Jesse Scholtens craves the mound and the big stage.
He's thrown five no-hitters in his life, and though he didn't approach another no-no on Monday, the Rodriguez High School senior ace was too much for El Camino.
Striking out 11 and allowing very little otherwise, Scholtens powered the Mustangs of Fairfield past the Eagles 3-0 at Sacramento City College to capture the program's first Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship.
Rodriguez snapped the Eagles' 10-game winning streak. El Camino, winners of 15 of 16 coming in under first-year coach David Brown, beat four-time D-III champion Yuba City in two games to reach this stage.
In Scholtens, the Eagles faced one of the top pitchers on the West Coast. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Scholtens threw fastballs and sliders in yielding three hits to finish 7-1. He set the Mustangs school record with 116 strikeouts last season and fanned 122 this season. He is headed to Arizona on scholarship.
Scholtens' only loss was to a pitcher he may encounter again. Placer and Cal-bound ace Ryan Mason beat Rodriguez 2-1 in a playoff game last week.
"He definitely did a good job," Scholtens said. "We said to each other in the hand-shaking line, 'see you in college.' I'm looking forward to it."
El Camino had one of its best seasons in years, thanks to senior leaders in Mike Frantz, who pitched admirably in Monday's loss. Other key seniors include Darryl Ball, Colton Freeman, Dustyn Macaluso, Dee Kuwabara, Joey Thompson, Eric Bates and Gabe Quinterros. All started Monday for the Capital Athletic League champions.
- By Joe Davidson
On Twitter: @sb_joedavidson