October 11, 2013
McClatchy to induct new hall of fame members tonight

Some 40 athletes and coaches plus five exceptional teams will be inducted at tonight's McClatchy High School Hall of Fame dinner at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation Hall.

The 2013 class includes many outstanding athletes and coaches primarily from 1963 to 1979, six athletes from 1944-59, and women athletes who were sports pioneers at McClatchy in the 1970s.

The class also includes three of McClatchy's greatest coaches in the 1960s and 1970s: Stan Dison (basketball, soccer), Scotty Bingham (track, cross country) and Jan Olmsted, who was instrumental in starting the women's sports program at the school.

Outstanding teams chosen for induction this year include the 1954 boys basketball team that went 19-2; the 1970-71 championship baseball teams; the 1970 Girls Sports Club that established girls sports at the school; and the undefeated 1975 boys soccer Metro League title team.

For the complete list of inductees, go to www.restoretheroar.org

June 18, 2013
Elk Grove's Carlson is Cal-Hi State Baseball Coach of the Year

Elk Grove's Jeff Carlson, who led the Thundering Herd to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship this season, was today named Cal-Hi Sports' State Baseball Coach of the Year.

He becomes just the fifth area baseball coach and the first since Cordova's Guy Anderson in 1981 to receive the honor in the award's 80 years.

"Wow, you've caught me completely off-guard," Carlson said when told of the news. "That's a pretty cool honor and certainly has to be shared with my assistants, my players and my wife - she's a big part of this award."

June 14, 2013
Elk Grove is No. 3 in Cal-Hi's final state baseball rankings

Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion Elk Grove (29-7) finished No. 3 in Cal-Hi Sports' final state baseball top 40.

Southern Section D-I champion Harvard-Westlake (26-4) of North Hollywood finished No. 1 and Central Coast Section champion St. Francis (29-4) of Mountain View was No. 2.

Pleasant Grove (24-9) finished No. 23 and Davis (22-8) was No. 28. Del Campo (25-7), Franklin (18-15) and Woodcreek (20-7) were honorable mention.

Elk Grove also finished No. 3 in the D-I state rankings. Del Campo was No. 8 in D-II. Yuba City (21-11) was No. 8 and Whitney (28-3) was No. 9 in the final D-III rankings.

Capital Christian (25-5-1) finished No. 2 to 31-0 Pacific Grove in D-IV. Bradshaw Christian (24-6) finished No. 2 to Desert Christian Academy (29-2) of Bermuda Dunes in D-V.

June 11, 2013
Tellez among seven Cal-Hi state Mr. Baseball nominees

Elk Grove's Rowdy Tellez is one of seven Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year finalists.

Tellez, a first baseman, helped the Thundering Herd win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title this season. He hit .500 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs.

His 176 career RBIs is a Sac-Joaquin Section best and second all-time in Northern California to Lowell of San Francisco's Charlie Cutler. He had 203.

June 10, 2013
Meza's hit delivers North Optimist 10-9 win over South

MVP Gabe Meza of Granite Bay's walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth gave the North a 10-9 win over the South in the large school Optimist All-Star baseball game Saturday night at McAuliffe Field near Sacramento State.

Del Campo's Derek Rodigo also homered for the North.

Franklin's Tyler Blake, who had a double, was selected the South MVP in the 42nd annual game featuring some of the area's top graduated seniors.

Behind MVP Ethan Liddle of Lincoln's triple, double, single and five RBIs, the North defeated the South 11-7 in the small school game.

River City's Byron Farrell, with a double and two singles, was selected the South MVP. Vista del Lago's Nick Rametta also had a double and two RBIs for the South.

The games were dedicated to U.S. Army Specialist Ray Ramirez, who was killed in Afghanistan June 1. Ramirez played in the 2010 Optimist Game for Florin.

June 8, 2013
MLB draft: Blue Jays take Tellez; 4 former Jesuit stars tabbed

Thirteen area players, including Elk Grove standout Rowdy Tellez, were selected on the third and final day of the Major League Baseball player draft.

Players were selected in Rounds 11 through 40.

Tellez, The Bee Player of the Years and considered the third best first baseman by Baseball America entering the draft, was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 30th round, the 895th pick overall.

June 7, 2013
Former Sheldon pitcher selected by Brewers in ninth round

Former Sheldon pitcher Tyler Linehan, now at Fresno State, was taken in the ninth round of today's Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.

A 6-foot, 240-pound junior left-hander, Linehan was the No. 272 player selected in the second day of the three-day draft.

Blessed with a fastball in the low 90s with good cutting action, Linehan compiled a 17-16 record and struck out 171 in 179 2/3 innings during his career at Fresno State.

Linehan's best season was as a sophomore. He went 9-7 with a 3.83 ERA. He struck out 82 in 83 innings.

Linehan struggled with consistency this season moving between the rotation and the bullpen. He finished 3-7 with a 5.90 ERA.

Linehan wasn't the only imposing Fresno State player to be drafted.

Junior Aaron Judge, a 6-7, 255-pound outfielder who was born in Sacramento and graduated from Linden High near Stockton, was taken in the first round Thursday by the New York Yankees.

June 7, 2013
Rockies take Elk Grove's Dom Nunez in the sixth round

The Colorado Rockies have selected Elk Grove High's Dom Nunez in the sixth round of today's Major League Baseball draft.

Nunez is the first area high school player and second overall to be selected.

Former Granite Bay catcher Andrew Knapp, now at Cal, was taken in the second round (53rd overall) by the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

The Rockies selected the multi-talented Nunez, the 169th pick in the draft, as a third baseman. The position is slotted for a signing bonus of $265,000.

He was the seventh player selected by Colorado and the second third baseman chosen. The Rockies took Mater Dei of Santa Ana's Ryan McMahon with the 42nd pick.

Nunez, who played shortstop for the USA junior national team in 2011 and 2012, was a catcher for Elk Grove this season, making him one one of the draft's most intriguing prospects.

The 6-foot Nunez, who has signed a letter of intent with UCLA, was projected as the No. 89 pick and a catcher in MLB.com's pre-draft top 100.

The Bee All-Metro first team catcher this season batted .390 and drove in 37 runs for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champions.

June 6, 2013
Phillies select former Granite Bay standout in second round

Andrew Knapp credits his father for helping him find the way in baseball.

Mike Knapp was a pretty good catcher in his day.

He played at Mira Loma, Sacramento City College and Cal before becoming a 15th round draft pick of the California Angels. He played 11 seasons in the minor leagues, seven at the AAA level, but never made it to the Major Leagues.

But now his son may have the chance - and at the same position as Dad.

The former Granite Bay star, a junior at Cal, was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 53rd pick in the second round of Thursday's Major League Baseball amateur draft.

The 21-year-old Knapp was the only area player selected in the first two rounds, 73 selections in all, on the first day. The draft continues today with rounds three through 10.

The 6-foot-1, 192-pound Knapp is a switch hitter who batted .350, third in the Pac-12, with a team-high 16 doubles, eight home runs and 41 RBIs this season. He was selected a first-team Preseason All-American by Baseball America and was named All-Pacific-12.

Upon graduation from Granite Bay High School, Knapp was selected in the 42nd round by the Oakland A's but chose to attend Cal instead.

As a junior at Granite Bay, Knapp batted .500 with six home runs and 37 RBIs and was named Maxpreps.com's 2009 Junior Player of the Year. He hit .315 as a senior in helping the Grizzlies win the Sierra Foothill League championship.

Knapp also was a standout defensive back for the Granite Bay football team and had five interceptions his senior year.

His younger brother, Aaron, also a football-baseball standout at Granite Bay, will play baseball at Cal, too.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Tri County Conference teams

Here are the spring All-Tri County Conference teams that were submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

Defensive MVP: Angelica Dark, Pioneer.
Offensive MVP: Kelsey Goodner, Woodland.
All-League: Cailin Garmon, Inderkum; Tori Bellin, Rylie Carlier, Gabriela Davis, Angelica Navarro, Pioneer; Mikayla Brown, Kaitlyn Combo, Ahlee Paterno, River Valley; Kiley Bair, Kaylee Davis, Bailey Lerch, Rachel Tadlock, Woodland; Chelsea Braun, Anjelica Cisneros, Yuba City.

Offensive MVP: Hailey Maxwell, Inderkum.
Defensive MVP: Stacy Larson, Natomas.
All-League: Ivarie Bourrage, Danielle McCarthy, Cierra Quintana, Makayla Ruvalcaba, Maia Torres, Inderkum; Evelyn Cordero, Victoria Gutierrez, Natomas; Ally Martin, Tanya Rodriguez, Pioneer; Princessa Ceja, Jazzmyne Garcia, Jackie Koch, Lizzie Milner, Karinna Recendez, River Valley; Stephanie Doss, Brianna Hernandez, Cheyenne Romero, Alli Ward, Woodland; Cassidy Fix, Yuba City.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Sierra Valley Conference teams

Here are the spring All-Sierra Valley Conference teams that were submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Sarah Phillis, Union Mine.
Coach of the Year: Javier Martinez, River City.
All-League: Jessica Dager, Laura Dager, Madi Heape, Calista Almer, Shyanne Winjie, Union Mine; Sabryna Scott, Julia Morales, Jennifer Palmeras, Samantha Kile, Melia Roberts, Cosumnes Oaks; Catelyn Parker, Alejandra Medina, Makayla Bryant, Liberty Ranch; Karina Callazo, Ashlend Rodriguez, Jordin Sanchez, River City; Ashley Muzzi, Cherise Silvan, Vista del Lago; Kailey Olcott, Trinity Jackson, El Dorado; Baylee Hirtel, Galt.

MVP: Galvin Griffin, Vista del Lago.
Coach of the Year: Glenn Linka, Golden Sierra.
All-League: Daniel Deloney, Connor Tevenan, Hunter Ales, Patrick Reinking, Vista del Lago; Matt Smith, Rocky Sacks, Gracen Christensen, Brian Cann, Golden Sierra; Brandon Koons, Zach Melgoza, Capital Christian; Elijah Magat, Tait Miller, El Dorado; Newton Vong, West Campus.

MVP: Michael Majewski, Vista del Lago.
Coach of the Year: Rusty McDonald, El Dorado.
All-League: Nick Schumacher, Josh Pfeffer, Nick Rametta, Zach Stolarow, Tyler Kaim, Vista del Lago; Chris Swineford, Zach Culp, Matt Smith, Nick Bonniksen, Tim Hinrichs, El Dorado; Donovan Palma, Alex Smith, Spencer Ubois, Cosumnes Oaks; James Reilly, Jake Oliver, Zach Bartelme, Liberty Ranch; Joseph Oliveria, Jarrod Person, Jared Brunet, Galt; Byron Farrell, River City; Sean Tow, Union Mine.

June 6, 2013
Here are spring All-Sacramento Metro Athletic League teams

Here are the spring All-Sacramento Metro Athletic League teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Jimmy Shaw, Valley Christian.
Coach of the Year: Bob Greene, Trinity Prep.
All-League: Jeremiah Moore, Caleb Van Patten, Will Hammond, Zach Sween, Valley Christian; Tony Scaicca, Machael Rowles, Trinity Prep; Sam Ithurburn, Evan Treanor, Faith Christian; Morgan Bennett-Smith, Sacramento Country Day; Anthony Alameda, Buckingham Charter.

MVP: Francis Arend, Trinity Prep.r
Coaches of the Year: Michael Rossi, Trinity Prep; Tong Ly, Buckingham; George Champayne, Sacramento Country Day.
All-League: Bitty Bach, Patricia Williams, Ahley Huss, Trinity Prep; Marissa Kindsvater, Kelsi Thomas, Madeline Wright, Sacramento Country Day; Symone Salmon, Sheena Weller, Shelby Liddicoet, Alyssa Davis, Buchingham.

Co-MVP: Amanda Diego Buckin, Buckingham Charter; Katie Urban, Valley Christian.
Sabrina Joseph, Juliana Page, Alexis Galvan, Natalie Gomez, Buckingham Charter; Cassidy Bowen, Erin Patterson, Grace Magni, Valley Christian; Sarah Lego, Allie Rollins, Megan Evans, Faith Christian.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Sierra Delta League teams

Here are the spring All-Sierra Delta League teams submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

Co-MVP: Hollie Johnson, Golden Sierra; Lindsey Rose, Rio Vista.
Co-Coaches of the Year: Aly Stiles, Rio Vista; Becky Pratte, Golden Sierra.
All-League: Savannah Stephens, Kenna Barth, Samantha Bastein, Alexis Hall, Haley Laird, Carly Kauffman, Golden Sierra; Kylee Hagan, Holly Chandler Carli Schulz, Mariah Hernandez, Rio Vista; Sara Moffet, Cassandra Powell, Hannah Thompson, Vacaville Christian; Brooke-Ashley Castillo, Cindy Van Bogart, San Juan; Nicole Filbert, Highlands.

Offensive Player of the Year: Jessica Syracuse, Bradshaw Christian.
Defensive Player of the Year: Natalie Parks, Bradshaw Christian.
Coach of the Year: Dan Sisneros, Highlands.
All-League: Micheala Thorn, Lauren DeCarlo, TaylorShubert, Madison Kelly, Vacaville Christian; Rebecca Hegge, Amanda Dukes, Alix Nordby, Taylor Gleason, Kayleigh Brothers, Golden Sierra; Jennifer Lawson, Savannah Grant, Kennedi Barkley, Olivia Gula, Bradshaw Christian; Karla Cruz, Miriam Brajas, Highlands; Hannah Dumas, Lindsey Hawkins, Gabby Ortega, Rio Vista; Hannah Till, Cassidy Carrera, San Juan; Natalie Ebler, Encina.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Metro Conference teams

Here are the spring All-Metro Conference teams that were submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

All-League: Allie Stewart, Jane Ferguson, Sydney Kushida, Emily Griensebeck, Elena Redman, Eleanor Hunts, Kayla Arakaki, Hannah Ross, Sophie Porter, McClatchy; Valerie Vessels, Valley; Christina Trimingham, Sofia Amezcua, Julia Ng, Hayleigh Lynch, Kennedy.

All-League: Jesse Walker, Andrew Paiva, Owen Martin, Jesse Glick, Matt Gevercer, Nevada Schultz, McClatchy; Brandon Bulfer, Jonathon Hutton, Brendon Collins, Andrew Johnson, Bradley Collins, Kennedy.

MVP: Jalen Brown, Rosemont.
All-League: Adam Takeuchi, Alex Okamoto, T.J. Hicks, Kennedy; Michael Valli, Eddie Sievers, Jorge Perez, Raul Ortiz, McClatchy; Kevin Beatty, Greg Hartley, Rosemont; Kirk Crump, Caden Voges, Sacramento; Andre Ruiz, Jake Hanson, Florin; Dwight Alston, Valley; Shawn Franklin, Burbank.

MVP: Peter Vang, Valley.
All-League: Joe Healow, Kennedy; Eric Tau, Florin; Grant Fong, Justin Hu, Kramer Wong, McClatchy; Van Yang, Johnson; Alan Yang, Chia Vang, Valley; Warren Davis, Nate Hernandez, Sacramento; Wan Lee, AJ Isaako, Burbank.

All-League: Jayda Jordan, Janiece Jackson, Sacramento; Leia Gaspar, Leslie Pilgrim, Cynthia Garcia, Josie Fong, McClatchy; Aaliyah Oliver, Alexandra Pudlo, Hannah Trabucco, Janessa Rocha, Rosemont; Cheyenne Crump, Hortencia Lugo, Kiana Bailey, Burbank; Breon Hall, Keari Hutt, Kennedy; Gail Oliver, Florin.

Additional lists:

Spring All-Tri County Conference teams

Spring All-Sierra Valley Conference teams

Spring All-Sacramento Metro Athletic League teams

Spring All-Sierra Foothill League teams

Spring All-Sierra Delta League teams

Spring All-Pioneer Valley League teams

Spring All-Golden Empire League teams

Spring All-Delta Valley Conference teams

Spring All-Delta River League teams

Spring All-Capital Valley Conference teams

Spring All-Capital Athletic League teams

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Golden Empire League teams

Here are the spring All-Golden Empire League teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

Co-MVP's: Jenna Bassler, Kristina Brown, Dixon.
Coach of the Year: Maurice Clavelle, Marysville.
All-League: Tressa Arostegui, Morgan Welch, Brina Buttacavoli, Ajza Matta, Mikayla Anderson, Cassidy Clavelle, Marysville; Shawna Hulsey, Kaylie Wofford, Asailah Brown, Hailee Gilbert, Lindhurst; Naomi Kubo, West Campus; Megan Karber, Kaeli Tully, Dixon; Hannah Lipka, Capital Christian; Kelsey Stigal, Samantha Marmolejos, Mesa Verde.

MVP: Chad Perry, Marysville.
Coach of the Year: Scott Winslow.
All-League: Terrance Bremby, Mauricio Dubon, Ben Ritchey, Tyler Schimpf, Capital Christian; Aric Cortes, Keanu Cortes, Chris Sisco, Andrew Sutton, Lindhurst; Korey Hall, Jo Jo Quintanilla, Sam Stiltner, Dixon; Alex Johnson, Ryan Whalen, Mesa Verde; Trevor Lopez, West Campus; Hayden Paige, Austin Winona, Marysville.

MVP: Garrett Brown, Marysville.
All-League: Logan Brown, Marysville; Mike Cordova, Mesa Verde; Tyler Fulton, Dixon; Drake Hankins, West Campus; Jeremiah Thiel, Matt Bailey, Capital Christian.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Delta Valley Conference teams

Here are the spring All-Delta Valley Conference teams, as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Torrey Smith, Elk Grove.
Coach of the Year: Rick Faraimo, Grant.
All-League: Dan Bonetti, Sam Manderfield, Davis; Kenneth Huynh, Daniel Teranishi, Franklin; Aleksey Kiselev, Cameron Nunn, Cheng Thao, John Vang, Grant; Gabe Tavora, Tim Thompson, Uzo Okemiri, Monterey Trail.

MVP: Preston Walchli, Davis.
All-League: Patrick Cajandig, Michael Chen, Chase Dossa, Cyrus Espino, Spencer Salk, Davis; Eric Tam, Franklin.

All-League: Chris Chinn, Andrew Dumit, Manraj Gill, Chase Kellison, Dan Segedin, Davis; Dylan King, Diego Reitano, Elk Grove; Alan Hu, Alex Hu, Franklin; Tommy Luu, Tuyen Ngu, Monterey Trail.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Delta River League teams

Here are the spring All-Delta River League teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

Co MVP's: Amber Murray, Pleasant Grove; Bailey O'Mara, St. Francis.
All-League: Taylor Gisler, Folsom; Lauren Bertoy, Jackie Schmaeling, Oak Ridge; Vanessa Washington, Marissa Maligad, Celina Matthias, Pleasant Grove; Rachel Timberman, Taylor Eilders, Ponderosa; Danika Bailey, Amy Marks, Alejandra Garcia, St. Francis; Anessa Kaylor, Zamari Hinton, Erika Lane, Sheldon.

MVP: Alec DeWatteville, Oak Ridge.
All-League: Craig Stafford, Folsom; Chris Loeb, Julian Barron, Andy Snow, Jesuit; Logan Marsten, Ross Dwelley, Mickey Meinhofer, Tommy Hummer, FP Santangelo, Oak Ridge; Bronson Grubbs, Dalton Gomez, Nico Toni, Matt Stafford, Josh Adams, Pleasant Grove; Hunter White, Sheldon.

MVP: Corey Pereira, Ponderosa.
All-League: Connor Bell, Chad Kubes, Austen Sandoval, Steve Griggs, Jesuit; Charlie Cameron, Quinn Carlsen, Oak Ridge; Chad Vander Dussen, Pleasant Grove.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Capital Valley Conference teams

Here are the spring All-Capital Valley Conference teams that were submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

All-League: Jared Briggs, Brayden Gomez, Matt Gunter, Austin Hennen, Keith Judd, Bella Vista; Matt David, AJ Hall, AJ Masters, Jake Rodrigues, Oakmont; Zach Ewertsen, Austin Johnson, Steven Talbert, Christian Brothers; Tim Hall, Mike Hatfield, Sam Long, Mike Phelan, Derek Rodigo, Tyler Swank, Del Campo; Kendall Menard, Charles Osborne, Casa Roble; Leo Skateboo, Rio Linda.

MVP: Sean Alves, Casa Roble.
All-League: Gojko Gojkovich, Jacob Lampl, Scott Putty, Bella Vista; Arthur Guitarte, Adrian Karp, Taylor Phan, Oakmont; Matt Haynie, Winston Limhengco, Christian Brothers; Aram Hosseini, Julian Matteoni, Del Campo; Glen Lai, Rio Linda.

June 6, 2013
Here are the spring All-Capital Athletic League teams

Here are the spring All-Capital Athletic League teams. For corrections or omissions, e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Trevor Abrams, Whitney.
All-League: Robert Contreras, Steven Mercado, Joaquin Sequeria, Tyler Winston, Antelope; Jerome Brown, Jamari Campbell, Nathan Jacobson, Cordova; Josh Crawford, Logan Korn, El Camino; Pierce Edminton, Mira Loma; Kody Gardner, Alec Kazanjian, Mark Lyon, Payton Morena, Guillermo Salazar, Josh Savea, Rio Americano; FJ Floyd, JR Robinson, Drew Romo, Aaron Winter, Whitney.

