on to win the game 9-4.






Game 9: Rio Americano 5, CBS 4

In the first loser’s bracket game, Rio Americano outlasted Christian Brothers 5-4. Brothers is the first team eliminated from the tournament. 


Game 7:  Pleasant Grove 1-0 Over De La Salle

Senior Brett Elgin spun a two-hit shutout over Bay Area power De LaSalle High today in Game Seven at the Boras Classic North.

Eagles’ senior Kyle Freitas drove in the game’s only run with a single in the fourth inning.


Game 2: St. Francis 3, Pleasant Grove 2

St. Francis of Mountain View pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh and held on for a 3-2 win over Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove.

The Eagles' Dalton Gomez threw five shutout innings, but the Lancers scored three times in the seventh and held on as Pleasant Grove rallied but came up one run short this evening at McAuliffe Field.

St. Francis, which beat Yuba City in an afternoon contest, advances to the winner's bracket.

The Eagles are now 9-4 and move to the loser's bracket

(courtesy of GameChanger stats)


In other tournament news...
Franklin Wins Pair in Fresno

Franklin High won two games in the Fresno Easter Classic in Fresno.

In the afternoon contest, they whomped Madera High 10-0 in five innings Mercy Ruling.

Isaiah Engman limited Madera to three hits, while the Franklin offense, led by Damian Chavez (3-for-3, triple and 5 RBI) scored 10 runs on eight hits. Engman also rapped a pair of hits for the winners.

In the evening game, the Wildcats defeated San Joaquin Memorial 4-1. Franklin pitcher Cameron Keup limited San Joaquin to one unearned run on eight hits.

Wildcats' junior shortstop Hank LoForte went 2-for-3 with a double and one of the team's two RBI.

 

4/10/14

Elk Grove Pastes Grant 10-0 in 5-inning Mercy Ruling Game

Grant head coach Danny Chavez awoke to a wonderfully positive Sacramento Bee feature on the progress the Pacers alum has made with the North Sacramento baseball program.

Then Chavez brought his troops down to Elk Grove for a Delta Valley Conference Division I grudge rematch, after losing to the Herd Tuesday 7-4.

Before a home crowd, Elk Grove thundered to a 6-0 first inning lead and posted four more runs in the fourth inning to defeat Grant with a 10-run Mercy Rule today.

Senior Derek Hill went 2-for-3 with a double and three runs batted in, while sophomore cleanup hitter Dylan Carlson had two hits, a double and two RBI to lead the Herd offense. Junior Nick Madrigal enjoyed a perfect 3-for-3 with one RBI.

Chavez' Pacers made six errors in the game.

Elk Grove pitcher Chris Martin allowed only two hits during his five-inning stint on the hill.

The Herd are now 8-4 with a 5-2 Delta Valley Conference record. Grant drops to 9-4 and 4-3 in league.

The two teams are off until next week's Boras Classic at McAuliffe Field.


CB Downs Oakmont 6-1

Christian Brothers plated five runs in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and overtook Oakmont 6-1 in Capital Valley Conference Division II action.

Southpaw pitcher Steve Talbert gave CBS another quality start. He allowed four hits and one unearned run while walking three and fanning six today on Oakmont's home field.< /span>/p>

Christian Brothers improves to 11-2 overall and 6-1 in conference to retain first place in the CVC. CBS senior Brendon Gormley went 2-for-3 and scored twice to lead the Falcons. Senior Jordan Nabb went 2-for-3 for the Vikings.

Christian Brothers improves to 11-2 overall and 6-1 in conference to retain first place in the CVC. Oakmont drops to 9-3-1 and 4-3 in conference.

(Game stats courtesy of GameChanger)


4/8/14

High School News 

Trailing Grant 3-2, visiting Elk Grove scored three times in the fifth and twice more in the seventh inning to win the Delta Valley Conference contest 7-4. 

Dylan Carlson went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and Carlos Mosley chipped in a pair of hits and one RBI to lead the Thundering Herd offensive attack. Grant starter Cameron Avila-Looper went five innings, allowing six hits and five runs (only one earned). He walked three and struck out six. 

Herd starter Ty Madrigal allowed three runs to Grant in the first inning, and head coach Jeff Carlson relieved with Cody Barnes, who threw six strong innings and was the winner in today's contest.  