MVP: Elizabeth Hutchison, Rio Americano.
Offensive Player of the Year: Aliyah Utush, Antelope.
Defensive Player of the Year: Emily Hansen, Rio Americano.
Coach of the Year: Jennifer Smiley, Rio Americano.
All-League: Lillie Ahpo, Kendra Boargingham, Shannon Boyce, Angela Gonzalez, Alyssa Walker, Natalie Wison, Antelope; Brittany Brungs, Cordova; Mia Evans, Paige Greer, McKenna Jackson, Hannah Klinger, Jaqui Ortega, El Camino; Julia Butterfield, Katelyn Chandler, Mel Hoskins, Lizzie Moulton, Rio Americano; Tara Armstrong, Mallory Erl, Nich Schnable, Molly McConnell, Whitney.

June 4, 2013
All-star game to be dedicated to soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Evening Optimist Club of Sacramento is dedicating this Saturday's 42nd Annual High School Baseball All-Star Games at McAuliffe Field to United States Army Specialist Ray Ramirez.

Ramirez, 20, was killed by an improvised explosive device on Saturday in Wardak province, Afghanistan.

Ramirez attended Florin High School, where he pitched and caught for the Panthers' baseball team.

May 30, 2013
Area players help lead Titans, Beavers into baseball regionals

Oregon State and Cal State Fullerton will enter the NCAA College Baseball Division I Regionals this weekend with a number of area players contributing to those teams' respective success.

Leading the way for Pac-12 champion Oregon State (45-10, 24-6) is junior catcher Jake Rodriguez from Elk Grove.

A Pac-12 first team selection, Rodriguez is hitting .272 with 32 RBIs and had thrown out 13 consecutive batters.

Former Jesuit standout Danny Hayes, a senior, plays first base for the Beavers and is hitting .270. Another former Marauder, junior pitcher Dan Child, is 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA.

Granite Bay sophomore Nate Esposito backs up Rodriguez and the two have combined to not allow a stolen base in 20 consecutive games.

Oregon State plays plays host to Texas-San Antonio (5 p.m.) and Texas A&M plays UC Santa Barbara (noon) in Friday's opening round of the Corvallis Regional.

Cal State Fullerton (48-8, 23-4), winners of the Big West Conference, are playing host this weekend to Arizona State, New Mexico and Columbia.

Former Elk Grove standout J.D. Davis, a designated hitter-pitcher, made the All-Big West first team. He's hitting .325 with 47 RBIs and also has a 2.14 ERA in 15 appearances for the Titans.

Former Rocklin player Austin Diemer, a sophomore outfielder, made the All-Big West second team. He is hitting .333.

Jared Deacon, a reserve junior catcher from Elk Grove, is hitting .306.

Freshman pitcher Miles Chambers from Rio Linda also is on the Titans' roster.

The Titans will play Columbia at 8 p.m. Friday. Arizona State plays New Mexico at 4 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton's Goodwin Field.

May 27, 2013
Bradshaw Christian wins school's 17th section title in eight varsity seasons, winning D-VI baseball

A school of champions.

At the small-school level, it's hard to top Bradshaw Christian across the board in athletics, with the gym walls quickly filling up with blue Sac-Joaquin Section banners.

On Monday, the Pride beat Mariposa County 10-2 to win the program's second Division VI title since 2009 in a rematch of last season's finale. Mariposa won a year ago 4-3 to win the program's third crown since 2008.

Ace Austin Ragsdale struck out 11 in tossing a five hitter, and Zach Rogers drove in two as the Pride won the 17th section title in the school's eight-year varsity existence. Also this academic year, the Lady Pride won titles in basketball and soccer, all under athletic director Mike Ruble, also the girls basketball coach.

Also driving in runs for the Pride on Monday were Grant Heisinger, Seth Vandergrift, Josh Criswell, Grant Dragmire and Kyle Betts.

The Pride stole 12 bases in 13 attempts, three by Heisinger, who also scored two runs.
Another Pride highlight this season was beating D-I North champion Elk Grove 5-1 on a Ragsdale gem. Coach Drew Rickert has said that winning never gets old. He should know. He's won titles as the football coach, too.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On Podcast: ESPN1320.net

May 27, 2013
Del Campo beats Benicia to take D-II title behind Long, Rodigo and Martinez

Paul Martinez can't move like he used to. There's no more side-to-side movement to save his life.

And even if he could, the Del Campo High School baseball coach was hopelessly outnumbered by a pack of Cougars bent on drenching him.

Martinez took the celebratory water cooler bath in basking in his team's 2-0 victory over Benicia to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship game on Monday night at Sacramento City College.

It's the third title for the storied Cougars, and the third for Martinez, in his first season at Del Campo. The Cougars won D-I titles under coach Harry Kawahata in 1985 and '95, and Martinez hoisted D-II blue championship banners in 1995 and '97 at San Juan.

"I'll wear it all the way home," Martinez said of his soaked Del Campo garb on a chilly night at Sacramento City College's Union Stadium that felt more like Candlestick Park. "I couldn't be happier for this group. It's a great group of guys. They worked so hard to get here."

Sam Long was terrific in his last high school start, tossing a five-hitter with six strikeouts and walking just one. He transferred to the Fair Oaks school following a nice run at Rosemont under Martinez. Both agonized over leaving Rosemont, an achieving school in the Sacramento City Unified School District, because of uncertainty of the athletic programs. Sports programs in the SCUSD were on the cutting block in each of the past two summers due to budgetary fears, but were retained.

Long is a junior academically, pulling straight-A's, but he plans to graduate in December and head to Sacramento State to start his scholarship tour for coach Reggie Christiansen. Winning the hearts of his teammates during early season drills after sitting out a CIF-mandated 30 days per transfer policy, Long tossed his second playoff gem. He struck out 14 in a 3-1 victory over Bethel of Vallejo in that best-of-three series.

"I can't put it into words how good this feels," Long said. "What a great team."

Long was backed by typical superb Del Campo defense, headed by infielders Jared Biggs, who had two hits, and Derek Rodigo, who scored the first run for a 1-0 lead in the second. Tim Hall drove home Biggs, who doubled, in the sixth to make it 2-0 as the Cougars touched Panthers ace Ryan Bohnet, who came in sporting a 9-0 record in allowing three earned runs all spring.

Also playing well this season and Monday for Del Campo: Tyler Swank, Mike Hatfield, Mike Ramirez, Davis Rodigo, Adrian Rocha and Tim Land.

So ends the journey for a host of Del Campo seniors who dreamed of winning a title to cap their careers. Biggs said that this will be bittersweet. Sweet for the title and bitter since so many are moving on. The players said they won this title for their school, their community, their families and their coach, who immediately offered structure within a program he grew up playing against.

Martinez played sports at nearby La Sierra 30 years ago. That school closed in 1983. Martinez lives barely a relay throw from the Del Campo, so he in effect returned to his neighborhood roots. He's a historian of the Del Campo program, able to peel off names and efforts.

Now he's part of that history with plans to hang a championship banner on the Del Campo backstop that displays the 1985 and '95 achievements.

"We won this for our coach," Rodigo said. "He was there every day getting the field ready. He gave us the tools to succeed."

Del Campo overcame a rash of injuries early in the season and came together in the Fresno Easter Tournament. A 12-game winning streak was doused by two losses to Christian Brothers in league play before the playoff run.
- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On Podcast: ESPN1320.net
- On Cable: SureWestSports.com

May 27, 2013
Eden strikes out 14 in a no-hit masterpiece in powering Yuba City to D-III title

In the long storied history of Yuba City High School baseball, Chandler Eden can stand alone with an effort for the ages.

The senior delivered one of the great pitching efforts in Sac-Joaquin Section postseason history, a 14-strikeout, no-hitter to beat Colfax 2-0 in the Division III championship game on Monday afternoon at Sacramento City College.

Relying on a fastball that hit 92 mph and a curve that kept the Falcons guessing and swinging, Eden powered the Honkers to the program's fifth title since 2007. Poised in play and hardly believing his good fortune afterward in a moment of humility, the 6-foot-2 Eden said he couldn't fathom doing this in his final prep outing. A teammate in the dugout blurted, "We're going to Disneyland!" after it was over. In truth, Eden and his senior classmates won't head to Southern California until after their June 7 graduation.

The Oregon State-bound ace also expects to be drafted next month. All in all, it's some senior swan song.

"I'll take it," Eden said, offering a shy grin of his first lifetime no-hitter, moments after striking out the side to end it. "I felt great, just a lot of fun."

Eden also produced the go-ahead run with with a screeching double down the right-field line in the top of the seventh inning to score Rocky Moreno, who pinch ran for Hayden Mejia. Mejia singled. Damon Bugarin drove in Sam Byers for a 2-0 lead. Byers pinch ran for Eden, who doubled.

"Great game for Chandler," Yuba City coach David Rodriguez said. "He's our horse. He showed that he's the best pitcher in the area."

Eden offset a superb showing by Devon Loomis. The Colfax senior tossed a five hitter with five strikeouts. He and Eden have known each other for years, including four seasons as teammates on travel teams.

"He pitched a great game and he's a great pitcher," Eden said. "I know how good he is."

Yuba City (21-11) thrives on pressure. The Honkers won eight times in walk-off fashion this season, including beating Lincoln twice in extra innings to take Games 2 and 3 of a best-of-three series to get here.

To that end, Rodriguez instructed his team to tip their caps and acknowledge the large crowd that packed into Union Stadium. Fans stood and cheered the post-game scene. Baseball remains a social happening in Yuba City. Rodriguez was a shortstop for the Honkers in 1985, competing for coach Joe Graben.

Rodriguez last decade coached with Jim Stassi, who win four successive titles, the last in 2010. Stassi's sons Brock, Max and Jake Stassi were all-time program greats, with Max a two-time Bee Player of the Year in 2008 and '09. Stassi, a former Honkers star, stepped down to watch his sons compete at the next level.

"Stassi is here, and I talk to him every day," Rodriguez said. "Joe Graben was big for me. Glad to have him here today, too."

Graben is the father of Jimmy Graben, the fine sports writer for the Marysville Appeal Democrat.

And proof that the cross-generation era is still in play for Yuba City, the Honkers feature first baseman Justin Noreen, son of 1978 Bee Player of the Year Bob Noreen from his Yuba City days.

"The community always supports us, always behind us," Rodriguez said. "People sent us 25 e-mails, and we posted some up in the dugout wall."

Colfax (20-8) was in its second section title game and first since 1999, a loss to Vanden. The Falcons got here by sweeping Games 2 and 3 over then one-loss Whitney in that best-of-three series.
- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On Podcast: ESPN1320.net
- On Cable: SureWestSports.com

May 27, 2013
Previewing the section championship baseball games


A closer peek at the three Sac-Joaquin Section championship baseball games at Sacramento City College today:

• Valley Christian vs. Brookside Christian, D-VII, noon

The Lions of Roseville are used to this stage, and thrive on it under veteran coach Brad Gunter Jr. VCA seeks its fifth D-7 championship in its sixth successive trip to the finals.

The Lions take on a Stockton-based team that is 23-6.

May 23, 2013
Defending North D-I champion Franklin eliminates Pleasant Grove; faces Elk Grove on Friday

The Franklin Wildcats wowed nobody down the stretch of the regular season, certainly not themselves.

Third place finishers in the Delta Valley Conference behind Davis and Elk Grove with a 14-13 overall record, the Wildcats have found a new gear in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I-North playoffs.

They bounced Rodriguez of Fairfield 13-0, eliminated Delta River League champion and Bee No. 4 Oak Ridge 4-1, sent home DVC champion and Bee No. 1 Davis 12-3, and on Thursday ushered home Bee No. 5 Pleasant Grove 6-1 at Sacramento City College.

May 22, 2013
Franklin High's Sean Nicholson hurdles catcher to score

Franklin High School's Sean Nicholson found a way to score in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North playoff game at Sacramento City College on Monday night. Watch him hurdled Davis High catcher Hayden Duer and land by sliding his hand across the plate. Plate umpire Tom Ramirez ruled him safe, and Franklin went on to beat the Blue Devils 12-3. Franklin and Pleasant Grove play Thursday night at Sac City in a loser's bracket finale. Video provided by Gary Abelia.

May 20, 2013
Franklin belts Bee No. 1 Davis in D-I baseball; Del Campo beats Bethel to reach D-II finals

Still alive and kicking and eager for more: The Franklin Wildcats

Unranked entering the playoffs after an up-and-down regular season that included an 0-6 record against Delta Valley Conference front-runners Davis and Elk Grove, Franklin is still surging in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North playoffs because it refuses to bow out or buckle under.

The defending champion Wildcats of Elk Grove beat Bee No. 1 Davis 12-3 on Monday night to bounce the Blue Devils, a strong event favorite entering the tournament.

May 15, 2013
Franklin stuns red-hot Oak Ridge; Elk Grove rallies to beat Woodcreek

Look who's warming up just as the weather seems to be cooling down.

The Franklin Wildcats.

Days after rolling Rodriguez in Fairfield in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff opener 13-0, Franklin stunned the hottest team in the field, beating Oak Ridge 4-1 at Sacramento City College on Wednesday night to snap the Trojans' 12-game winning streak.

Connor Adams tossed a complete-game gem, scattering five hits through six innings and escaping a last-inning jam for Franklin. Hank LoForte had three hits and Tyler Blake crushed a home run for the Wildcats, who placed third in the Delta Valley Conference a year ago and roared to the D-I North finals and won it. Franklin placed third again in the DVC this season behind Bee No. 1 Davis and No. 2 Elk Grove and playing the role of destroyer again.

Franklin is primed for another run, and look who it draws on Saturday at noon at Sac City: Elk Grove.

"That's our MO - get into the playoffs," said Blake, the program's all-time home run leader. He has hit a homer in four consecutive games. "I'm seeing the ball really well right now...To beat a team as good as Oak Ridge is an honor. Never doubted our team."
Franklin (16-13) was Bee ranked most of the season until falling out down the stretch. Wildcats coach Bryan Kilby said his bunch wasn't a ranked-worthy club a bit ago, but that was then. This is now - new life.

"This is a great group," said Kilby, The Bee's Coach of the Year last season. "Our guys responded. I love to win and I'm as competitive as anyone, but the regular season isn't the most important thing. This is what counts."

Adams said Franklin understands, "a sense of urgency this time of year, and it's sparked us."

Adams is one of those feel-good student athletes who balances his hectic schedule in maximizing his senior year. He was a team captain and center for the football team that had a school-record campaign, and he pitches and competes in baseball with a football mentality. He fears nothing.

Adams kept hitting the outside corner against Oak Ridge in keeping a prolific team off balance. Oak Ridge won the Delta River League by beating Pleasant Grove twice and Jesuit once. The Trojans were led by team leader and shortstop star Alec de Watteville this season. Ace Austin Root took the loss, though he struck out seven. He's only a junior. Oak Ridge turned a 1-2-3-2 triple play in the top of the seventh, but the feel-good moment ended when Adams recorded a groundout to end it.

Adams is a 4.1 student headed to BYU to study neuroscience. The grin on his face suggests he's not quite ready to end this season.

* Elk Grove 8, Woodcreek 5 - Rowdy Tellez had a two-run homer in the first inning, a soaring shot over the right-field fence, and he effectively won it in the top of the eighth inning with screaming RBI single to left to lift the Thundering Herd in extra innings.

Tellez homered off Tyler Milani in the first and touched hard-throwing Stephen Nogosek in his last at-bat in an entertaining showdown of Major League Baseball draft prospects heavy on power.

Nogosek hit 93 mph several times on radar guns aimed his way. He and Tellez embraced afterward and congratulated each other.

Nogosek could sign a pro contract after his likely draft selection next month, or he could attend Oregon on scholarship. Tellez could ink a pro deal or attend USC on scholarship, and face Nogosek in some Pacific-12 showdowns.

Nogosek is one of the greatest flame-throwers in regional history, and Tellez one of most entertaining home-run and RBI producers. Tellez has 168 career RBIs, second most in Northern California history.

A student of the game, Tellez said he could read Nogosek's pitches, that he "tipped them" with the way he shook his hand before delivery.

"He's the best arm in the area, no doubt, awesome," Tellez said of Nogosek. "I loved facing him. He plays the game the right way. Very respected player."

Aftrer Tellez made it 6-5, David Smith had a sacrifice fly for a 7-5 lead with Tellez scoring on an overthrow to make it 8-5. Nogosek struck out four in his 2.1 innings of relief. Tellez also walked twice and had three RBIs. Smith earned the win, getting a game-ending strikeout. Starting pitcher Mikey Wright struck out six for the Herd.

Veteran Elk Grove coach Jeff Carlson has won his share of championships and coached his share of prospects, including some that reached the big leagues, but he never tires of a good outing.

"Big time guys and performances," he said of a lot of players in general. "Rowdy had a great at-bat against Nogosek at the end, outstanding. The scouts see this, how guys like Rowdy are big competitors and how they're great teammates."

* Thursday's games: Vacaville plays No. 4 Pleasant Grove at 4 p.m. at Sac City, followed by top-ranked Davis against No. 5 Jesuit at 7 p.m.

Pleasant Grove is coming off two wins last week against Jesuit to defend a share of its Delta River League title, and Monday's win over Rocklin. Vacaville, winners of the Monticello Empire League, is led by ace Elway Santistevan (6-2). He eliminated Jesuit 3-2 in a playoff opener last season and battled Davis in a 2-1 setback in a loser's bracket finale.

Davis and Jesuit have faced each other before in the postseason and in recent seasons have met in nonleague rivalry games at Raley Field. The teams are coached by alums, Davis with Dan Ariola and Jesuit with Joe Potulny.
Davis will start ace Matt Trask and Jesuit will go with No. 2 arm Chris Loeb.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On Podcast: ESPN1320.net

May 13, 2013
Sizing up the Sac-Joaquin Section baseball playoffs, all divisions

Sizing up the Sac-Joaquin Section baseball fields...

* Davis (21-6)
With a flair for late dramatics, the Blue Devils beat Elk Grove twice on walk-off hits by Matt Trask, also a superb ace joined by Bobby Young, Jake Miille and Adam Inoye.
* Elk Grove (23-5)
The power source comes from Rowdy Tellez (.458, 13 2Bs, 6 HRs, 33 RBIs), the leadership from Dom Nunez (.397, 31 RBI) and the arms in David Smith (7-2) and Michael Wright (5-0).
* Granite Bay (17-9)
The Grizzlies join the D-I field after years of success in D-II and have pitchers in Travis Magness (6-2) and Gabe Meza (5-3) to make a run for coach Pat Esposito.
* Jesuit (20-7)
The Marauders offer two power arms for a title run in Julian Barron (4-2) and Chris Loeb (6-0) for veteran coach Joe Potulny, who seeks his sixth section title.
* Oak Ridge (19-8)
The Trojans are riding a 12-game winning streak, including two wins over Pleasant Grove, thanks to the defense of SS Alec de Watteville (.370) and arms Tommy Hummer (6-1) and Austin Root (6-2).
* Pleasant Grove (21-7)
The Eagles beat Jesuit two out of three last week for a warm up. Pitchers Matt Stafford (7-1), Dalton Gomez (7-3) and Josh Adams (5-2) lead the way, with Adams offering HR power, too.
* Woodcreek (20-6)
The X-factor in this tournament is the powerful right arm of ace Stephen Nogosek, who is rounding back into form after a break to rest for the defending D-II champions, who also feature pitcher Tyler Milani.

* Del Campo (20-7)
The Cougars have sluggers in Derek Rodigo (.452, 7 HR,) and Jared Biggs (.449) and a staff of Sam Long (4-0), Biggs (4-0), Tim Hall (3-0) and Mike Ramirez (3-0).
* Bella Vista (18-9)
Mike Phelan (.333, 25 RBIs) leads the offense an Matt Gunter (7-1) and Brayden Gomez (6-2) the staff that would love a rivalry showdown with Del Campo.
* Benicia (24-3)
Willie Calhoun (.425, 6 HR, 27 RBIs) fuels the offense and aces Ryan Bohnet (7-0, 0.46 ERA) and Steven Daini (6-0) the staff.
* Rosemont (23-5)
The Wolverines are eager for a title breakthrough behind Kevin Beatty (.388, 28 RBIs) and aces Tyler Masterson (8-1) and Jalen Brown (7-2)

* Whitney (26-1)
J.R. Robinson can do it all, batting .585, 15 2Bs, 6 3Bs, 46 RBIs and 7-1 with 0.91 ERA for the surging Wildcats, a team that can hit and pitch. Seek 1st title.
* Pioneer (18-9)
The Patriots have three scholarship arms to lead the way in Robert Daugherty (6-2, 1.88), Thomas Galart (6-2, 1.02) and Zack Aukes (1.40).
* Rio Americano (15-11)
The Raiders have some big wins this season (Buchanan-Fresno, Rocklin and Del Campo) and are hitting .352 as a team.
* Yuba City (17-10)
The Honkers have four D-III titles and seek another behind ace Chandler Eden (4-2, 1.70)

* Vista del Lago (23-4)
The Eagles have a culture of winning on campus and have a number of football players in baseball uniform as an example under coach Scott Steffens.
* Oakdale (19-8-1)
Perhaps it's foolish to not list the Mustangs as the favorite as they have won the last three titles and 5 of 6
* Central Catholic (21-5)
A small-school power with seven D-V titles since 2003 and four in D-IV since 1998.
* El Dorado (18-8)
The Cougars have the arms for a push in Tim Hinrichs (6-2), Owen Mackendrick and Nicolaus Bonniksen (7-3) and have had a nice run of success over the years.

* Capital Christian (21-5-1)
The Cougars are batting .358 as a team, led by Mauricio Dubon (.453) and Ben Ritchey (.493) and have been in the title game three times since 2007 with a crown in 2009.
* ESCALON (18-8-1)
The Cougars seek a section four-peat and have a staff to make it interesting with Brent Montgomery (8-1), Ben Hood (5-2) and Nathan Chunn (4-2)
* Dixon (12-12)
The Rams have a slugger to fear in Korey Hall (.409, 27 RBIs) and pitchers John Jordan (5-0) and Nathan Karber (1.95 ERA).

* Bradshaw Christian (20-6)
The Pride seek their third successive title game appearance and second crown in that span under coach Drew Rickert, who has ace Austin Ragsdale (6-1) and top hitter Grant Heisinger (.520).
* Mariposa (19-2)
The Grizzlies of the southern part of the Section won titles in 2008, 2010 and last season, and prefer not to detail any statistics on MaxPreps in an effort to remain sly. Truth is, this is a great program.
* Le Grand (13-11)
The Bulldogs have a recent 2-1 Southern League triumph of Mariposa that gives them great optimism for a rematch.

* Valley Christian (16-10)
Never mind the overall record. Consider the schedule that guru coach Brad Gunter Jr. has put together to test his formidable squad as it seeks a three-peat and the program's fifth title since 2008.
* Brookside Christian (20-6)
The Knights reached the title game three times since 2007, winning it in once, and looms opposite of Valley Christian.
* Elliott Christian (19-3-1)
The Eagles of Lodi have an ace in Logan Vickers (9-0, 0.25 ERA) who has dominated all comers.
- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- Playoff preview/projection on podcast: ESPN1320.net

May 9, 2013
Valley High School baseball players come to rescue of girl pinned under car

By Joe Davidson

Valley High School baseball players heard a girl in distress Tuesday afternoon.

Some 30 players immediately broke from team drills, hopped a fence and ran toward the South Sacramento school's parking lot to offer assistance.

A four-door sedan had accidentally backed over a Laguna Creek student and pinned her underneath. Each player from Valley's junior varsity and varsity team lifted the sedan, allowing coaches Troy Quirillo and Brett Sawyer to pull the girl free.

May 8, 2013
Sac-Joaquin Section D-I North baseball bracket set; no easy outs now

The Sac-Joaquin Section Division I baseball playoff brackets are set, and no matter how you size it up, this shapes up to be a monstrous playoff rumble.

In a word, the North collection is stacked. The regular D-I crowd of recent seasons is now joined by the heavies of the Sierra Foothill League with Woodcreek, Granite Bay and Rocklin.

"Before, there were eight really good teams and now there are 12," Davis coach Dan Ariola said. "There are a lot of good teams with a lot of good aces."

Pleasant Grove coach Rob Rinaldi agreed, saying, "Draw a name out of hat, they're all good."

The league title races came down to the final day of the regular season. Oak Ridge beat Ponderosa 8-4 and Pleasant Grove downed Jesuit 10-4, creating a tie for the Delta River League championship. Because Oak Ridge beat Pleasant Grove two of three times, the Trojans earn the No. 1 seed and Pleasant Grove No. 2. Jesuit, having lost two of three to Oak Ridge this week, is No. 3.

Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said he was "excited" for his group, one anchored by pitchers Austin Root and Tommy Hummer and shortstop Alec de Watteville, who had four hits against Ponderosa.

Rinaldi was positively ecstatic after his team defended its title. Josh Adams smacked two solo home runs, Matt Stafford improved to 7-1 and Bronson Grubbs had a two-run single.

"I'm thrilled for these guys," said a beaming Rinaldi, his father Ron with him. "These guys work every day. It's been a fun group, a great group."

Davis beat Elk Grove 3-2 on Tuesday to win the Delta Valley Conference as Matt Trask produced a walk-off hit. He did the same last month against the Herd in a 2-1 victory.

Woodcreek clinched the Sierra Foothill League championship with a 10-4 victory over Nevada Union, along with Rocklin downing Granite Bay 2-1. Granite Bay placed second and Rocklin third.

How good is this collection? Consider that Elk Grove, Davis, Jesuit, Oak Ridge, Granite Bay, Pleasant Grove, Rocklin and Woodcreek have at one time or another been in The Bee's Top 6 this season, and some have been there all season. Elk Grove, Davis and Granite Bay have occupied the No. 1 spot with Oak Ridge and Jesuit getting as high as No. 2.

Each of these clubs has faced brutal nonleague schedules, and then league play was just as fierce.

As league champions, Davis, Woodcreek, Oak Ridge and Vacaville earned first-round byes and open postseason play on Wednesday or Thursday at Sacramento City College. Those teams will scout openers on Monday.

Here's the schedule for home openers on Monday, with 4 p.m. starts:

* Vintage at Elk Grove
The Crushers of the Monticello Empire League face the Thundering Herd crushers in Dom Nunez, Rowdy Tellez and Derek Hill.
* Franklin at Rodriguez
The defending D-I North champion Wildcats placed third in the Delta Valley Conference behind Davis and Elk Grove and open in Fairfield.
* Rocklin at Pleasant Grove
The Thunder have two aces in Austin Dick and Logan Webb and the Eagles feature Josh Adams, an ace who also has home run power.
* Jesuit at Granite Bay
Jesuit has aces Julian Barron and Chris Loeb and the Grizzlies have Gabe Meza, who is headed to Sacramento State. Meza has a no-hitter this season.

Woodcreek plays the winner of the Vintage-Elk Grove game on Wednesday and Oak Ridge will take on winner of the Franklin-Rodriguez victor.

On Thursday, Davis will draw the winner of the Jesuit-Granite Bay winner and Vacaville will play the winner of Rocklin-Pleasant Grove.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On Podcast: ESPN1320.net

April 26, 2013
La Salle Club Hall of Fame to induct nine members Saturday

By Victor Contreras

The 59th annual La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame induction banquet will take place Saturday evening at the Christian Brothers High School field house.

The Class of 2013 includes nine members: Former high school pitchers Butch Metzger (Kennedy) and Fernando Arroyo (Burbank), who competed against each other in the old Metro League before embarking on major-league careers, former Grant High and Japan League star Leon Lee, former Bishop Armstrong star and Christian Brothers coach Joe Gill, Tom Dicktakes (Sacramento High), Mike Green (Bishop Armstrong), Gene Sackett (McClatchy), Gary Szakacs (Mira Loma) and former Sacramento Bee staff writer Nick Peters, who covered the San Francisco Giants for 47 years.

Tickets are $25. The event begins with a no-host social at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30. For tickets and more information, go to the Christian Brothers website or call chairman Joe McNamara at (916) 812-5699.

April 25, 2013
Granite Bay to hold baseball signing ceremony Saturday

Granite Bay High School will hold a 9 a.m. honorary signing ceremony for its five college-bound baseball players at the school's diamond.

They are pitchers Gabe Meza (Sacramento State) and Travis Magness (Linfield); outfielders Brett Bautista (San Jose State) and Aaron Knapp (Cal) and shortstop Ryan Rosa (Cal Poly SLO).

No. 4 Granite Bay will play a Sierra Foothill League game against No. 11 Woodcreek at 11 a.m.

April 23, 2013
El Dorado's Harms, Oakmont's Ramirez named top coaches

El Dorado's Dwayne "Peanut" Harms and Oakmont's Rick Ramirez will be honored as Coach of the Year recipients by the California Coaches Association at its 56th annual awards banquet June 15 in Fresno.

Harms, who has coached El Dorado track and cross country programs since 2001, will be honored as the State Boys Track Coach of the Year. He's a former UC Davis All American and member of the UC Davis Hall of Fame along with his wife Tena, also an El Dorado track and cross country coach.

Ramirez, a 1969 graduate of Oakmont, will be honored as the State Assistant Coach of the Year. He has been an assistant baseball coach 24 seasons, assistant football coach 23 years and head softball coach the last two years at Oakmont.

April 16, 2013
Section honors Coover, A. Dale Lacky scholarship recipients

Rocklin's Shannon Garvella and Bella Vista's Brynn Sargent received Clark Coover Memorial Scholarships and 46 additional athletes received Sac-Joaquin Section A. Dale Lacky Scholarships at an awards ceremony this morning in Lodi.

The awards, which range from $600 to $1,500, are given to those athletes who show outstanding athletic, community service and academic success.

Garvella and Sargent received $1,500 Clarke Coover Scholarships as the top girls and boys award recipients.

April 15, 2013
Pioneer concludes its dramatic baseball series with Yuba City by snapping Honkers' 28-game Tri-County winning streak

Pioneer had that "here-we-go-again" feeling for awhile on Friday night in its Tri-County Conference baseball matchup with host Yuba City.

The Patriots had seen the Honkers rally late last Monday and on Wednesday to extend their league winning streak to 28 games.

On Friday, Pioneer jumped to a 9-0 lead in the top of the second inning only to see Yuba City score six runs in the bottom of second and six more in the third to take a 12-9 lead.

But this time it was Pioneer who made the comeback.

April 11, 2013
Yuba City rallies to top Pioneer in dramatic fashion again; Honkers' Tri-County league baseball supremacy continues

Yuba City has been the gold standard in Tri-County Conference baseball for all seven seasons of its existence.

The Honkers, who began this season 3-8 in nonleague play, continue to shine when it comes to league.

Twice this week they rallied to beat Pioneer in dramatic fashion to stay atop the league that they have dominated and won the last six years.

On Monday in Yuba City, Wesley Estes hit a three-run walk-off home run as the Honkers defeated Pioneer 6-5. On Wednesday in Woodland, Yuba City scored twice in the seventh inning to tie then won it in the eighth, 3-2.

April 11, 2013
Fomer Jesuit outfielder Bosco is NAIA player of the week

Jesuit graduate Jimmy Bosco has been named the NAIA West Player of the Week in helping lead the Menlo College baseball team to a four-game sweep of Corban University of Salem, Ore., last weekend.

A junior outfielder from Granite Bay, Bosco finished the weekend with seven hits, including four home runs and 12 runs batted in.

Bosco is hitting .455 on the season for the Oaks, eighth in the country in batting average for NAIA players.

He ranks first in the nation in slugging percentage (.862), home runs (13) and total bases (125).

Bosco played last season at Arkansas and as a freshman at Cal.

April 10, 2013
Signings/commits: Grant's Toma to play football at Southern Oregon; Schroeder verbals to Duke and Lewis to Boise State

Grant senior linebacker Abnor Toma has signed a late letter of intent with Southern Oregon, a rising small-college power in Ashland that plays at Sacramento State next season.

Cosumnes Oaks lineman Kameron Schroeder, a junior, has given a verbal commitment to Duke and Pleasant Grove cornerback Brandon Lewis has given a verbal pledge to Boise State.

Lewis missed his junior season last fall with a knee injury.

In other signings/commitments:

• Valley Christian's Erin Patterson has committed to play volleyball and softball for Wentworth Institute of Technology, a D-III school in Boston Mass. She is the fourth Valley Christian athlete from the 111-student high school who will play at the next level, joining volleyball player Emily Flood (Simpson University in Redding) and baseball players Caleb Van Patten (Simpson) and Jimmy Shaw (San Diego Christian).

• Oakmont will hold a signing ceremony 1:15 p.m. next Wednesday in the career center for volleyball player Brennah Gladwill (Saint Anselm, Manchester, N.H.) and CIF state champion wrestler Peter Santos (North Carolina State).

• Christian Brothers infielder Taryn Sigl will play softball for the University of the Cumberlands, an NAIA school in Williamsburg, Ky.

• Pleasant Grove senior shooting guard Avonna Lee will play basketball for Northern Arizona.

April 4, 2013
Curry, Bellotti among NorCal Sports' Hall of Fame inductees

Former Oregon football coach and UC Davis football player Mike Bellotti and former Olympic, UCLA and Davis High basketball star Denise Curry are among those who will be inducted into the 43rd annual Northern California Sports Association's Hall of Fame at a dinner on Saturday in Yuba City.

Also to be inducted will be Mark Cartwright (Yuba City High School, baseball), Richard McKray (Yuba HS baseball and softball coach), George Nicholau (Marysville HS, football, baseball and basketball; Cal football), Byron Randolph (Winters HS, baseball; Marysville High, baseball coaching), Rex Chappell (Nevada Union football; Sierra College football coach and player) and, posthumously, Homer "Buzz" Ostrom (as an athlete, coach and administrator).

In addition to the inductions, some $15,000 in scholarship money will be awarded to six high school seniors.

The event, which will be held at St. Isidore's Church, 200 Clark Ave. in Yuba City, starts with a reception at 4:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.

For more, call John Rice at (916)296-1501 or Joel Guthrie at (530) 743-2089.

March 28, 2013
No. 6 Pleasant Grove tops No. 1 Elk Grove in Boras tourney

Bee No. 6 Pleasant Grove has advanced to the championship of the Boras Baseball Classic April 13 at the University of Pacific in Stockton after beating top-ranked Elk Grove 11-1 in today's Northern California tournament finale at Sacramento State.

Pleasant Grove will play the winner of this coming week's 16-team Southern California tournament that will be played in San Juan Capistrano.

In addition to topping Elk Grove, coach Rob Rinaldi's Eagles defeated Rodriguez of Fairfield 4-1, Deer Valley of Antioch 4-2 and Rio Americano 5-2.

March 28, 2013
Menlo-Atherton holds off Cordova 3-2 in Easter tourney finale

Menlo-Atherton scored three times in the first inning then held off Cordova 3-2 in today's 43rd annual Cordova Easter Tournament championship baseball game at Hagan Park in Rancho Cordova.

Erik Amundson pitched a three-hitter and also had a double for Menlo-Atherton, which lost 11-10 to the Lancers in last year's title game.

Nathan Jacobson had a triple and RBI for Cordova.

March 19, 2013
Positive Coaching Alliance honors area Little League coach

North Natomas Little League Coach Valeri Garcia has won Positive Coaching Alliance's coveted Double-Goal Coach Award for her impact on youth athletes.

The award carries a $250 prize, a trophy and mention within the websites and newsletters of Positive Coaching Alliance.

Garcia, a program advisor at UC Davis's Student Academic Success Center, has known since age 8 that she wanted to coach.

February 19, 2013
Oakmont to hold golf and alumni baseball events

Oakmont will hold its ninth annual Oakmont golf team scramble 3:30 p.m. March 15 at Sierra Pines Golf Course in Roseville and its 11th annual alumni baseball game at 11 a.m. on March 16.

For more details, call Dean Perkins at 765-7000 or e-mail at dperkins@rjuhsd.us

February 18, 2013
Elk Grove is

No. 10 Elk Grove is the only area team to make the Cal-Hi Sports baseball preseason state top 20.
The Thundering Herd, which went 20-9 last season and returns Bee Player of the Year Rowdy Tellez, is No. 3 among Northern California teams behind No. 4 Campolindo (23-4-1) of Moraga and No. 6 St. Francis (26-5-1) of Mountain View.
Three-time Sac-Joaquin Section defending Division I champion St. Mary's (27-6) of Stockton is No. 13. Defending D-II section champion Woodcreek (24-7) is listed as a bubble team.
Cathedral Catholic (30-5) of San Diego is ranked No. 1. San Diego Section power Vista (31-4), Cal-Hi Sports' State Team of the Year in 2012, is No. 2 and Mater Dei (24-6) is No. 3.
For the complete rankings, go HERE

February 13, 2013
Sizing up the Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball brackets

Here's a closer peek at the Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball playoffs, by division, with schedules, outlook and projections. It gets fun from here...


Check for more in Thursday's Bee, including a profile on the unsung talent leading the unsung team in area scoring leader Michael Meserole of Liberty Ranch...

Division I
Top 4 seeds: Sheldon (21-5), Pleasant Grove (21-5), Bella Vista (22-5), Golden Valley (23-4).
Defending champion: Sheldon
Outlook: Sheldon is as concrete a favorite as the field has seen in many years, thanks to so many returning starters and the momentum of having won the last three D-I section titles. Sheldon can shoot with Darin Johnson and Ryan Manning and it can score on the break and inside with Dakarai Allen, or salt teams away with D'Erryl Williams posting up late. Pleasant Grove played Sheldon tough twice this season
and craves a playoff showdown with its rivals behind three-year varsity starters Cole Nordquist, Malik Thames and Matt Hayes. The Eagles drawing a No. 2 seed speaks of the strength of the Delta River League. Bella Vista has a strong guard leader in Ahmad Smith and has had years of lower-level success before the move to D-I. Granite Bay is battle tested from the rigors of the Sierra Foothill League with good guard play and Kennedy looms as a threat with an feisty, unselfish team.
Golden Valley of Merced has the section's longest winning streak of 13 games with guard play and defense despite having just one senior on the roster.
Early matchups of note: No. 9 Kennedy at No. 8 Lodi is a fun game, and the winner gets top-seeded Sheldon should the Huskies win their opener. Golden Valley of Merced is 23-4 and takes on Oak Ridge of the DRL, which played in a much stronger league. No. 7 Franklin could face Pleasant Grove in a second-round game.
Projected final: Sheldon over Pleasant Grove

February 13, 2013
Oak Ridge to hold alumni baseball game, fund-raiser March 2

Oak Ridge High will hold its first annual alumni baseball game 10 a.m. on March 2 at the school's varsity diamond.

All former players are invited to participate. Doug Paul, Oak Ridge's first baseball coach, will serve as an umpire.

The game will be followed by a barbecue hosted by the 2013 Oak Ridge baseball team.

There is no cost to participate but alumni are asked to register with the Oak Ridge Alumni Baseball Planning Committee @baseballalumni10@gmail.com.

A fund-raising dinner also will be held in conjunction with the event at 6 p.m. on March 2.

Tickets are $25 and can be ordered online at http://orhsbaseballdinner.eventbrite.com or from Steve Meinhofer,meinhofer@comcast.net.

February 6, 2013
15 Granite Bay athletes participate in signing ceremony

By Trevor Horn
Special to the Bee

Fifteen student-athletes from Granite Bay High School signed NCAA letters of intent to 11 different four-year universities spanning 10 sports teams for the Grizzlies this morning.

"This suggests that each of the programs is strong," Granite Bay Athletic Director Tim Healy said.

Included in that group is the twin sisters of Chloe and Lily Forlini, who together have won four consecutive Sac Joaquin Section doubles titles together. The sister are headed together to the Air Force Academy.

February 5, 2013
Signing ceremony set for five Del Campo athletes

Five Del Campo athletes will participate in a signing reception 2 p.m. Wednesday at the school.

They are:

• A.J. Samatua, San Jose State, football
• Kyle Evanski, Sacramento State, football
• Megan Roberson, Air Force, basketball
• Cam Purcell, Western New England, lacrosse
• Derek Rodigo, Westmont, baseball

February 5, 2013
10 Jesuit athletes to participate in morning signing ceremony

Ten Jesuit athletes will participate in an NCAA letter of intent signing ceremony 8 a.m. Wednesday in the Carmichael school's gymnasium.

They are:

• Kaba Alkebulan, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, soccer
• Jimmy Boras, Pacific, baseball
• Andre Gregory, Sacramento State, baseball
• Niko Hansen, New Mexico, soccer
• Sina Javidan Nejad, Stanford, track and field
• Riley Harbour, UC San Diego, soccer
• Austin Mitsch, Colorado, track and field
• Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State, football
• Garrett Strohmaier, Dartmouth, football
• Austin White, Oregon, track and field

December 12, 2012
Twelve area seniors make NorCalPreps' baseball top 50

Twelve area players have been named to NorCalPreps.com's Northern California Class of 2013 Baseball Top 50.

Leading the way are Elk Grove's Ryan Tellez at No. 2 and Dom Nunez at No. 8. Tracy pitcher Jonah Wesely, a UCLA recruit, is No. 1.

Here is the list of locals, including their schools, positions and colleges:

No. 2: Ryan Tellez, Elk Grove, 1B, USC
No. 8: Dom Nunez, Elk Grove, INF-C, UCLA
No. 18: Aaron Knapp, Granite Bay, CF, Cal
No. 19: Marcus Vidales, Pioneer, CF, CSU Fullerton
No. 29: Stephen Nogosek, Woodcreek, P, Oregon
No. 30: Chandler Eden, Yuba City, P, Oregon State
No. 33: Josh Adams, Pleasant Grove, OF, UC Santa Barbara
No. 34: Tyler Blake, Franklin, 1B, Sacramento State
No. 35: Zack Aukes, Pioneer, P, Oregon
No. 36: Robert Daugherty, Pioneer, P, Washington
No. 40: Andrew Gregory, Jesuit, OF, Sacramento State
No. 45: Thomas Galart, Pioneer, P, Nevada

For the complete list, go HERE

December 11, 2012
Ponderosa athletes to participate in college signing ceremony

Ponderosa will hold a NCAA signing ceremony 2 p.m. today in the school library.
Among those scheduled to participate, as announced by Bruins athletic director Tyson Escobar:

• Corey Pereira, boys golf, Washington
• Giana Bilotta, softball, St. Mary's College
• Makenzie Shivers- girls golf, Park University
• Alex Rader, girls volleyball, Montana State
• Corinne Tank, girls soccer, Corban University
• Paris Hallums, softball, Simpson University
• Taylor Eilders, softball, Corban University
• Sheridan Fox, girls soccer, Utah Valley State
• Matt Poulin, baseball, Sonoma State.