With the win, Elk Grove improves to 7-4 and 4-2 in the DVC, creating a four-way tie for first place with Grant, Davis and Franklin. 


If you missed it, Joe Davidson wrote a great profile on Guy Anderson, Cordova's long-time coach. 

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/07/6304181/hometown-report-cordovas-anderson.html 


4/7/14 

High School News 

Granite Bay Grizzlies topped Nevada Union 21-17 in a Sierra Foothill League matchup against two long-time football rivals. 

But this one was played on the diamond. 

Mitch Hart, normally a dominating force on the mound, today went 5-for-6 with a double and five runs batted in. Teammate Zach Hall made his two doubles count, driving in four runs. 

Junior Brock Grininger went 3-for-4 with four RBI for Nevada Union. 

Losing 4-2, Granite Bay exploded in the top of the second inning to plate 11 runners. But the Miners charged back in their half of the inning, scoring nine times to tie the score at 13. Granite Bay made six errors in the contest, while the Miners made three. 

With the victory, the Grizzlies even their league mark at 2-2, while the Minters remain winless at 0-4. 

(News courtesy of GameChanger) 


4/4/14

High School News

CB Hangs On for 8-5 Win Over Bella Vista

Steven Talbert kept Bella Vista offstride for six strong innings and Christian Brothers posted eight runs in the first three innings, then held off Bella Vista for a 8-5 win in Capital Valley Conference play. 

 CB_Hallman_Hits

J. Ditto Hallman laces a 2-run single in the first inning to give Christian Brothers an early lead in their 8-5 win over Bella Vista today at Joe Marty Field.



CB loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs, when cleanup hitter J. Ditto Hallman drove a single into right field scoring two runs (he went 2-for-four with three runs batted in). Brothers added another run later in the inning and scored two more in the second.


BV_Lopez_Tags_ZW 

Bella Vista third baseman Nikolas Lopez applies the tag on Brothers runner Zach Ewertsen for the first out in the first inning. The Falcons scored twice on the play, and may have gotten more than three runs in the inning if Lopez doesn't make the tag. Christian Brothers won 8-5 over Bella Vista.


In the third inning, senior Brendon Gormley (3-for-4) knocked in one of the three runs scored with a double, as the Falcons rushed out to an 8-1 lead.

After four innings, Talbert was cruising, allowing just one hit and one run. But the Broncos battled back to post three runs in the fifth inning.

In the 7th inning, Brothers’ coach Rich Henning brought Hallman in relief (Talbert allowed four runs, six hits and two walks and eight strike outs).

Hallman got in immediate trouble when he allowed a leadoff double to senior Nikolas Lopez (3-for-3, 2 doubles), who then advanced to third on an infield error. Senior Brayden Gomez (3-for-4, 2 RBI) knocked in Lopez to make it 8-5. But Hallman got the next batter, and then induced a double play grounderto end the game.

With the victory Christian Brothers improves to 8-1 (3-0 CVC), while Bella Vista drops to 9-2 (2-2 CVC).

CB_Talbert 

Brothers pitcher Steven Talbert
earned his first win against league rival Bella Vista Broncos




 

3/6/14

Mitch Hart Hurls 3-Hit Shutout Over Clovis West 3-0 Granite Bay Victory

The Granite Bay Grizzlies beat Clovis West of Fresno 2-0 today behind Mitch Hart's three-hit shutout.

The Grizzlies' Devin Lehman and Zach Hall both went two-for-four. Hall's first inning single drove in the team's first run.

Hart threw 15 first-pitch-strikes while fanning three and walking only one batter.


In other High School news, Elk Grove won its first game of the year defeating St. Mary's of Stockton 7-3.

The Herd last year triumphed in winning the Division I Section title over the Rams. With the loss of its two main stars Dom Nunez and Rowdy Tellez, the Herd this year are led by senior Derek Hill, who was selected #26 on the MaxPreps 2014 Top 100 Preseason National Baseball Rankings.

In the game against the Rams, Hill went two-for-four with a double and triple. The Madrigal brothers--Ty and Nick--each had a pair of hits for Elk Grove.


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 High School Stat Leaders--FINAL Regular Season 5/20/13

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