November 21, 2012
A's prospect Max Stassi to hold home run benefit in Yuba City

Former Yuba City High baseball star Max Stassi will help raise funds for families in need during his fourth annual Homers for the Hungry 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Honkers' baseball diamond.

For every home run the Oakland A's prospect hits, he and other sponsors will donate money to area food banks and Hands of Hope, which provides resources and services for homeless families.

Stassi is scheduled to begin hitting at 12:30 p.m.

November 20, 2012
More area athletes announce their letter of intent signings

Several more area athletes have announced signing NCAA National Letters of Intent.

They are:

• Maddie Cannon, Rio Americano, volleyball: The Bee 2011 first team selectee will play for Santa Clara. She led the Raiders this season with 570 kills and 309 digs.

• Megan DeLallo, Pleasant Grove, gymnastics: A Level 10 gymnast since 2008 who finished 24th in the all-around at the 2010 Junior Olympic nationals, DeLallo will compete for Washington.

• Chandler Eden, Yuba City, baseball: Rated the nation's No. 96 high school player by Baseball America, the senior right-hander will play for Oregon State. He went 7-1 with a 2.03 earned run average last season with the Honkers.

• Griffin Galvin, Vista del Lago, volleyball: Last year's Sierra Valley Conference MVP, who has led the Eagles to back-to-back Division II sections boys volleyball championships, will compete for UC San Diego next fall.

• Taylor Massengale, River Valley, volleyball: A two-time all-league selection, the 6-foot-2 senior middle blocker will play for Stanislaus State. She had 341 kills, 61 blocks and 119 digs this season in helping lead the Falcons to their second consecutive Tri-County Conference title.

November 17, 2012
Del Campo's Derek Rodigo signs to play baseball at Westmont

Del Campo two-sport athlete Derek Rodigo has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Westmont College in Santa Barbara, an NAIA school, where he plans to pursue a degree in pre-med/physical therapy.

Rodigo, a senior, quarterbacked the football team to a 9-3 overall record and Capital Athletic League championship this fall.

In 11 games, Rodigo passed for 1,432 yards and 11 touchdowns and also rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown.

Last spring, Rodigo, an infielder, batted .378 and drove in 20 runs for a Cougars squad that finished 14-15 overall.

Rodigo will play this spring for new coach Paul Martinez, who has had stellar teams at San Juan, Mira Loma, El Camino and Rosemont.

November 14, 2012
Woodcreek's Orlando and Fellows sign letters of intent

Woodcreek held a ceremony honoring these athletes for signing NCAA letters of intent today:
• Frankie Orlando, softball, San Diego State.

• Allyson Fellows, swimming, San Jose State.

Oregon-bound baseball star Stephen Nogosek will make his college choice official Thursday night at a signing involving the area's top baseball players.

November 14, 2012
Four athletes sign letters of intent at Pleasant Grove today

Four Pleasant Grove athletes signed letters of intent during a school ceremony today.

They are:

• Josh Adams, UC Santa Barbara, baseball
• Amber Murray, Eastern Kentucky, softball
• Morgan Carter, Utah State, softball
• Dejza James, Arizona, basketball

November 14, 2012
Twelve athletes sign letters of intent at Oak Ridge today

Oak Ridge had another big haul of NCAA letter-of-intent signees today, all recognized during a ceremony at the school.
Those signing are:
• Cypress Lampe, UC San Diego, swimming
• Dylan Kubick, UC Santa Barbara, swimming
• Brandon Mills, Arizona State, swimming
• Jordan Gotro, South Carolina, diving
• Tori Trylovich, Sacramento State, tennis
• Alec de Watteville, San Jose State, baseball
• Lauren Bertoy, Stanford, softball
• Jackie Schmaeling, St. Martin's University, softball
• Keaton Subjeck, Stanford, wrestling
• Haley Anderson, UC San Diego, basketball
• Sarah Meltz, Creighton University, rowing
• Maggie Drysch, Oklahoma State University, equestrian

November 14, 2012
College baseball recruits to be recognized at signing celebration

An NCAA signing ceremony for a number of area baseball seniors will be held 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Croatian American Cultural Center, 3730 Auburn Boulevard in Sacramento.

The players will be recognized during a 30-minute presentation, followed by food and refreshments.
Those scheduled to participate are:

• Jimmy Boras, Jesuit, UOP
• Brett Bautista, Granite Bay, San Jose State
• Aaron Knapp, Granite Bay, Cal
• Andre Gregory, Jesuit, Sacarmento State
• Tyler Blake, Franklin, Sacramento State
• Dom Nunez, Elk Grove, UCLA
• Ryan Tellez, Elk Grove, USC
• Josh Adams, Pleasant Grove, UC Santa Barbara
• Stephen Nogosek, Woodcreek, Oregon
• Alec DeWatteville, Oak Ridge, San Jose State

October 10, 2012
43 to be inducted Sunday into Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame

The Sac-Joaquin Section will induct 43 new members, including 19 athletes and 10 coaches, into its 2012 Hall of Fame on Sunday at Power Balance Pavilion.

Among the former area pro athletes to be honored will be Delta's Tony Eason, who quarterbacked the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1985; Marshall's (now River City) Steve Sax, the five-time all-star who played on two World Series championship teams; 1928 Sac High graduate Stan Hack, an all-star third baseman for 16 seasons with the Chicago Cubs; and Del Campo basketball three-point scoring standout Danielle Viglione, who played for the Sacramento Monarchs and still holds the state record for points in a season with 1,300.

Other area athletes to be inducted include Nevada Union's Kellie Cook, the the 1991 Gatorade California girls basketball player of the year; Rio Americano's John Ferris, an NCAA swim champion and 1968 Olympic bronze medalist; and Rio Americano's Sue Pederson, who won four Olympic medals at age 14 at the 1968 Olympics.

September 20, 2012
Former Woodcreek star helps Israel to World Baseball win

Former Woodcreek pitcher Eric Berger led Israel to a 7-3 win over South Africa in Wednesday's World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament in Jupiter, Fla.

Berger started and pitched three shutout innings to get the win and advance Israel to Friday's game against Spain.

"We've all had long seasons with spring training and 140 games, but everyone was really excited," Berger said. "It almost felt like the first game of the year again, even though a lot of us just ended long seasons."

August 29, 2012
McClatchy Hall of Fame still searching for several inductees

The McClatchy High School 75-year Sports Hall of Fame Induction will be held on Sept. 20 at the Elks Club in Sacramento.

Some 50 players and coaches and five teams from the first 25 years, 1937-1962, will be inducted.

Organizers Bob Sertich and Jim Coombs have been able to locate most of the inductees and their families.

August 29, 2012
McClatchy baseball coach proud of his senior group

McClatchy's baseball program had an excellent season last spring.

The Lions went 21-10 and won the Metro Conference championship.

But what pleases coach Mike de Necochea even more is that seven of his eight seniors are moving on to play in college, many on academic scholarships.

They are Nolan Schultz, Nevada; Alex Jang and Kenny Nishimura, Occidental; Rod Mackey, Cal Lutheran; Kevin Krause, Redlands; and Jared James and Greg Correa, Sacramento City College.

"The 2012 Class was very special and worked especially hard in the classroom to achieve their goals," de Necochea said.

August 22, 2012
Elk Grove High School baseball players spread across the country and world in showcase events

1.jpgThe innings and experiences continue for Elk Grove High School baseball players, stretching into the summer and early fall.

Blame and credit their talents. These guys are too good to deny access to the nearest diamond.

Thundering Herd senior shortstop Dom Nunez has been selected to the 20-man roster for the 18-under USA Baseball National Team. The versatile leader for Elk Grove will play for the IBAF Junior AAA/18-under World Championships in Seoul, Korea from Aug. 25 to Sept. 8.

Nunez is a four-year starter for the Herd who has given a verbal commitment to UCLA. He is also expected to be picked in the major league amateur draft next spring.

Elk Grove sophomore infielder Nick Madrigal competed on the 15-under USA Baseball National Team that participated in the Dominican Friendship Series in the Dominican Republic over the summer. He started at shortstop and was the leadoff hitter, with his club going 4-0.

Elk Grove junior outfielder Derek Hill was picked for the USA Baseball 17-under Development Program this month in North Carolina, the feeder program for next year's 19-under National Team.

And Elk Grove freshmen infielder/pitchers Dylan Carlson and Auston Del Chairo were picked to the Northern California side in the USA Baseball National Identification Series Program. From Sept. 7-9, their team will play against other regional programs at the USA Baseball Complex in North Carolina as part of the feeder for next year's 15-under National Team.

Elk Grove High coach Jeff Carlson said it's never too much baseball for this group, their passion clear in their workouts and attitude.

"Without a doubt, these guys are true baseball nuts, just love to play the game," Carlson said. "Dom will miss two weeks of school, but he goes to Taiwain, South Korea, and that's a chance of a lifetime, to go to a different part of the world. Even teachers say you can't turn that down."

Adding special significance for Carlson is experiencing his son's joy in all of this. Dylan has grown up on the Elk Grove football and baseball fields. He is a two-way starter for the Elk Grove junior varsity football team with a nice baseball future, too.
Carlson has stepped away from football coaching for a spell to observe his kids compete. He will head to North Carolina to watch son Dylan.

PHOTO: Elk Grove's Short stop Sean Nicholson backs up Third baseman Dom Nunez as he makes a catch in Elk Grove's game against Pioneer at the fourth annual Albie Swingin' for Life Breast Cancer Awareness Baseball showcase.

- By Joe Davidson
On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
On Facebook: sacbeepreps
Online: surewestsports.com
On radio podcasts: ESPN1320.net

August 7, 2012
Survey says: CIF sports participation up for girls, down for boys

Girls participation in California high school sports continues to grow but boys participation has declined for the first time since 2003 in the latest California Interscholastic Federation Sports Participation Survey released today.

Girls participation climbed by 1.4 percent from 304,696 in 2011 to 308,879 in 2012. Boys participation decreased by 0.9 percent from 453,037 in 2011 to 448,971 in 2012.

Eleven-man football remains the most popular boys sport with 103,088 participants but has seen a steady decline since reaching its high-point of 107,916 in 2007.

July 22, 2012
Fairfield wins Legion tourney after eliminating Fair Oaks

The Fairfield Expos defeated Fair Oaks Post 383 5-3 today in the Senior American Legion Area 1 baseball tournament at James Field in Auburn.

The loss, Fair Oaks' second in the double elimination tournament, ended the season for the area squad that featured current or former players from Del Campo, Casa Roble, Bella Vista and El Camino high schools.

Fair Oaks finishes 25-11-1.

Fairfield went on to claim the title with a mercy-rule shortened seven-inning, 15-3 win over Red Bluff later this afternoon.

For more, go Here

July 21, 2012
Fair Oaks advances to Sunday's Senior Legion Area 1 finals

Matt Piombo and Mike Frantz hit grand slams to back the solid pitching of David Dellaserra as Fair Oaks Post 383 defeated Oroville Post 95 14-4 in eight innings today in the Senior American Legion Area 1 baseball playoffs at James Field in Auburn.

Fair Oaks will play the winner of today's Red Bluff-Fairfield game at 11 a.m. on Sunday in Auburn. A Fair Oaks win would put it in the 2 p.m. championship game.

Oroville had handed Fair Oaks a 7-6 loss on Wednesday in the Area 1 opener of the double elimination tournament.

For more, go Here

July 20, 2012
Bailey pitches Fair Oaks to 9-0 Senior Legion win over Redding

Behind Nate Bailey's stellar complete-game pitching performance, Fair Oaks Post 383 defeated the Redding Rattlers 9-0 in today's Area 1 Senior American Legion baseball playoffs at James Field in Auburn.

Fair Oaks, which has won its last two games in the loser's bracket of the double elimination tournament, will play Saturday noon at James Field against the loser of tonight's Red Bluff-Oroville game.

For more go Here

July 19, 2012
Brooks pitches Fair Oaks to Senior Legion win over Auburn

Fair Oaks Post 383 scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back in defeating Auburn Post 84 7-2 today at James Field in Auburn to stay alive in the Area 1 Senior American Legion baseball playoffs.

Ben Brooks struck out eight in eight innings to earn the win and eliminate Auburn from the double-elimination tournament.

Fair Oaks will play 12:30 p.m. Friday at James Field against the loser of the Red Bluff-Redding game that currently is underway.

For more go Here

July 18, 2012
Oroville tops Fair Oaks in American Legion Senior opener

Fair Oaks Post 383 lost 7-6 to Oroville in the Area 1 Senior American Legion baseball opener today at James Field in Auburn.

Down 4-1 entering the bottom of the seventh, Fair Oaks scored four times to take a 5-4 lead on a run-scoring single by Colton Freeman, run-scoring sacrifice fly by Mitch Samson and a two-run double by Austin Hennen.

But Oroville scored three times in the top of the eighth.

Fair Oaks will play the loser of tonight's Auburn vs. Fairfield game in a loser's bracket game 1 p.m. on Thursday.

For more go here

July 16, 2012
Fair Oaks, Auburn to compete in Area 1 Senior Legion tourney

Fair Oaks Post 383 will play Oroville at 1 p.m. and Auburn Post 84 will face Fairfield at 7 p.m. in Wednesday's opening round of the Senior American Legion Area 1 baseball playoffs at James Field in Auburn.

Chico will play Redding at 10 a.m. and North Humboldt faces Red Bluff at 4 p.m. in other opening round games in the double elimination tournament.

Fair Oaks originally was scheduled to play at 9 a.m. on Wednesday but tourney schedules were changed to accommodate travel arrangements for some of the competing teams, according to Joe Blenkle, the Post 383 web-site editor.

For tournament updates and more on Post 383 go here

July 14, 2012
Fair Oaks Post 383 wins District 6 Senior Legion championship

After building a five-run lead in the seventh inning, Fair Oaks Post 383 held on to beat Lodi 6-4 this afternoon to win the 2012 District 6 Senior American Legion baseball championship in Lodi.

Fair Oaks defeated Lodi 9-8 in Friday night's winner's bracket game before Lodi beat Yolo Post 77 this morning to earn the right to play Post 383 once more in the double elimination tournament.

Fair Oaks, managed by Jerry Crews, now advances to the Area 1 tournament in Auburn.

The team, made up of players who attend or have attended Del Campo, Bella Vista, Casa Roble and El Camino high schools, will face the District 4 runners-up 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

For more, visit Fair Oaks Post 383 Editor Joe Blenkle's web-site

July 13, 2012
Fair Oaks-Lodi meet in District 6 Senior Legion playoffs today

Fair Oaks Post 383 will play Lodi 1:30 p.m. today at Zupo Field in Lodi in the winner's bracket of the District 6 American Legion Senior baseball playoffs.

Fair Oaks defeated Manhart Post 391 10-0 in seven innings Thursday night as Ben Brooks tossed a two-hitter and Tim Hall had a two-run home run.

Yolo Post 77 is now playing Manhart in this morning's loser's bracket game. Post 77 defeated West Sacramento 15-8 last night.

July 13, 2012
National federation toughens baseball bat alteration language

Tougher language, including the possiblity of facing criminal charges, has been added to high school baseball rules to re-emphasize that non-wood bats cannot be altered.

This additional note in Rule 1-3-2 was one of four rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June 3-5 meeting in Indianapolis, according to Bruce Howard, the NFHS Director of Publications and Communications.

Howard said in a press release that all rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The new note in Rule 1-3-2 is as follows: "The NFHS has been advised that certain manufacturers consider alteration, modification and 'doctoring' of their bats to be unlawful and subject to civil and, under certain circumstances, criminal action."

"Not only is it a violation of NFHS baseball rules to alter a non-wood bat, this new language emphasizes that an individual could be subjected to a civil or criminal lawsuit for tampering with a bat," said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and educational services and staff liaison to the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee.

Two other changes deal with the use of new technology. Rule 3-3-1f prohibits the use of video monitoring equipment for coaching purposes during the game, and Rule 3-3-1i prohibits the use of any electronic devices in the coach's box.

July 12, 2012
Elk Grove baseball players are MaxPreps.com All-Americans

Elk Grove players Ryan Tellez and Nick Madrigal have been named to MaxPreps.com's All-American underclass baseball teams.

Tellez, a first baseman who batted .571 and drove in 46 runs, made the 30-man Junior Class All-American Team.

Madrigal, an infielder who batted .379 last spring for the Thundering Herd, made the Freshman All-American team.

July 11, 2012
Cal-Hi honors Granite Bay as 'Special Mention' school

Granite Bay has been named a "Special Mention" school by Cal-Hi Sports.

"A CIF state title in boys golf was recently won by the Grizzlies and capped one of their best school years ever," Cal-Hi editor Mark Tennis wrote. "The year began with coach Ernie Cooper's football team winning the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D-I title. Titles were later won in girls tennis and boys volleyball. Granite Bay also reached the D-II section final in baseball."

De La Salle of Concord was named the Boys State School of the Year and the Division I State School of the Year. Archbishop Mitty of San Jose was the Girls State School of the Year.

Others honored: D-II, La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad; D-III, Campolindo, Moraga; D-IV, Serra, Gardena; D-V, St. Margaret's, San Juan Capistrano.

Joining Granite Bay as Special Mention schools were Mater Dei of Santa Ana; Torrey Pines of San Diego; Palo Alto; Corona del Mar of Newport Beach; Cathedral Catholic of San Diego; Vista Murrieta of Murrieta and Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita.

July 9, 2012
Fair Oaks draws first-round bye for American Legion playoffs

Yolo Post 77 will play Manhart at 3 p.m. and Lodi faces West Sacramento at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the opening round of the District 6 Senior American Legion baseball playoffs at Zupo Field in Lodi.

Fair Oaks Post 383, which won the District 6 regular-season title with an 11-1 record, draws a bye and will play 7 p.m. Thursday against the Manhart-Yolo winner.

The championship game will be played 11 a.m. on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the Area 1 Playoffs July 18-22 in Auburn.

July 6, 2012
Jesuit's Green, Elk Grove's Tellez make Cal-Hi's All-State team

Jesuit's Zach Green and Elk Grove's Ryan "Rowdy" Tellez were named to Cal-Hi Sports' 30-man All-State first team baseball squad.

Green, a senior shortstop who signed with the Philadelphia Phillies after being drafted in the third round last month, batted .408 with 80 RBIs and 11 home runs during his three-year varsity career for the Marauders. Tellez, a junior first baseman, hit .568 with 47 RBIs and seven home runs this past spring.

Davis senior pitcher Ben Eckels, who signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being selected in the 11th round, and Franklin multi-purpose player Josh Pigg made the second team.

El Dorado's Justin Dillon, a Sacramento State signee, made Cal-Hi's All-State Medium School Team and Capital Christian junior pitcher Ben Ritchey was selected to the All-State Small School team.

Elk Grove infielder Dom Nunez, Granite Bay outfielder Aaron Knapp and Woodcreek multi-purpose player Stephen Nogosek, all juniors, joined Tellez on the Cal-Hi All-State Underclass first team.

Tellez was nosed out by Vista of San Diego's Brett Seeburger for Cal-Hi Junior Class Player of the Year. Tellez was Cal-Hi's state Sophomore Class Player of the Year last season.

June 25, 2012
Former Bella Vista star Tyler Robertson joins Twins

Former Bella Vista baseball star Tyler Robertson will be in uniform tonight for the Minneosta Twins when they start a three-game series with the visiting Chicago White Sox.

The Twins promoted the lefthanded reliever from Class AAA Rochester to replace injured closer Matt Capps.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Robertson was 2-2 with three saves and a 3.77 earned run average in 33 games for Rochester this year.

Robertson, 24, has compiled a record of 42-37 in the minors. He was the Twins' third-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

June 19, 2012
Here are the Pioneer Valley League spring all-league teams

Here are the Pioneer Valley League spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. Any corrrections or omissions, email bpaterson@sacbee.com

Most Valuable Player - Nathan Lukes, Center. Coach of the Year - Jeff Wise, Center. First Team - Devin Eldredge, Nick Rebello, Center; James Harris, Trevor McGhee, Bear River; Dave Campbell, Ryan Glazner, Michael Moore, Austin Young, Colfax; Jordan Albarron, Trent Parks, Jake Sola, Ethan Liddle, Lincoln; Eddie Vanderdoes, Ryan Mason, AJ Sanchez, Austin LeBleu, Placer; Zac Woods, Briar Litz, Foothill.

Player of the Year - Austin Childress, Placer; Coach of the Year - Greg French, Placer; First Team - Daniel Gregg, Cody Riecks, Mathew Potter, Clark Pietromonico, Placer; Aubrey Harwell, Jake DePass, Bear River; Kenny Bills, Trevor Wilson, Lincoln; Patrick Cabrera, Colfax.

Offensive Player of the Year - Janelle Jensen, Bear River; Defensive Player of the Year - Kate Bianchi, Colfax; Coach of the Year - Lefty Wilks, Colfax. First Team - Katy Thomas, Celena Wall, Iona Lofrano, Brittany Thomas, Amy Blackburn, Colfax; Melanie Abeyta, Melissa Arthurs, Jasmine Bains, Abbie Faingold, Alyssa Gallagher, Lincoln; Janelle Jensen, Nikolet Welch, Maddi Dunn, Victoria Burke, Bear River; Olivia Holmes, Sabrina Viscuso, Caitlin Letcher, Placer; Patricia Navarro, Andrea Loza, Center; Marissa Sanders, Foothill.

June 13, 2012
Woodcreek No. 14, Sheldon No. 20 in Cal-Hi's final state softball rankings; Franklin is No. 27 in final baseball rankings

Woodcreek finished No. 14 and Sheldon No. 20 in the final Cal-Hi Sports State Top 30 softball rankings. Norco (31-2) finished as the mythical No. 1.

Woodcreek also was No. 3 in the final state D-II rankings behind Mitty of San Jose and Bonita Vista of Chula Vista. Bear River was No. 4 in the final Division III behind Chino Hills, Oakdale and San Marin of Novato.

• Franklin of Elk Grove finished No. 27 in the final Cal-Hi Top 30 baseball rankings. St. Mary's of Stockton, which swept Franklin for the Sac-Joaquin Section D-I title, finished No. 4. Vista (31-4) of San Diego was No. 1.

Woodcreek finished No. 7 in the final D-II state rankings; Valley Christian of Roseville was No. 3 and Bradshaw Christian No. 10 in D-V.

June 7, 2012
Capital Athletic League spring all-league teams

Here are the Capital Athletic League spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: David Parker, Whitney.
All-league: Archy Litvinchuk, Keevan Carr, Kirk Basquez, Whitney; Justin Beskeen, Nathan Mansuetti, Richard Young, Bear River; Taylor Davis, Marcus Manuel, Antelope; Sam Bennett, Placer; Daniel Deloney, Rio Americano; Eric Crothers, El Camino.

Swimmers of the year: Taylor Yamahata, Cathy Woo, Rio Americano.
All-league: Tara Kraft, Antelope; Loree Olson, Colleen Daley, Lauren Votova, Whitney; Nikole Runyon, Cierra Blattler, Angelina Proshak, El Camino; Hailey Ferko, Lexie Franz, Morgan McClure, Robyn Butler, Hannah Eastman, Kyra Sanborn, Erin Van Zanten, Gabrielle Ruxin, Rio Americano.

Swimmers of the year: John Price, Rio Americano; Brenton Sayers, Antelope.
All-league: Alex Sharp, Sean Gardner, Ian Pallasigui, Bryan Unsing, Antelope; Jimmy Wiley, Nick Jordan, Ben Moser, Chris Smith, Josh Jordan, Cameron Runyon, El Camino; Drew Barnhart, Mira Loma; Zach Yokoyama, Austin Welter, Nolan Mistchenko, Gavin White, Kyle Kulper, Rio Americano; Nick Laughlin, August Gonet, Whitney.

June 7, 2012
Tri-County Conference spring all-league teams

Here are the Tri-County Conference spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. For any corrections or omissions, e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVPs: Cheyenne Maxwell, Inderkum; Kayla Treanor, Yuba City.
All-league: Spenser Bradley, Danielle McCarthy, Hailey Maxwell, Melissa Nicorici, Makayla Ruvalcaba, Inderkum; Angelina Gonzales, Victoria Guttierrez, Stacy Larson, Natalie Saldana, Natomas; Sofia Lopez, Jocelya Tomayo, Pioneer; Alexis Agular, River Valley; Emily King, Cynthia Solorio, Kristen Ward, Woodland; Cassidy Fix, Kayla Howard, Bianca Nava, Nubia Ruiz, Yuba City.

MVPs: Brittanie Akey, Pioneer; Leona Lafaele, Inderkum; Logan Moreland, Woodland.
All-league: Gabby Bogear, Tatyana Shulz, Inderkum; Alexandria Tinoco, Natomas; Shelby Baertsch, Tori Bellin, Jesyka Eredia, Pioneer; Nicole Robinson, Hailey Shelton, Jacklyn Tanner, River Valley; Kelsey Goodner, Bailey Lerch, Lauren Tharp, Woodland; Andrea Hazel, Jordan Thompson, Yuba City.

Offensive MVP: Aaron Beyers, Yuba City.
Defensive MVP: Zack Oakley, Yuba City.
All-league: Jake Cormier, Chandler Eden, Cooper Goldby, Robbie Kunkle, Zack Rocha, Yuba City; T.J. Dove, Ryan Johnson, Cameron Olsen, Jake Phillips, River Valley; Justin Carlier, Mike Chavarria, Robert Dougherty, Pioneer; Isaih Hernandez, Mike Secrist, Woodland; Joe Grinstain, Natomas.

MVP: Alex Arroyo, Inderkum.
All-leauge: CJ Spencer, Inderkum; Charles Plank, Pioneer; William Jow, Steven Spatafore, Lucas Vaughn, River Valley; Connor Estrada, Riley Horan, Yuba City.

June 7, 2012
Sierra Valley Conference spring all-league teams

Here are the Sierra Valley Conference spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Griffin Galvin, Sam Mills, Vista del Lago.
Coach of the year: Alan Magat, El Dorado; Dennis Weaver, Highlands.
All-league: Cody Niemann, El Dorado; Jeremy Bubier, Floyd Wormley, Highlands; Griffin Galvin, Sam Mills, Connor Tevenan, Vista del Lago; Corey Verner, Dan Saich, Union Mine; Brandon Koons, Captial Christian; Jim Hansen, Zach Marshall, Arlis Meyer, Golden Sierra; Alec Shintaku, West Campus;

MVP: Matt Sterling, Liberty Ranch.
All-league: Matt Sterling, Johnny Schultz, Liberty Ranch; Dalton Theis, Arik Koeth, Vista del Lago; Tanner Choate, Landon Garcia, Galt; Chris McKnight, Kevin Penfold, Cosumnes Oaks; Jordan Jones, Nathan Fuller, Union Mine.

MVP: Kira Wagoner, Cosumnes Oaks.
Coach of the year: Mike Smith, Liberty Ranch.
All-league: Mackenzie Mercier, Daniela Davis, Janae Gonzales, Shandy Nanomantube, Brittany Fox, Vista del Lago; Kira Wagoner, Brianna Ascencio, Brittany Martin, Ashley Briglia, Cosumnes Oaks; Savannah Porter, Jessica Hartwell, Kelsey Smith, Morgan Gregorio, Liberty Ranch; Alena Salsberg, Taylor Bruno, Hannah Moylan, Haley Caruthers, Union Mine; Annie Wampler, Alicia Rios, River City; Natalie Lizama, Dayna Perez, River City.

June 7, 2012
Sierra Foothill League spring all-league teams

Here are the Sierra Foothill League spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. For any corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Lauren Gollnick, Del Oro.
All-league: Kayla Collins, Elle Gollnick, Kacey Crane, Jessica Kinsken, Jordan McDaniel, Del Oro; Emily Chalfant, Madeline McArthur, Lauren Hayano, Rachel Dortch, Kristin Womack, Woodcreek; Dorien Johnk, Ashlely Sweeting, Kayla Karlsson, Makenzie Brito, Granite Bay; Kara Erickson, Chanisse Hendrix, Lauren Stafford, Amanda Susbilla, Roseville; Joie Camalo, Laura Purdy, Jaymi Boynton, Rocklin; Emma Curtis, Nevada Union.

MVP: Jordan Courage, Del Oro.
All-league: Whitney Smith, Hanna Miller, Hanna George, Courtney Smith, Macie Schwartz, Del Oro; Amanda Horbasch, Jenna Curtan, Christal Vierra, Courtney Johnson, Nicole Miller, Frankie Orlando, Woodcreek; Kayla Fields, Kalei Levy, Lollie Fitzpatrick, Mackensie Priley, Roseville; Maricela Garza, Gia France, Granite Bay; Mikala Strum, Nevada Union; Erin Davis, Maddie Wuelfing, Rocklin.

June 7, 2012
Sacramento Metro Athletic League spring all-league teams

Here are the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League spring all-league teams submitted to The Bee. For any corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Jimmy Shaw, Valley Christian Academy
Coach of the year: Brad Gunter Jr., Valley Christian Academy.
All-league: Blake Lavin, Sam Ithurburn, Kameron Schroeder, Faith Christian; Tony Sciacca, Michael Rowles, Andrew Conemac, Curtis Friedlander, Trinity Prep; Teagan Mowry, Jeremiah Moore, Jake Sween, Quentin Moore, Valley Christian Academy; Daniel Vincent, Anthony Alameda, Buckingham Charter; Keith Shots, Lutheran; Morgan Bennett-Smith, Donald Hutchinson, Sac Country Day.

MVP: Libby Purtill, Buckingham Charter.
Coach of the year: Jeff Rogers, Sac Adventist.
All-leauge: Sabrina Joseph, Taylor Hill, Katie Kyle, Amanda Diego, Buckingham Charter; Haley Moody, Hannah Hruska, Kiley Delozier, New Life Christian; Sammy Chen, Kaitlyn Johnston, Shayna Fausett, Sac Adventist; Madison Galati, Sam Messina, Sac Country Day; Katie Urban, Cassidy Brown, Erin Patterson, Valley Christian Academy; Shelby Trewater, Liz Growney, Lutheran.

June 7, 2012
Woodland Christian's Castaneda named all-CVCL baseball MVP

Here is the All-Central Valley California League baseball team as submitted to The Bee. To submit any additional CVCL spring all-league teams, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Anthony Castaneda, Woodland Christian.
Coach of the year: Jerry Miller, Woodland Christian.
All-league: Shane Norton, Woodland Christian; Hunter Phillips, Robert Bristol, Shane Soria, Kyle Soria, Forest Lake Christian; Clayton Coppernoll, Blake Owen, Victory Christian; Charlie Hammond, Sacramento Waldorf; Andrew Prizmich, Delta; Ian Sykes, Foresthill.

June 7, 2012
Sierra Delta League spring all-league teams

Here are the Sierra Delta League spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Grant Hessinger, Bradshaw Christian.
Coach of the year: Drew Rickert, Bradshaw Christian.
All-league: Seth Vandergrift, Josh Criswell, Austin Ragsdale, Taylor Blackford, Bradshaw Christian; Decarlos Charleston, Encina; Bryson Campbell, Jeff Klahn, Manny Ramirez, Golden Sierra; Luke Carrasco, Highlands; Ryan Katsuki, Wyatt Oakes, Aaron Gomez, Rio Vista; Harjap Singh, San Juan; David Lindsey, Johnny Barum, Tyler Brassfield, William Nipper, Vacaville Christian.

MVP: Taylor Kennedy, San Juan.
Coach of the year: Elaine Rasmussen, Golden Sierra.
All-league: Savannah Stephens, Samantha Bastien, Hollie Johnson, Haley Leard, Kenna Barth, Maci Ruiz, Golden Sierra; Cierra Falston, Cayla Gutierrez, Vacaville Christian; Mary Rose, Encina; Jordan Cox, Brooke-Ashley Castillo, Cynthia Van Bogart, San Juan; Stephanie Douglas, Highlands; Kylee Hagan, Kimmy Guggemos, Crystal Sanchez, Brooke Smith, Rio Vista.

Offensive MVP: Jessica Syracuse, Bradshaw Christian.
Defensive MVP: Madison Kelly, Vacaville Christian.
Coach of the year: David Gleason, Golden Sierra.
All-league: Natalie Parks, Sarah Trapp, Karli Passmore, Mary Petree, Savannah Grant, Kenedi Barkley, Bradshaw Christian; Hannah Dumas, Lindsey Hawkins, Elizabeth Venture, Rio Vista; Jenna Pendzinski, Amanda Dukes, Taylor Gleason, Kayla Anderson, Melissa Comstock, Golden Sierra; Brittany Simmers, Lauren Grabowski, Viviana Diaz, Vacaville Christian; Timmiona Lacy, Daniella Barajas, Highlands; Hannah Till, San Juan.

June 7, 2012
Metro Conference spring all-league teams

Here are the Metro Conference spring all-league teams that were submitted to The Bee. Any corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Phillip Yang, Kennedy.
All-league: Phillip Yang, Kennedy; Jamon Joe-Smith, Florin; Vue Thao, Christopher Xiong, Johnson; Peter Vang, Alan Yang, Valley; Wan Lee, Keng Chang, Burbank; Jason Wada, Justin Hu, Devin Vlach, Greg Fong, McClatchy.

All-league: Matthew Gibbins, Kennedy; Kyle Thielen, Andrew Paiva, Dom Gualco, Nick Kudin, Jake Means, McClatchy; Joe Parsons, Daniel Thompson, Filip Mirita, Thomas Jaramilo, Rosemont.

All-league: Joel Smith, McClatchy.

June 7, 2012
Golden Empire League spring all-league teams

Here are the Golden Empire League spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. Any corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Ben Ritchey, Capital Christian.
Coach of the year: Nelson Randolph, Capital Christian.
All-league: AJ Bell, Korey Hall, CJ McLaughlin, Christopher Rost, Dixon; Daniel Contreras, Phil Pantages, West Campus; Demitri Cranshaw, Terrance Bremby, Mauricio Dubon, Tyler Schimpf, Jacob Woehler, Capital Christian; Chad Perry, Marysville; Chris Sisco, Andrew Sutton, Tim Zucco, Lindhurst; Ryan Whalen, Mesa Verde.

Defensive MVP: Casidee Lynch, Mesa Verde.
Offensive MVP: Jena Mamola, West Campus.
Coach of the year: Archie Munoz, Dixon.
All-league: Emily Long, Paige Florio, Gabby Rodarte, Lizzie Merrill, Capital Christian; Brianna Buckle, Caitlin Castle, Mesa Verde; Ellie Yang, Mai Lia Xiong, Lindhurst; Zayra Bermudez, Brittany Roupp, Aimee Carrazco, Desiree Gutierrez, Viridiana Munoz, Dixon; Caitlin Galvez, Amanda Meroux, Celeste Romano, Marshe Howard, Zoe Worobel, West Campus; Makaya Synak, Marimar Terriguez, Marysville.

June 7, 2012
Delta River League spring all-league teams

Here are the All-Delta River League spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. Any corrections or omissions, e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Zach Stilwell, Pleasant Grove.
All-league: Zach Green, Logan James, Julian Barron, Louis Mejia, Jesuit; Alex deWatteville, Zack Mahan, Austin Root, Lance Berringer, Jason Ross, Alex Fitchett, Oak Ridge; JQ Folena, Matt Stafford, Michael Yanez, Tyler Rathjen, Pleasant Grove; Brandon Langan, Sheldon.

MVP: Natalie Kessing, Ponderosa.
All-league: Lauren Bertoy, Jackie Schmaeling, Jade Matsumoto, Oak Ridge; Amber Murray, Lindsey Willmon, Vanessa Washington, Pleasant Grove; Giana Bilotta, Skye Jerpbak, Paris Hallums, Ponderosa; Bailey O'Mara, Alexis Viramontes, Stephanie Heyward, St. Francis; MeShalon Moore, Amber Glenn, Alexis Cooper, Sheldon.

All-league: Trevor Dong, Brandon Mills, Dylan Kubick, Garrison Yeandle, Joshua Verner, Oak Ridge; Chris Wieser, Jacob Crayne, Matt Flodin, Will Peterson, Matt Hamilton, Keegan Shuping, Jesuit; Andrew Cunningham, Ponderosa.

June 7, 2012
Delta Valley Conference spring all-league teams

Here are the All-Delta Valley Conference spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Shaft Wesley, Grant.
Coach of the year: Richard Faraimo, Grant.
All-league: Dan Bonetti, Isaac Contreras, Sam Manderfield, Davis; Torrey Smith, Elk Grove; Kyle Blevins, Kameron Tinsley, Franklin; Charles Faraimo, Greg Grady, Grant; Austin Bulda, Laguna Creek; Son Nguyen, Gabriel Tavora, Monterey Trail.

All-league: Andrew Dumit, Glenn Hull, Sean Mishra, Isaac Zhang, Davis; Adam Barna, Trevor McClelland, Franklin.

MVP: Patrick Levin, Elk Grove.
All-league: Chase Dossa, Charlie Klein, Davis; Alec Cain, Elk Grove; Eric Tam, Nathan Rimmer, Franklin; James Reede, Monterey Trail.

June 7, 2012
Capital Valley Conference spring all-league teams

Here are the Capital Valley Conference spring all-league teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections or omissions, please e-mail bpaterson@sacbee.com

MVP: Ryan Locke, Bella Vista.
Offensive Player of the year: Ryan Gearing, Oakmont.
Pitcher of the year: David Dellaserra, Bella Vista.
All-league: Jordan Bachart, William Gonzales, Austin Hennen, Mike Phelan, Jordan Vinciguerra, Bella Vista; Nate Bailey, Kyle Fogal, Mitch Samson, Casa Roble; Austin Call, Logan Coggeshall, Dalton Devries, Tommy Wieser, Oakmont; Miles Chambers, Rio Linda; Hunter Dodson, Austin Johnson, Christian Brothers; Tim Hall, Derek Rodigo, Jacob Sexton, Del Campo.

All-league track and field: McKenzie Sup, Sophia Vivaldi, Autumn Edgar, Sarah Reinhardt, Elise Stevens, Karah Kingsbury, Ashley Feldkamp, Sarah Lack, Sierra Fisher, Keanna Velez, Lauren Bush, Brianna Owen, Hannah Johnson, Bella Vista; Joy Weems, Deborai Allen, Sydney Eberhardt, Olivia Brown, Kate Horst, Del Campo; Marisa Carino, Karlie Garcia, Leah Selby, Katie Carte, Kendra Barnhard, Amanda Youngblood, Tiyana Dorsey, Aria Sherazee, Cheyenne Amaro, Oakmont; Kara Romani, Monica Rocco, Christian Brothers.

June 6, 2012
Grant High School football star Shaq Thompson drafted by Boston Red Sox

There was a shriek in the Thompson household Wednesday afternoon in North Sacramento.

Everyone - family and friends - was elated to the point of throwing couch cushions about the news of Shaq Thompson being drafted in the 18th round of the Major League Draft by the Boston Red Sox. Everyone, that is, except Captain Cool himself.

Typical, humble Shaq. The recently graduated Grant High School football star grinned, high-fived all comers and absorbed the news with the sort of calm and composure that has shaped his sporting career and made him such a beloved figure to youth and elderly in Del Paso Heights, where sports figures are generally hailed as heroes.

June 5, 2012
Davis High School pitcher Ben Eckels picked in 11th round by Arizona Diamondbacks in MLB Draft

Pitcher Ben Eckels of Davis High School was drafted in the 11th round of today's Major League Baseball Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Eckels, a 6-foot, 175-pound hard-throwing senior and the region's top arm this spring, went 7-2 this season for the Blue Devils. Davis won the Delta Valley Conference and reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North finals.

Eckels was superb in the postseason with two victories, striking out 12 to beat Oak Ridge and downing Vacaville in fanning 11. His best pitches are a fastball that tops out at 94 mph and a slider.

Eckels pitched this season in honor of his family and also for Scott Heinig, his pitching coach last season, who was also a close friend and a tutor. Heinig died from a fall during last season. Eckels said that getting drafted would be a "dream come true" to honor Heinig and his family that has watched him compete home and away since his youth in Yolo County.

Eckels and teammate Chris Gnos were this week presented by Davis coach Dan Ariola the program's Bobby Jones MVP Award. Jones is the former Davis High star who died during his senior season from leukemia and has remained an inspiration to scores of players growing up in Davis. He also happens to be Eckels' uncle, making for a powerfully emotional presentation for his family.

Eckels told our good friend Bruce Gallaudet of The Davis Enterprise late today that he will sign and report to work this weekend, after his Davis graduation. Talk about growing up in a hurry. Graduate and report to work, armed with a uniform and baseball hat.
- By Joe Davidson
Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

June 5, 2012
Justin Haley of Bella Vista, Sierra College and Fresno State taken in 6th round of MLB Draft by Red Sox

Power pitcher Justin Haley of Bella Vista High School, Sierra College and Fresno State was picked in the sixth round by the Boston Red Sox in today's Major League Draft.

At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Haley has a fastball that tops out at 95 mph. He also has a breaking ball and change in the mix. Haley went 7-4 with Fresno State this spring as a junior. He struck out 94 in 93 innings. He will sign with the Red Sox organization, according to Fresno State reports.

Haley was drafted in the 46th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by Cleveland before playing at Sierra and Fresno State.

Haley was an inside basketball presence for Bella Vista, an example of his athletic gifts, leading his team in 2009 to a 25-5 mark, the best showing for the Broncos since 1990. He led Bella Vista in scoring (13.1 points) and rebounding (6.3).
- By Joe Davidson
On Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

June 5, 2012
Jesuit High School shortstop slugger Zach Green picked in 3rd round by Phillies in MLB Draft

Shortstop/slugger Zach Green of Jesuit High School was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round of today's Major League Baseball Draft, making it a great haul for Marauders players.

In the second round, St. Mary's College ace and Jesuit alum Martin Agosta was picked by the Giants. Those are the two highest drafted players thus far in the draft this season.

Green, a powerfully built 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, anchored the Jesuit infield for two seasons. He has excellent range and good power at the plate. He batted .417 with 21 runs scored and 15 RBIs this season. He only hit one home run, but he also ripped a number of foul balls into the trees down the left-field line at his home park, dropping limbs and birds nests to the ground.

Scouts have followed Green for more than a year. Green now weighs a decision of going to Oregon State or signing.

June 5, 2012
Martin Agosta of Jesuit/St. Mary's picked by Giants in 2nd round of MLB Draft

Martin Agosta of Jesuit High School and St. Mary's College was selected in the second round of today's Major League baseball draft by the San Francisco Giants, his favorite team that features his favorite player in Tim Lincecum.

The 6-foot-1, 189-pound junior right-handed pitcher emerged as a prospect after a solid, if not spectacular prep career.

Agosta relied on three pitches and can hit 94 mph with great movement to go with a curve and changeup. Agosta is also known for his composure.

Agosta played high school ball with catcher Andrew Susac, a second-round pick by the Giants last season. Susac is with Class-A San Jose this summer, recently hitting a grand slam. Jesuit won the 2009 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship with Agosta striking out 57 in 45 inning in going 5-1 with a save. It was during a bases-loaded jam that St. Mary's head coach Jedd Soto noticed Agosta's poise. He didn't get rattled, escaped the jam and won the game.

Agosta's 19 career victories at St. Mary's are tied for third all time with the Gaels, and his nine victories this spring were the most at the Moraga school since 1991. He recorded 223 career strikeouts.
- By Joe Davidson

June 2, 2012
St. Mary's of Stockton beats Franklin to win D-I section baseball title

STOCKTON - From a 1-5 season start to competing on the final day of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, this turnaround baseball season will surely be remembered for years to come at Franklin High School.

The Wildcats of Elk Grove kept that theme in mind in digesting an otherwise difficult day, falling to state power St. Mary's 8-2 in Game 2 of the Division I best-of-three series Saturday afternoon at the University of the Pacific. In taking the series 2-0, the Rams of Stockton celebrated a large-school repeat, joining Elk Grove's run from 2005-07 as the only ones to accomplish such a feat.

St. Mary's in recent seasons has taken down tradition Sacramento-area powers Elk Grove (2010) and Jesuit (2011) and then the upstart section club of 2012.

On Saturday, St. Mary's (27-6) was sharp and Franklin (22-12) was not. The young Wildcats usedf three pitchers, had four errors, managed two hits through six innings and were a step slow against a senior-dominated Rams team that played one of the top schedules on the West Coast. Gio Brusa, the lone starter on the Rams' three-peat, had two hits and four RBIs.

"Great team," Franklin first-year coach Bryan Kilby said of the Rams. "They battled all day and did the little things and we didn't. We can't hang our heads. We've got a nice gorup. We battled all year. It wasn't out day. Four errors is very uncharacteristic for us, and bases loaded with no out and getting one run wasn't like us. But we had a great season."

Franklin placed third in the Delta Valley Conference behind Davis and Elk Grove and then beat those teams in the D-I North postseason, in addition to eliminating then Bee No. 1 Pleasant Grove. Of the 25 players in the Franklin dugout Saturday, 20 will return. Those bidding farewell include senior mainstays in pitchers Josh Pigg, Kyle Von Ruden and Brandon Keup.

An example of the Franklin drive and resolve came from Hank LoForte. The freshman shorstop and leadoff hitter spent three early morning hours in the hospital to figure out what ailed his stomach. He insisted on playing. He will return along with starters in Tyler Blake, Kyle Zanzi, Ryan Sarginson, Nick Frei and Connor Adams.

St. Mary's coach Pete Pijl had his game face on an hour before the first pitch. The veteran Rams coach known for his charm and candor away from the field got into the face of event coordinator Hal Steinback and barked about how the game is "for the kids" in contesting why Steinback was hesitant to allow a junior varsity player out of unifor in for free. At the Klein Family Field entrance, Pijl bumped into Steinback, long regarded as one of the region's most composed and classy coaches at Del Oro in golf and baseball. Steinback never raised his voice, though he did tell the coach to, "get out of my face."

Pijl was all smiles in victory, however, though he and Steinback did not shake hands during the banner presentation.
- By Joe Davidson

June 1, 2012
St. Mary's beats Franklin of Elk Grove 4-2 in Game 1 of D-I baseball title series

STOCKTON - They are brothers, roommates and the best of friends.

Rest assured, Friday night lasted into the wee hours amid fast food and game-day projections.

Franklin High School baseball coach Bryan Kilby and brother Brad - the pitching coach - left the University of the Pacific plotting new strategies after a frustrating 4-2 loss to St. Mary's in the opener of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I best-of-three series.

The Rams of Stockton made it 2-0 in the second inning off a chopper to third that was lost in the sun and then pulled ahead in the bottom of the fifth with a sacrifice fly by Charlie Gaff and a J.J. Wagner RBI double. Joey Caffese and Kyle Cortopassi kept the Wildcats of Elk Grove in check with a four-hitter for the program's 18th victory in 20 outings.

Franklin starter Kyle Von Ruden pitched well, striking out six and allowing four, but his team managed just one two-out hit and stranded runners in five of the seven innings. Still, the Wildcats (22-11) remain upbeat, understanding they can derail a juggernaut and clinch their own bit of history today. Franklin, winners of 16 of 19 coming into Friday, must win twice today at UOP in order to secure its first baseball championship and just the third team title in school history (softball and track).

St. Mary's (26-6) is attempting to become just the second large school in section history to three-peat, joining the Jeff Carlson-coached Elk Grove teams of 2005-2007. The other significant dynasty run in D-I was put together by Cordova and famed coach Guy Anderson with three titles in four seasons and four in seven in the 1980s.

St. Mary's coach Pete Pijl has his program in the title series for the fifth time in six years.
St. Mary's has fared well against Sacramento-area foes this season with early nonleague wins over Rocklin (1-0) and Elk Grove (5-4). The Rams are 5-0 in this postseason, though Franklin held them to their lowest run total in that stretch.

"I liked the way we battled," coach Kilby said, his brother addressing the team near by. "I like how our young team competed against a team like St. Mary's that starts only one junior, the pitcher. It was a tough ball in the sun; little things."

Kyle Zanzi tied it 2-2 in the Franklin third with a two-run triple to dead center. The outfielder also showcased his cannon arm with throws to the plate.

Franklin will start hard-throwing ace Josh Pigg (6-1) today at noon with Game 3, if necessary, to follow. Pigg has had some spectacular playoff moments this spring with wins over Pleasant Grove and Davis, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 by The Bee entering the postseason. Confidence in Pigg? One could sense it in the faces of the Wildcats.

"Absolutely," Kilby said. "We're always confident, especially with Josh. We leave with our heads held high and we'll come back (today) ready for two games. We can do it."
- By Joe Davidson
Davidson joins Mike Finnerty on Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on the SureWest Sports Radio Show on ESPN1320.net to review the prep sports year and to look ahead. The show links later in the day to ESPN1320.net.

June 1, 2012
River Cats to hold Sunday baseball showcase doubleheader

A number of area players will participate in the inaugural Sacramento River Cats' Raley Field High School Baseball Showcase Doubleheader on Sunday.

The event, with games at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., culminates the River Cats' high school baseball series that featured 46 games this spring at the home of the Oakland A's Triple-A affiliate.

Each of the four teams, which will have 25-man rosters, will be managed by former Major League players, including Jim Barr, Rowland Office, Dion James and Greg Vaughn.

Admission and parking to Sunday's games are free, although fans are encouraged to donate to the Sacramento Food Bank.

Any fan making a cash donation of $5 or more - or any canned good donation - will receive a ticket voucher good for any Monday-Wednesday River Cats home game during the 2012 season.

Game 1, 1 p.m.
Garrett Greenhaw, Anderson; Josh Toft and James Harris, Bear River; Jack Payne and Josh Tucker, Benicia; David Huson, Casa Roble; Kyle Twisselman and Zack Seibert, Chico; Gary Root and Michael Moore, Colfax; Cyrus Yerxa, Colusa; Chirstopher roster and AJ Bell, Dixon; Tommy Sleva and Justin Oscan, East Nicolaus; Zack Woods and Mitch MacDonald, Foothill; Jordan Koch, Elk Grove; Brandon Taylor, Derek Gogna and Jacob Stewart, Linden; Mario Smaldino and Mossimo Smaldino, Maria Carrillo; Chase Conla and Kody Waite, Mt. Shasta; Dusty Zeisler and Spencer Cho, Nevada Union; Logan Coggeshell, Oakmont; Billy Broad, Portola; Tyler Reed and Cole Robinson, Red Bluff; Jake Phillips and Austin Spencer, River Valley; Jesse Scholtens, Rodriguez; Justin Beacham and Kahlil King, Sacramento; Jaake Lorigan, Sheldon; Caleb Parker, Quintin Hicks and Morgan Osgood, Sutter; Isaac Williams and Tyler Leal, Union Mine; Zach Rocha and Robbie Kunkle, Yuba City.

Game 2, 7 p.m.
Bryan Babock and Wayne Castro, Antelope; Ryan Locke and David Dellaserra, Bella Vista; Jacob Whoeler, Capital Christian; Nathan Lukes and Rick Rebello, Mitch Samson, Casa Roble; Center; Jonathan Macmonagle and Jonathan Mckeown, Cordova; Ben Eckels and George Hatamiya, Davis; Michael Frantz and Joey Thompson, El Camino; Justin Dillon, El Dorado; Trevor Hicks, Elk Grove; Josh Pigg, Franklin; Logan James and Louis Mejia, Jesuit; Malik Pruitt and Justin Beatty, Laguna Creek; Jared James, McClatchy; Ryan Gearing, Oakmont; Lance Berringer and Cody Morris, Oak Ridge; Michael Chavarria, Pioneer; Zach Stilwell, Pleasant Grove; Alex Mungnaini and Sutter McLoughlin, Rio Americano; Miles Chambers and Jesse Luna, Rio Linda; Tanner McVey and Stevin Cisneros, Rocklin; Dalton Blaser and Mark Reece, Roseville; Austin Hagarty and Shaun Mize, Woodcreek.

For more, go to River Cats

May 28, 2012
Nogosek leads Woodcreek past rival Granite Bay to win D-II baseball title

nogosek.jpgStephen Nogosek (left) understands anxiety away from the playing field.

His father and idol Troy is a Sacramento firefighter who has carried babies out of burning buildings and then collapsed at his family's feet at home in exhaustion. Troy also races cars in his free time, crashing into walls and cracking ribs and blowing out knees with ensuing ambulance rides to the hospital.

So what's a seven-inning effort in the biggest high school moment of his life? A breeze.
With Nogosek tossing a complete-game two hitter with six strikeouts on Monday night, the Woodcreek Timberwolves capped an improbable playoff run with a 9-2 victory over rival Granite Bay to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship at coolish, gusty Sacramento City College.

A full crowd at Union Stadium, many huddled in blankets as if attending a Giants game at old Candlestick Park, saw two aces start and one finish unbeaten. Nogosek finished his junior season 8-0 after recording a 1-2-3 sixth inning and striking out two in the seventh. After the final out, Nogosek hugged all comers. Before all that, Nogosek's mother Jennifer paced nervously in the stands. Troy studied every at bat intently.

"Moms always freak out when their sons pitch - it's a mom thing," Nogosek said. "My dad is laid back. My dad is amazing. We worry that he'll get hurt as a firefighter, and he tells us that when little kids or any kids get hurt he thinks of us. No matter what happens, we're glad when he makes it home safe. It's real life."

Woodcreek (24-7) overcame injuries and a brutally competitive Sierra Foothill League to fight and claw its way through the postseason, including beating Rocklin twice in one day to reach this stage. Thin on pitching due to injuries, Woodcreek leaned heavily on Nogosek and a superb supporting cast of Shaun Mize, Austin Haggarty, Alex Montes, George Corp, Perry Beaber, Austin Blatnick, Brandon Raposa and Bobby Paser. Mize was especially strong at shortstop and Corp at catcher.

Woodcreek chased Keeney in the fourth with a 7-1 lead. Keeney came in 7-0 and was hoping to end his stellar prep career with a baseball championship to match his D-I football title. Granite Bay finished 23-8.

Division II
Rodriguez 3, El Camino 0 - Jesse Scholtens, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound power pitcher headed to Arizona, tossed a complete-game three-hitter with nine strikeouts for the Fairfield team's first championship. Scholtens (7-1) outdueled El Camino ace Mike Frantz, who allowed six hits and struck out five. El Camino came in winners of 10 consecutive games and 15 of 16 games under first-year coach David Brown. The Eagles (20-11) were in their first title game for any division. Rodriguez (23-9) lost to Benicia in the D-III finals last season. Scholtens lost only to Placer and ace Ryan Mason 2-1, in the playoffs.

Division VII
Valley Christian 6, Millennium 0 - The Lions of Roseville scored five in the first, and sophomore Jeremiah Moore tossed a complte-game two-hitter with four strikeouts for the program's fourth title in five seasons. Moore and Bronson Buljan each had two-run singles in the first for Valley Christian (23-6), which ended the season on a 19-game winning streak. Lions coach Brad Gunter Jr. said he was pleased for his seniors and thrilled for his father of the same name who founded the school and serves as a lead administrator and pastor.

"He nearly died twice on us with heart trouble," Brad Jr. said. "Watching him carry that blue championship banner, hugging all these players, his happiness, that's what makes this so special. I am so happy for him."

Lions players ribbed their coach for his long, red-dyed beard, which hasn't been touched during the winning streak.

"I need the dye otherwise I'd look like Santa with all that gray, and that's no good," Gunter Jr. said. "Coaching high school kids makes you gray. Don't be surprised if it's down to my waist next year. Can't cut it now."
- By Joe Davidson
On Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 28, 2012
Rodriguez-Fairfield ace Scholtens beats El Camino in D-III baseball title game

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

May 28, 2012
Valley Christian of Roseville wins another baseball title; emotional day for Gunter family

The emotions were genuine and sincere Monday afternoon for the Gunter family.

Tears, hugs and more tears and deeper hugs.

Brad Gunter Sr. founded Valley Christian High School, serves as the school pastor, lead administrator and general good-will ambassador. Sixteen years ago, he hired his son Brad Jr. to coach the baseball team at the small school tucked in a back alley in Roseville, and Gunter Jr. hired himself - he's the athletic director, after all - five years later to double as the men's basketball coach.

There has been a legacy of winning ever since. The latest championship blue banner came as the result of a 6-0 win over Millennium of Tracy in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII title game at Sacramento City College's Union Stadium. It is Valley Christian's fourth such title in five years.

Capping the season with a 19-game winning streak isn't what kicked open the floodgates for father and son. The fact that father is even here is what triggered the emotions.

"He nearly died twice on us with heart trouble," Brad Jr. said. "Watching him carry that blue championship banner, hugging all these players, his happiness, that's what makes this so special. Wow. And he's doing outstanding now. He's fine."

Gunter Sr., 61, had a blood infection that attacked his main heart valves in September. In bed, entering surgery, he sang "Amazing Grace." His sons Brad, Mark and Nathan feared he was dying and that he was OK with it. And he was. One problem. The family wasn't quite on board.

"As a Christian, I was ready to go," Brad Sr. said, tears welling up. "I was OK with it, but my family wasn't ready for it. I worried for them. Doctors told me they didn't understand how I was still alive. I am so glad I am. I'm emotional for my kids - all these kids - and my son and grandson (Micah), who is on the team."

Asked about the impact of his son as a teacher, coach and mentor, the elder Gunter exhaled deeply. More tears. More reflection.

"Unbelievable pride is what I feel," Gunter Sr. said. "There isn't a better man. His grace, handling things under pressure, he's fantastic."

But the beard? Oh the beard.

Gunter Jr. sports a hearty thatch of hair growth on his face, all rooted in superstition. He hasn't plucked even a single hair since the winning streak. He's applied a lot of red dye, too. He looks ready to join ZZ Top as an emergency fill in. Wife Megan and 11-year old twin daughters Claudia and Cloe roll their eyes at the view of "The Beard."

"I need the dye otherwise I'd look like Santa with all that gray, and that's no good," Gunter Jr. said. "Coaching high school kids makes you gray. Don't be surprised if it's down to my waist next year. Can't cut it now."

Valley Christian seized control against the Falcons of Tracy in the first inning, scoring five runs. Bronson Buljan and Jeremiah Moore each had two-run singles.

Moore, just a sophomore, also pitched a complete-game two-hitter with five strikeouts to cap a 23-6 season. Bryan Roush, Teagan Mowry, Jimmy Shaw, Quentin Moore and Zach Sween all had hits for the Lions.

"Moore has a very, very bright future," coach Gunter said. "We've had 23 guys move on from our program to college over the years but he may have the biggest arm."

Valley Christian also offers more proof that small-school programs are small in enrollment only. The goals are just as large as anyone else. What's more, the Lions played bigger schools and more than held their own. Valley Christian lost to D-II finalist Woodcreek 4-0 and to D-III finalist El Camino 4-2 in nine innings.

"We don't have a lot of blue-chip guys, though we have some," coach Gunter said. "We have some freshmen who come in and we hand them a glove and practice pants for the first time. But in time, it all works. We've had an unbelievable run."
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 25, 2012
Sacramento State baseball beats Fresno State to reach Western Athletic Conference Tournament finals

Sacramento State's thrill ride season continues.

On the heels of their first Western Athletic Conference baseball championship, the Hornets on Friday night beat Fresno State 8-3 in the WAC Tournament semifinals in Mesa, Ariz. to reach its first title game.

Second-seeded Sac State jumped to an early lead on a Clay Cederquist three-run double in the first inning. The former Fresno State player had three hits, as did Derrick Chung and Will Soto. David Del Grande and Brent Hottman each had two RBIs for the Hornets, who had nine hitters record a hit and seven score a run.

Freshman Brennan Leitao retired 13 consecutive Bulldogs at one point and struck out three, and relievers Garrett Kraemer and Tyler Hoelzen tossed shutout innings to advance the Hornets to Saturday night's title game against the winner of Saturday's Fresno State-Louisiana Tech consolation winner.

Sac State is in the midst of its best Division I season, having moved up from D-II in 1991. Sac State's 31 victories also mark the most the program has had in D-I.
- Joe Davidson
On Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 25, 2012
Franklin-Elk Grove baseball beats Davis to its first win Division I North championship

The wheel buckled a bit here and there, but they never came off.

Franklin High School overcame a slow start to this baseball season, dodged pitfalls and pot holes during a bumpy regular season amid injuries and stout competition and capped it Friday night with a slice of school history.

The Wildcats beat Delta Valley Conference rival Davis 3-2 to win their first Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North championship at Sacramento City College in Candlestick Park-like chilly conditions.

Davis stunned Franklin 5-3 earlier Friday on a Chris Gnos two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning to force the deciding game. Gnos had a chance to repeat his effort with two outs and two on in the bottom of the seventh in the clincher but he went down looking on a Kyle Von Ruden strikeout, eliciting a celebration months in the making.

True to form, Franklin's team bus had a blow out on the way home from a 6-2 outbracket win over Vintage of Napa to open this tournament, a complete-game effort for Von Ruden, and sat stranded on the freeway for two hours. On Tuesday, Franklin beat Davis 8-6 in eight innings in a winner's bracket final, and Wildcats first-year coach Bryan Kilby found his pickup with a flat in the parking lot.

On Friday, in Game 2, no such detours and no flats later.

"It's been an interesting road, but it's been a fun road," Kilby said. "I'm so happy for these kids and these coaches. We played two great games here today. Every game with Davis is like this. We wanted to put the ball in our senior's hands and let them decide it."

Decide it they did. Brandon Keup allowed five hits and struck out four. He hadn't pitched in nearly three weeks but looked the part of fresh, eager performer here. The Franklin juniors also had big moments, including Tyler Blake, whose RBI single in the third put Franklin up 2-1. Catcher Nick Frei had an RBI single to make it 3-1. Ryan Sarginson had three hits in the early Friday game and two more with an RBI in the clincher.

Freshman shortstop Hank LoForte threw out a runner at third base to end the sixth with that 3-2 lead. Von Ruden, the senior leader, came on in relief in the sixth. Up and down the lineup, the Wildcats received big efforts.

"What can you say about Von Ruden - a super kid, a great student," Kilby said. "And Hank LoForte plays beyond his years. His baseball IQ is unbelievable. You can tell he's a coach's kid."

Now LoForte and the gang want what LoForte's father has. Brian LoForte coached McClatchy to the 1998 section D-I championship, beating freshly drafted first-round pick C.C. Sabathia and Vallejo.

Franklin plays two-time defending D-I champion St. Mary's of Stockton in Game 1 of the best-of-three series on Friday at Pacific.

Davis, meanwhile, finishes a trying season that included a DVC championship and a spirited run in this postseason. Blue Devils coach Dan Ariola offered a lot of hugs for departing seniors such as ace Ben Eckels and leader George Hatamiya, the catcher and scholar who played gallantly despite losing his mother Nancy to cancer last week.

Hatamiya got the save in the first game Friday after a strong starting effort by Reinert Toft. Hatamiya tossed three more solid innings in the night cap. Franklin coaches congratulated Hatamiya for his career and resolve after the late game Friday. The senior was moved by the gesture.

"I can't ask any more than what these guys gave me, every one of them," Ariola said, exhaling. "Give credit to Franklin. Keup was pretty impressive, and Von Ruden was good. We can't complain. We had a great season."

Davis will lose some key seniors in Eckels, Hatamiya, Gnos, Reinert Toft, Jack Shelledy and Pat Kreidler, who epitomized his team's grit in laboring through a bad ankle down the stretch of the season. Kreidler played strong defense in center field in the playoffs.

Those returning for Davis for another run: Joe Murray, Ryan Plumb, Bobby Young, Hayden Duer, John Ariola, Chris Daunt and Matt Trask.
- By Joe Davidson
Joe Davidson co-hosts with Mike Finnerty on the SureWest Sports Radio Show on
Saturday on ESPN1320 from 9-10 a.m. The show will also link later in the day on ESPN1320.net

May 24, 2012
Eckels strikes out 11 and Davis eliminates Vacaville 2-1 in D-I North baseball thriller

Today is Senior Ditch Day at Davis High School, meaning those closing in on graduation can play hooky and go hang out at, say, the library for kicks and giggles.

Rest assured, the seniors for the Blue Devils baseball team will be in the front row of classes with their minds on the urgency for Friday night's engagement with rival Franklin.

With Ben Eckels dueling Elway Santistevan in a terrific, fast-paced pitching duel, Davis beat Vacaville 2-1 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North loser's bracket final at blustering Sacramento City College on Thursday night.

May 24, 2012
Sacramento State baseball beats Nevada 15-5 to open WAC Tournament play

Sacramento State beat Nevada 15-5 on Thursday afternoon in Mesa, Az. to open Western Athletic Conference Tournament play.

Justin Higley had a two-run home run in the sixth inning, Will Soto had three hits and Rhys Hoskins had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the first for the second-seeded Hornets.

Reliever Tyler Hoelzen got the win, allowing two hits and no runs in 2-plus innings.

It is Sac State's first WAC Tournament appearance since losing to Nevada by that same 15-5 score - exactly four years to the date.

Sac State plays the winner of Thursday's late Fresno State-New Mexico State game at 7 p.m. on Friday with the winner advancing to the WAC title game.

Sac State is riding a feel-good wave with Reggie Christiansen earning WAC Coach of the Year honors, Andrew Ayers WAC Player of the Year and Hoskins Freshman of the Year.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 23, 2012
Woodcreek, El Camino reach Section baseball title rounds with inspired efforts

It's playoff time in the Sac-Joaquin Section and nothing comes easy with every win greatly appreciated.

Here's a run-down on some of the Wednesday action:

* Woodcreek 4, Rocklin 3 - The Timberwolves beat their Sierra Foothill rivals twice at American River College to advance to the Division II title game against a familiar foe in SFL member Granite Bay on Monday at Sacramento City College.

Stephen Nogosek came on in relief to earn the save, ending it with a strikeout after earning a complete-game 5-0 win in Game 2 of this best-of-three series. He at one point retired 12 consecutive Rocklin batters.

May 22, 2012
Franklin baseball beats rival Davis in extra innings behind Zanzi, Von Ruden, Waters, Pigg; play for first D-I North title

Kyle Zanzi is a scholar who packs the sort of of GPA that makes you nod and wonder just how large and active his brain is.

The Franklin High School junior takes Advanced Placement physics and calculus, and he's a pretty fair baseball talent, too.

The junior outfielder chugging with all his might scored the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the 8th inning off a Taylor Waters single, and Josh Pigg slammed the door in relief from there to key an 8-6 victory over Davis on Tuesday night in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I-North semifinals at Sacramento City College.

As if that wasn't reason enough for the upstarts for Elk Grove to celebrate, cup cakes anyone? Zanzi's father John blushed when his 50th birthday was announced early in this rivalry rematch of Delta Valley Conference foes by public address voice Steve Gill. Zanzi family members gleefully handed out frosted eats.

Pigg, the team ace, devoured all comers, too. The powerful senior earned the win in relief, striking out seven, including the side twice. He spelled fellow senior leader Kyle Von Ruden, who struck out nine and really only struggled in the first inning, a frame that ended with a 4-4 tie.

Pigg tied it with a two-out hit up the middle in the seventh. He may start the title game on Friday against the winner of the Thursday loser's bracket finale between Vacaville and Davis. Or Franklin could go with Tyler Blake, who tossed a complete-game gem to beat Elk Grove 9-1 on Saturday. Or perhaps Brandon Keup. In other words, a lot of arms and possibilities for first-year coach Bryan Kilby, whose pitching coach is brother Brad Kilby. Brad Kilby logged several pitching seasons in the A's organization and is hopeful of a return when his arm returns to health.

Bryan Kilby said he he delighted with the makeup and poise of his young team.

"Zanzi's a brilliant kid, way smarter than us coaches," the coach said. "Von Ruden is our guy, the leader. He wants to do everything right. Pigg is a super athletic kid. He'd be unbelievable in football and basketball but he loves baseball. You want the ball in his hands because he gives you everything he's got. So many great guys. It's a joy to coach them."

Ryan Sarginson had two hits, Pigg two RBIs and Adams had a two-run single for Franklin. Ben Eckles had a three-run triple in the first for Davis and John Ariola had two hits and three RBIs. Eckels will likely start against Vacaville on Thursday. He struck out 12 on Thursday to beat Oak Ridge 5-2.

* Granite Bay 12, McClatchy 7 at American River College - Sophomore designated hitter Justin Lehman continued his hot playoff hitting, belting a three-run home run for the Grizzlies, who closed out the Lions in two games to reach the Division II title game Monday at Sac City. The Grizzlies, who led McClatchy 11-0 after two innings, play the winner of today's other D-II semifinal between Sierra Foothill League rivals Rocklin and Woodcreek.

* Valley Christian 7, Elliott Christian 5 - Jake Sween, a 6-foot-5 senior who just signed a letter of intent with Westmont College, went the distance, walking none and escaping jams, and Isaac Van Patten had three hits for the Lions of Roseville, who advanced to the D-VII title game for the fifth consecutive season. VC seeks its fourth title under coach Brad Gunter Jr. Gunter, a man with personality and pride, has been sporting an ever-growing beard, one he won't touch as long as this 18-game winning streak grows.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

PHOTO CAPTION: Franklin thirdbaseman Josh Pigg readies for the pitch during the Delta Valley League game wth Elk Grove at Franklin High School in Elk Grove April 25, 2011.

May 22, 2012
Sac State baseball earns Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year - all D-I firsts

A season of firsts continues for the Sacramento State baseball team.

The Hornets on Tuesday learned that Reggie Christiansen was named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for guiding his program to a WAC tri-championship a year after finishing last, Andrew Ayers was named WAC Player of the Year and Rhys Hoskins is the WAC Freshman of the Year, all voted by WAC coaches.

The only other Division I program to go from worst to first this season was Cornell of the Ivy League. Christiansen, in his second year as head coach, said he will continue to build his program with "80 to 85 percent local players."

Christiansen calls Hoskins the most mature freshman he has coached, saying, "he has no upside. It's limitless. I think he'll be playing this game for a long time."

Since entering D-I play in 1991, the Hornets have not gained any of these honors.
Ayers, a junior from Eureka, played the infield and outfield and batted in every spot in the lineup except cleanup. He led the WAC in hitting with a .427 average and had 18 RBIs in 18 WAC games. Hoskins of Jesuit High School led Sac State in batting (.355), home runs (10) and RBIs (49).

Christiansen calls Hoskins the most mature freshman he has coached, saying, "he has no upside. It's limitless. I think he'll be playing this game for a long time." He said Ayers provided leadership, versatility and clout all season.

Ayers led the WAC with 32 hits, 18 RBIs and a .627 slugging percentage in 18 games. He was second in the WAC with seven doubles. He batted .335 overall this season with 32 runs, 15 doubles and three home runs. He started 43 games at second base, six at shortstop, three in left field and one in right.

Despite all the movement, Ayers made just three errors all season. The last honor similar to this for the Hornets was Mike Eby earning WAC Western Division Player of the Year in 1995.

Christiansen, a defensive-minded coach, saw his Hornets finish in the NCAA top 10 for fielding percentage and was top ranked for four weeks.

Making first team All-WAC for the Hornets: senior catcher Derrick Chung and sophomore outfielder Justin Higley. Senior designated hitter Trevor Paine and sophomore pitcher Dallas Chadwick earned second-team All-WAC honors.

Paine of Jesuit batted .340 in WAC play. He missed most of last season with a wrist injury. Chadwich had a 3.06 ERA in six WAC appearances

Sac State opens WAC Tournament play on Thursday in Mesa, Az. - The Hornets made a journey of it, heading to Arizona by bussing to Pasadena, then to Phoenix to catch the Diamondbacks-Dodgers game.
- By Joe Davidson

May 21, 2012
Vacaville eliminates Elk Grove in Division I baseball playoffs; Tellez hits 425-foot home run

Tony Gonsolin has had a monster playoff run and promises he isn't finished yet.

Neither are his gritty Vacaville Bulldogs.

Gonsolin tossed a complete-game three-hitter, struck out six and smacked two doubles, and teammate Elway Santistevan had a two-run home run to key a 7-3 victory over Elk Grove on Monday night in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I elimination game at Sacramento City College.

Santistevan pitched a gem against two-time defending North champion Jesuit in a playoff opener on Saturday, with Gonsolin earning the save when he struck out Zach Green swinging to seal that 3-2 win in the bottom of the seventh inning. That was Vacaville's first playoff win in nine years. Elk Grove eliminated the Bulldogs in a playoff opener last season.

Gonsolin and Santistevan bat 1 and 2 in the Bulldogs lineup and got things going in a hurry against Elk Grove. They combined for six hits.

The only pitch Gonsolin truly regretted was the first-inning meat pitch he offered Rowdy Tellez, who drove it over the right-field fence some 425 feet onto the Sac City softball field. Tellez going yard is nothing new. He has scouts wildly intrigued about his power and potential.

Vacavile advances to Thursday's semifinal against the loser of Tuesday night's Davis-Franklin winner's bracket contest at Sac City.

Elk Grove bows out after another strong season. The Thundering Herd entered the season top ranked by The Bee and tied Davis for the Delta Valley Conference. Elk Grove tossed a no-hitter to beat Napa 1-0 in a playoff opener behind David Smith before falling to Franklin 9-0 on Saturday.

Elk Grove will return a wealth of talent next season under veteran coach Jeff Carlson, including Tellez, Dom Nunez, Smith, Nick Madrigal, Michael Wright, Derek Hill and Robert Ortega, among others.
- By Joe Davidson

May 20, 2012
Cosumnes River College makes history, wins State JC Baseball Championship in 12 innings

When Cosumnes River College opens its new baseball complex next season, the Hawks of Sacramento will be able to decorate the place a bit with a spiffy, new banner and a reminder of a road well traveled.

Specifically, a California Community College Athletic Association State championship, courtesy of today's dramatic 8-6 victory over nationally ranked No. 3 Rio Hondo of Whittier in Bakersfield.

In the top of the 12th inning, Josh Silver scored Colby Brenner with a single for a 7-6 lead. Brenner got on with a bunt single and then stole second. Phillip Roa then doubled off the wall to score Silver for the score.

May 19, 2012
Tyler Blake, Josh Pigg, Kyle Von Ruden lead Franklin past Elk Grove in Division I baseball

By Joe Davidson

A month ago, Tyler Blake wasn't sure how many innings he would pitch this high school baseball season. Or how effective he would be.

He has a pretty clear indication now.

With the 6-foot-7 junior lefty looking fit and focused and his teammates smacking 10 hits, the Franklin Wildcats belted rival Elk Grove 9-1 on Saturday afternoon in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North playoff game at Sacramento City College.

Blake rested a tender pitching elbow most of the season, tossed a complete-game 4-0 shutout against Grant to help secure a playoff berth and looked even better here. Blake threw six consecutive shutout innings in negating a Thundering Herd lineup known to light up all comers.

Blake wasn't overpowering with just two strikeouts, but he was beautifully effective. Yet there he was running back and forth on the warning track, between the foul poles, after the Wildcats of Elk Grove improved to 3-0 in the postseason for the first time. Turns out the conditioning drill is mandatory for all pitchers, win or lose.

"I'm tired but I feel good," said a winded Blake, who also had two hits and drove in a run. "I love pitching and this team. Glad to be back on the mound."

Josh Pigg had a two-run single and Kyle Von Ruden had a three-run triple to highlight a six-run Franklin third inning. Von Ruden earned the win in an opening 6-2 playoff victory over Vintage of Napa and Pigg was the winning pitcher in an 11-5 effort against Pleasant Grove on Wednesday.

Now the Wildcats have a sudden surplus of arms. They will face another familiar foe Tuesday night in Davis, which tied Elk Grove for the Delta Valley Conference championship. Franklin finished third, though it did have wins over Elk Grove and Davis.

"The guys are playing well," Franklin coach Bryan Kilby said. "Tyler Blake was phenomenal on the mound, Pigg had a great game at the plate, Kyle was unbelievable (at second base) and his three-run triple was a back breaker."

* Davis 4, Vacaville 3 - Hayden Duer had a no-out, walk-off hit in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Blue Devils, who moved to 2-0 in this increasingly tense tournament that has featured surprise blowouts and outcomes. A junior designated hitter batting seventh, Duer pumped after his fist as Davis overcame three errors and used a double play in the Vacaville eighth to avoid the loser's bracket.

"That was a great game," Davis coach Dan Ariola said.

Davis received strong pitching from starter Matt Trask, who allowed no hits and left with a 3-2 lead in the third, and Reinert Toft, who struck out five and allowed two hits. Vacaville starter Deandre Casovia struck out four and walked four. Chris Gnos, Bobby Young and Ben Eckels each had an RBI for Davis.

Vacaville beat two-time defending North champion Jesuit 3-2 in a playoff opener on Wednesday and now plays Elk Grove on Monday night in an elimination game. Davis opened this event with a 5-2 victory over Oak Ridge with Eckels striking out 12.

* Granite Bay 4, McClatchy 3 at American River College - Devin Lehman had the go-ahead RBI single in the fifth inning and Gabe Meza tossed two close-out innings for the Grizzlies, who took Game 1 of the best-of-three Division II series. Lehman had six RBIs in an 11-3 opening-round win over Del Campo on Friday.

* Rocklin 9, Woodcreek 0 - Austin Dick tossed a complete-game four-hitter with four strikeouts and one walk, and Timberwolves pitchers hit eight batters in the other D-II three-game series opener.
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 19, 2012
Cosumnes River College beats Big 8 Conference rival Sierra to reach state JC championship gameeball game

Another win, another step closer to a unique piece of state and school history.

Cosumnes River College beat Big 8 Conference rival Sierra College 12-8 on Saturday afternoon in the California Community College Athletic Association State Baseball semifinals in Bakersfield behind Colby Brenner (four RBIs) and Josh Silver (two RBIs). CRC scored three runs in each of the fifth and sixth inning to take a 7-2 lead.

The Hawks advanced to their first state-title game Sunday and need to win once against Rio Hondo, which eliminated Sierra with a 4-1 triumph Saturday night, to become the only team to win a championship without the benefit of playing any home games. CRC is undergoing a facilities upgrade and hasn't even had a home practice. A second game Sunday follows, if necessary.

Will Gilliland scored four runs for CRC and Nick Smart earned the win to improve to 6-5. Smart struck out four and gave up five earned runs.

Though Sierra beat CRC two out of three meetings in Big 8 play, the Hawks surged late and won the conference, which crowned state champions in 2008 (Sierra) and last season (Delta College of Stockton).

CRC under coach Tony Bloomfield started league play at 2-5 and celebrated the Big 8 title by having a pool part at the coach's house in Davis. CRC has gone 6-1 in this postseason with two Regional titles and a 3-1 state-opening win over Rio Hondo to snap the Whittier team's national-leading 33-game winning streak.
Kaden Kamoe drove in two for Sierra.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 19, 2012
Hayden Duer beats Vacaville 4-3 with walk-off hit in 8th in Division I baseball playoffs

Hayden did it.

Hayden Duer - pronounced do-er - had a no-out, walk-off hit in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Davis High School past Vacaville 4-3 on Saturday afternoon in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I-North playoff game at Sacramento City College.

Davis moved to 2-0 in this increasingly tense tournament of large-schools chock full of odd twists, turns and upsets and moves to Tuesday's winner's bracket final to face the winner of Saturday's Elk Grove-Franklin second-round game.

A junior designated hitter batting seventh, Duer admitted he was trying to "do too much" with earlier at-bats" but relaxed in this situation. He pumped his fist as the winning run scored. Davis overcame three errors and used a double play in the Vacaville eighth to avoid the loser's bracket.

"That was a great game," Davis coach Dan Ariola said.

Davis received strong pitching from starter Matt Trask, who allowed no hits and left with a 3-2 lead in the third, and Reinert Toft, who struck out five and allowed two hits.

Vacaville starter Deandre Casovia struck out four and walked four. Chris Gnos, Bobby Young and Ben Eckels had RBIs for Davis.

Vacaville beat two-time defending North champion Jesuit 3-2 in an opener on Wednesday and now plays Monday night against the loser of the Elk Grove-Franklin game. Davis opened this event with a 5-2 victory over Oak Ridge with Eckels striking out 12.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 18, 2012
Granite Bay baseball beats Del Campo 11-3 behind Lehman and Kenney

Sophomore designated hitter Devin Lehman has a three-run double in the first inning and a three-run triple in the second, and Brendan Keeney toessed five consecutive shutout innings for Granite Bay in an 11-3 Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff win over Del Campo at American River College on Friday night.

Keeney, a Bee All-Metro quarterback for the D-I section champion Grizzlies last fall, improved his record to 6-0 this spring. After sitting out last baseball season to focus on football, Keeney has provided leadership and pitching depth for the Grizzlies. Keeney will walk on at Cal this fall to play quarterback.

Four Del Campo pitchers walked 13. Mitch Hart had two RBIs for the Grizzlies, who made some spectacular defensive plays, including second baseman Vinny Esposito, son of veteran coach Pat Espisoto. Granite Bay plays McClatchy on Saturday at ARC to start that best-of-three series.

Granite Bay, winners of the brutally competitive Sierra Foothill League, played for the D-II section title in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and won it in 2001. All told, an SFL team has won the D-II title in seven times since 2000, including three in a row. An SFL team has placed second five consecutive seasons in a show of league superiority.

- By Joe Davidson
Davidson and Mike Finnerty co-host the SureWest Sports Radio Show on Saturday morning from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320 and linked later to ESPN1320.net. Topics include the prep playoffs, the latest in area football news and the SureWest Coaches of the Year.

May 18, 2012
Cosumnes River College baseball snaps national-leading 33-game winning streak to open State JC playoffs

The Road Warriors have invaded Bakersfield and now they aim to make more history.

Cosumnes River College snapped Rio Hondo's national-leading 33-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory in an opening-round California Community College Athletic Association State Championship contest in Bakersfield on Friday night.


Ace Austin Ales (11-2) tossed a complete game with three strikeouts and one walk for the Hawks (26-15-1), who are attempting to become the only team to win a state title without the benefit of a single practice or game at home due to construction for facilities upgrades.

Josh Silver, Phillip Roa and Ryan Case each had an RBI for CRC, in the state tournament for the first time. Rio Hondo came in 38-3, last losing in mid February.

CRC won the Big 8 Conference over rival Sierra College, which beat nationally ranked No. 1 Orange Coast 4-0 in the early game (see link on Sacbee.com).

CRC coach Tony Bloomfield and Sierra skipper Rob Willson are the best of friends, but they joke that they are also like competitive brothers, badly wanting to beat each other.

Never have the stakes been higher, of course. Sierra (26-15-1) won the state title in 2008. The Big 8 has had a team in the state finals in three of the past five years, with Delta of Stockton winning it last season.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

Bee file photo of Tony Bloomfield by Andy Alfaro

May 18, 2012
Greg Correa continues family name for McClatchy baseball, beats Oakmont in D-II baseball playoff opener

The Correa name resonates at McClatchy High School.

Brothers Dom and Howie Correa spearheaded championship baseball teams in the 1990s, with Howie and friends beating C.C. Sabathia of Vallejo to win the 1998 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship. Their father Steve has been a decades-long fixture as a youth coach that fed talent into the Freeport Boulevard school.

These days, it's Greg Correa, nephew of Dom and Howie and grandson to Steve, who has inspired his teammates with a refocused effort in the classroom and bulldog results on the mound.

Now competing in the Division II postseason, Correa put the clamps on free-swinging Oakmont in relief by retiring seven of the nine batters he faced in a 6-5 opening-round playoff triumph Friday night at American River College.

A stout 6-foot-1 senior, Correa picked off the only man who managed a hit off of him at first base, and he struck out two in the seventh inning for the Metro Conference champions. The relief and pride was evident on his face, and his coaches raved about his drive to be a student to match his athletic feats.

Correa had to take extra classes to get back on track academically. He worked with teachers and counselors after considering getting his GED before his head coach Mike de Necochea and teammates convinced him to finish as a Lion.

"I had to get on it academically, and I realized that education is important and graduating with these guys would be special," Correa said. "And baseball is something I live for. I'll never forget this. It's all come together."

Said de Necochea, "Greg stuck with it, a testament to him. He's a hard-luck story who earned this. He's been our big guy."


McClatchy is also known for being an academic powerhouse with its renowned HISP offerings - Humanities, International Studies Program. Senior leaders Alex Jang, Rod Mackey, Kevin Krause and Kenny Nishimura are all HISP students with 4.0 GPAs headed to college. The power and personality comes in the form of another solid student in Jared James, pictured, a senior slugger who expects to be drafted next month. Add it all up and it's no wonder the Lions are all grins.

"We can be pretty good," De Necochea said.

Nelson Muniz and Nishimura each had two hits and Krause double.d Muniz had an RBI double for a 5-4 Lions lead in the fourth inning and James had a ground-out RBI in the fifth to make it 6-5.

Jimmy Lunardelli, Justin Garvin and Robert Walton combined for seven hits for Oakmont, which bid farewell to retiring coach Dean Perkins. Perkins helped guide 17 playoff teams in 25 years with the Roseville school.
- By Joe Davidson
Joe Davidson and Mike Finnerty will break down the baseball playoffs and offer football talk on the SureWest Sports Radio Show on Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320 (linked later in the day to ESPN1320.net).

Bee photo of Jared James by Manny Crisostomo

May 18, 2012
Sierra College ace beats national No. 1 Orange Coast 4-0 in state JC playoff opener

The improbable journey continues for Sierra College baseball.

Josh Eagle didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning, and Kaden Kamoe had a two-run home run as the Wolverines of Rocklin beat nationally ranked No. 1 Orange Coast 4-0 in a California Community College Athletic Association State Championship opener in Bakersfield on Friday afternoon.

Eagle (11-2) struck out seven, walked three and allowed six hits in moving to 3-0 this postseason while handing Orange Coast (36-6-1) its first shutout in 95 games, dating back to 2010. Sierra (26-15-1) is 6-0 in this postseason and seeks its second state championship since 2008 under coach Rob Willson. The Wolverines finished fourth in the Big 8 Conference, with Cosumnes River winning it. CRC plays Rio Hondo tonight at 6 p.m.

Orange Coast, state champions in 2009, move into the loser's bracket phase of the event.

For Sierra, Jared Snow had two hits and Eddie Mora-Loerra drove in a run. Eagle struck out Pirates cleanup hitter Stefan Sabol two times as he left three runners on base. Eagle walked three. The inspirational sophomore from Antioch was born with a left-foot abnormality that required five major surgeries before his 10th birthday. Doctors once suggested to his parents that they amputate. Baseball, Eagle said in a recent Bee interview, "made me feel normal, like one of the guys."

Eagle walks with a slight limp and his left foot points toward third base when he's in the wind up. Eagle is know as "The Bulldog" by his teammates and coaches. Willson says of his humble star, "he's just amazing."
- By Joe Davidson

May 17, 2012
David Smith of Elk Grove no-hits Napa in 1-0 Division I baseball playoff classic

David Smith suspected he might get some work Thursday night, but not with this sort of entry and with these results.

When Elk Grove High School starter Rowdy Tellez walked off the mound with a tweaked sore left elbow after hyperextending it in a fall earlier in the week, Smith was immediately summoned to action.

The 6-foot-3 junior with a breaking pitch, changeup and fastball calmly delivered one of the most memorable efforts in Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North playoff history, tossing an unusual combination no-hitter to beat Napa 1-0 at Sacramento City College.

Tellez recorded one out before switching to first base. From there, it was a duel with Napa's Brett Obranovich, who came in 10-1 and allowed two hits against the mashing Thundering Herd before departing in the seventh. Smith struck out nine and walked two, and then he worked over a lollipop after the game to ease his nerves.

"I didn't expect this," said Smith, who improved to 6-0 and moved the Thundering Herd into Saturday's double-elimination round against Delta Valley Conference rival Franklin.
Elk Grove coach Jeff Carlson said of all his years playing and coaching it, he can't recall being more frantic.

"I've never been more nervous than that last inning; I wanted him to have (that no-hitter) so bad," Carlson said. "It's crazy. It's not how I drew it up. I can't say enough about David and his composure."

Nick Madrigal scored the lone run in the first inning on a Dom Nunez infield groundout. Madrigal walked and reached third on a wild pitch. Tellez could return to the mound as early as Saturday.

Said deflated Napa coach Todd Pridy, "It was a tough spill swallow. You get 21 outs and you can't manage a hit. But I'm proud of these guys."

* Davis 5, Oak Ridge 2 - Ben Eckels struck out 12, and batterymate George Hatamiya had a leadoff single in honor of his late mother as the Blue Devils knocked out the third and final Delta River League heavyweight from this D-I tournament. Pleasant Grove and Jesuit lost openers on Wednesday.

Eckels pitched what he and coach Dan Ariola deemed his best game of the season. Hatamiya's mother Nancy died Tuesday after a year-long battle with lung cancer. She pleaded with her son to continue playing. Joe Murray had two hits and two RBIs, Chris Gnos had three hits and drove in a run, Bobby Young had an RBI double and Eckels and John Ariola each had RBIs for Davis, which plays Vacaville on Saturday at noon.

"That's why I'm out here because mom wanted me to play, and I needed to play," Hatamiya said. "Feels good to win this."

Said Davis coach Dan Ariola, "We wanted to win it for Nancy and Ben was in control, outstanding."

* Rocklin 1, Rosemont 0 - Tanner McVey struck out 11, allowed two hits and overcame three Thunder errors in Division II opener at American River College. Christian Bennett had two of Rocklin's five hits, including scoring Jake Faulkner in the fifth. Faulkner doubled with two outs. McVey struck out the last batter in the fourth after his only walk. Rosemont's Sam Long allowed five hits and walked two.

* Woodcreek 4, Bella Vista 0 - Despite the flu, Stephen Nogosek struck out 10 and allowed three hits to eliminate the Broncos in another D-II opener. Woodcreek will play Sierra Foothill League rival Rocklin in a best of three series
starting on Saturday. Nogosek's performance came nearly a year after his 16-strikeout,
one-hit 2-0 win in the Timberwolves' 2011 D-II opener against Casa Roble.

* Placer 12, River Valley 1 - A.J. Sanchez slugged a grandslam, Kevin Giles had four RBIs and Ryan Mason allowed two hits, walked two and struck out nine for the Hillmen in a Division III opener. Mason, the Cal-bound senior ace, also had two hits.
- By Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson.
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 17, 2012
Nogosek strikes out 10 in leading Woodcreek past Bella Vista

Stephen Nogosek is a formidable pitcher any time of year. But the 6-foot-2 junior seems to hit an even stronger stride once the playoffs start, even when he's not 100 percent.

Nogosek struck out 10 and didn't allow a hit after the first batter in the second inning to lead Woodcreek to a 4-0 win over Bella Vista in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II do-or-die baseball opener tonight at American River College.

The performance came nearly a year after his 16-strikeout, one-hit 2-0 win in the Timberwolves' 2011 D-II opener against Casa Roble.

While not quite as sharp as last year's outing because he was battling the flu - Nogosek walked five and hit a batter - Bella Vista couldn't get much going after getting two singles in the first and another to lead off the second.

Shaun Mize's first-inning run on a passed ball after he tripled to lead off the game was all Nogosek needed.

But Woodcreek added plenty of insurance with three runs in the third inning on three hits, three walks and a steal of home by Alex Montes. That's no surprise. Woodcreek stole 73 bases during the season.

May 17, 2012
Davis baseball beats Oak Ridge to honor mother of team captain Hatamiya; Eckels strikes out 12

George Hatamiya honored his mother with a lead-off base hit and his pitching pal batterymate Ben Eckels honored her even more with his best effort of an already impressive season.

With its two anchor stars leading the way, Davis High School eliminated Oak Ridge from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North baseball playoffs on Thursday afternoon with a 5-2 victory at Sacramento City College to cap an emotional week that went well beyond balls and strikes.

Hatamiya's mother Nancy succumbed to lung cancer Tuesday after a courageous year-long battle. She pleaded with her son the to continue his catching duties and to represent his family, school and town. Eckels struck out 12 in a complete-game two-hitter against a lineup that generally feeds off fastballs to advance the Blue Devils into Saturday's double-elimination round.

And just like that, the Delta River League is on vacation. DRL heavies Pleasant Grove, Jesuit and Oak Ridge each bowed out in the first game here. Each spent time as The Bee's top-ranked team.

Davis of the Delta Valley Conference came in No. 2 by The Bee and features the sort of senior leadership and pitching staff to make a title run. Players embraced Hatamiya before and after the game. There was a moment of silence, and Hatamiya's father Lon was among those who applauded every Davis run and Eckles strikeout.

"That's why I'm out here because mom wanted me to play, and I needed to play," Hatamiya said. "Feels good to win this."

Said Davis coach Dan Ariola, "We wanted to win it for Nancy. Our guys were on. Very resilient."

Said Eckels: "I felt great. I feel really good for George."

Eckels said he also thought of Scott Heinig, his pitching coach at Davis last season who was also a close friend. A former Davis High and UC Davis pitcher, Heinig died last spring.

Davis won section titles in 2001 and 2004 in compiling a streak of seven consecutive opening-round wins in this event. The Blue Devils lost its last three openers coming in, including to Oak Ridge last season.

"Great win, and now we're in it," Airola said. "Oak Ridge can really rip the ball, but Ben was in control. Best game he's thrown. Outstanding."

Joe Murray had two hits and an RBI, Chris Gnos had three hits and drove in a run, Bobby Young had an RBI double and Eckels and John Ariola each had RBIs for Davis, which plays Vacaville on Saturday at noon. Vacaville beat Jesuit 3-2 on Wednesday.

Oak Ridge finished 20-8. Leadoff hitter Alec de Watteville had a home run and Lance Berringer a triple for the Trojans of El Dorado Hills.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter @sb_joedavidson

May 17, 2012
McVey hurls gem as Rocklin beats Rosemont in D-II opener

Tanner McVey struck out 11, allowed two hits and overcame three errors to lead Rocklin to a 1-0 win over Rosemont in the do-or-die Sac-Joaquin Section Division II baseball opener today at American River College.

Christian Bennett, who had two of Rocklin's five hits, singled in Jake Faulkner with the game's only run in the fifth inning. Faulkner doubled with two outs.

McVey struck out the last two batters in the first inning after Rocklin errors put Rosemont runners at second and third with one out.

He struck out the last batter in the fourth after his only walk and another error put runners at second and third again.

Rosemont's Sam Long pitched well in losing effort. He allowed five hits and walked was a hard-luck loser for Rosemont. He allowed five hits and walked two.

May 16, 2012
Franklin-Elk Grove eliminates Bee No. 1 Pleasant Grove in D-I baseball opener

By Joe Davidson

It hasn't been a breeze of a season by any measure for the Franklin Wildcats baseball team.

There was the slow, out-of-the-gates start when the bats were as cool as the weather, followed by an 4-0 effort in the Fresno Easter Tournament. A third-place finish in a power-packed Delta Valley Conference that includes Elk Grove and Davis placed Franklin in a play-in Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North contest Monday in Yountville. Surviving that, Franklin played like a team that has come of age and fears no obstacle in belting Bee No. 1 Pleasant Grove 11-5 on Wednesday at Sacramento City College to formally enter the serious contender category.

"I really liked our chances and think we can be the best team in the section if we play like we can," Franklin coach Bryan Kilby said. "Our guys really respond to adversity. They're fired up. It's a super group of kids."

The Wildcats (19-9) led 11-1 after their half of the third inning. They scored five in the first off ace Zach cq Stilwell, who has been dominant at times this season but hit three, walked three and surrendered three hits in that five-run first. All told, Franklin smacked 15 hits, and Josh Pigg struck out five to earn the win.

With Tyler Blake and Kyle Von Ruden now with healthy arms to go with Brandon Keup, the pitching staff is poised for a title run. Blake had three hits and three RBIs, Kyle Zanzi had three RBIs, Kyle Von Ruden drove in two, Connor Adams had two hits and Taylor Watersr had two doubles.

Pleasant Grove (22-6) had beaten Franklin 8-6 and 3-0 in nonleague games, and the Eagles also beat Oak Ridge twice and previous No. 1 Jesuit twice to win the Delta River League. But somewhere on the way to this venue, the wheels fell off on Highway 99.
"I didn't see this coming, and give credit to Franklin," Pleasant Grove coach Rob Rinaldi said. "Matt Stafford pitched well (in relief) and had four zeroes on the scoreboard, but it was too late. It was a slow torture for us."

J.Q. Folena, superb at shortstop and the plate all season for Pleasant Grove, homered in his final appearance for the Eagles.

* Vacaville 3, Jesuit 2 - Elway Santistevan scattered six hits and his defense threw out a runner at home and picked off two on the bases to stun Bee No. 3 Jesuit, eliminating the two-time defending North champions.

The Bulldogs of the Monticello Empire League played relaxed and aggressive, executing double steals and behaving like a team that fully expected to win this. It is Vacaville's first playoff win since the 1990s after some crushing opening-game, elimination losses, including 5-3 to Jesuit in 2007.

Vacaville (18-9) lost to Pleasant Grove 4-3 and beat Davis 4-3 and Franklin 3-1 early this season in nonleague games.

"We showed up here, we competed and we played well," Vacaville coach Abe Hobbs said. "Elway doesn't pass the eye test, but that's a competitive young man."

Vacaville reliever Anthony Gonsolin struck out Zach Green swinging with a man on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh to end it. Logan James struck out eight for Jesuit (20-8). For Vacaville, Gonsolin and Ben Gamba had RBIs and Santistevan had two hits.
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 16, 2012
Vacaville stuns Jesuit 3-2 in Section D-I North playoff opener

He doesn't pass the look test, but he certainly passes with flying colors otherwise.

Say hello to Elway Santistevan, a 5-foot-6 junior pitcher for Vacaville High School who introduced his off-speed pitches and drive to the two-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North champions on Wednesday night.

With Santistevan scattering six hits against a formidable lineup and his teammates playing superb defense and taking advantage of four errors, Vacaville stunned Jesuit 3-2 to bounce Big Red and suddenly elevate itself into Saturday's double-elimination phase
at Sacramento City College.

Santistevan only struck out two, but he piled up shutout innings, thanks in part to a defense that picked off runners at first base or threw out runners at home. The Bulldogs of the Monticello Empire League played relaxed and aggressive, executing double steals and behaving like a team that fully expected to win this. It is Vacaville's first playoff win since the 1990s after some crushing opening-game, elimination losses, including 5-3 to Jesuit in 2007.

Vacaville lost to Pleasant Grove 4-3 and beat Davis 4-3 and Franklin 3-1 early.
"We showed up, we competed and we played well," Vacaville coach Abe Hobbs said. "Elway doesn't pass the eye test, but that's a competitive young man."

So was the man who relieved him in the bottom of the seventh. Jesuit, ranked third by The Bee and second by NorCalPreps.com, cut it to 3-2 on a Louis Mejia fielder's choice RBI, setting up Zach Green with two outs. Jesuit's senior slugger struck out swinging to end it on a high, hard fastball by Anthony Gonsolin.

As for Santistevan, he said his lifetime baseball highlight was a no-hitter in Texas as part of a summer All-Star travel team as an eighth grader. This might wind up topping that.
"Fearless," he said of his mentality. "Compete against anyone."

Jesuit's four errors led to two unearned runs for Vacaville. Gonsolin and Ben Gamba had RBIs and Santistevan had two hits.

Julian Barron and Andre Gregory had two hits each for Jesuit, which spent several weeks this season top-ranked by The Bee after beating previous No. 1 Oak Ridge two out of three times in one week.

Jesuit will bid farewell to seniors such as Green, Mejia, Parker Abercrombie, Max Eggleston, Nick Viola, Joe Williams, Gabe Araj and Logan James, who struck out eight in his final Marauders appearance. He is headed to Stanford.

Jesuit will return a wealth of talent, including Gregory, Barron, Lorenzo Arcuri, Jordan Hanlin, Dan Johnson, Alex Larivee and Josh Falco.

Jesuit coach Joe Potulny, winner of five section championships at his alma mater, offered long embraces to his players. He said that if you coach this sport long enough, you experience the wins and the crushing quick-exit losses. Here, the engine seized up.

"It did today," the coach said. "I feel bad for the seniors. This is a tough way to go out. We as coaches get to come back and do it again next year. Vacaville was tough. I was very impressed with (Santistevan). He competed his rear end off."
-By Joe Davidson
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 15, 2012
Franklin-Elk Grove beats Vintage in Division I baseball opener; takes on Bee No. 1 Pleasant Grove next

Franklin High School beat Vintage 6-2 on Monday in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I outbracket game, and now the real fun starts.

The Wildcats of Elk Grove received a complete-gem effort Kyle Von Ruden, allowing one earned run as he rounds back into form after an early season saw him slowed by an arm strain. Von Ruden also had three hits and drove in a run, Ryan Sarginson had two hits and scored a run, Taylor Waters had a triple and two RBIs and Kyle Zanzi had two hits for Franklin, which not takes on Pleasant Grove on Wednesday at Sacramento City College at 1 p.m.

That game is followed by Jesuit-Vacaville at 4 p.m.

On Thursday at Sac City, Davis takes on Oak Ridge, followed by Elk Grove-Napa.
- By Joe Davidson

May 13, 2012
Winning yet again on the road, Cosumnes River College baseball wins Super Regional and reaches State Final 4

tony.jpgSAN MATEO - They have traveled near and far, so what's one more road trip to cap what's developed into a record season?

Cosumnes River College, the ultimate road-warrior crew, beat host City College of San Mateo 13-3 on a blustery, coolish late Sunday afternoon in conditions better suited for sailing in the nearby Bay to capture the program's first Northern California Super Regional baseball championship.

CRC lost to San Mateo in the first game Sunday here, forcing a winner-take-all finale, and the Hawks typically rallied against any form of adversity. Next is the California Community College State Championships in Bakersfield, a locale that promises to be a good five-hour drive and a great bit warmer.

At this point, CRC would trek to the Canandian border by horse and buggy if it meant more games. The Hawks of South Sacramento became the only team to win a NorCal Super Regional without the benefit of a single home practice or game as their campus is undergoing a significant athletic facilities upgrade.

"It's amazing what these kids have done," CRC coach Tony Bloomfield said. "I don't know if playing every game on the road and still making the state championships will be done again. We're a small group, and we don't carry that many guys with 19, but we're like a family, like brothers. It's such a resilient group."

The resiliency certainly includes winning pitcher Chris Smart. He went six strong innings after being pulled in the third inning of Friday's Super Regional opener. Bloomfield wanted a fresh, motivated Smart ready in case it came down to this, and he reveled in the results.

"He was eager, and he was great," Bloomfield said of Smart.

Also for CRC, Colby Brenner had four RBIs and Jake Schu, Josh Silver and Luke McDonald each drove in two. Silver also had some more superb plays at shortstop, making spectacular plays look routine.

CRC won the brutally competitive Big 8 Conference title, holding off rivals such as Sierra College, which won the other NorCal Super Regional in Quincy by beating Fresno City in 11 innings (see earlier posted report on Sacbee.com).

Now the Hawks and Sierra College take on what Bloomfield deems "the big boys" from down south. Sierra (25-15-1) opens with Orange Coast College (36-5-1) on Friday at 3 p.m. in Bakersfield, followed by CRC (25-16) taking on Rio Hondo College (38-3). This is a double-elimination, round-robin tournament with the title game set for Sunday.
- By Joe Davidson

May 13, 2012
Sierra College baseball beats Fresno City in 11 innings to win Super Regional, advancing to State Final 4

Sierra College is back in the California Community College State Baseball Championship Final 4, feeling as if it can still play even better ball.

Four years after winning the title, the Wolverines are greedy for a bit more after winning their Northern California Super Regional in Quincy with a 10-6, 11-inning effort. Sierra scored four times in the 11th, and seldom-used Collin Monagle pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th.

Sierra is 5-0 in the playoffs and now aims for the program's second state championship since 2008 under coach Rob Willson. Brady Steiger had three hits and three RBIs, and Travis Israel, Brad Gerig and Casey Friederich each had two hits for the Wolverines, who turned five double plays.

Sierra beat top-seeded and host Feather River 5-3 in this Super Regional opner on Friday behind ace Josh Eagle, who struck out eight of the first 13 batters he faced in moving to 10-2 on the season.

On Saturday, Sierra beat Fresno City 5-4 on a two-out, two-run home run by Brad Gerig in the eighth inning. Gerig had a bottom-of-the-11th homer to eliminate - and stun - Laney of Oakland in a NorCal Regional playoff opener a week earlier. That put Sierra into Sunday's title game where Fresno City had to win twice to take the title.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 12, 2012
Cosumnes River and Sierra won second-round Super Regional baseball playoff games and are a win away from titles

SAN MATEO - Josh Silver took two years off from college academics and the baseball grind to rediscover himself and grow as a man. Silver missed it too much to stay away, and his return to the sport has been a significant story line for the surging Cosumnes River College Hawks this improbable season.


The sophomore shortstop from Franklin High School in Elk Grove roped three hits, including two towering doubles, and played more superb defense in inching CRC closer to a bit of school history.

With ace Austin Ales tossing seven consecutive shutout innings and allowing four hits, the Hawks clubbed City College of San Mateo 8-1 on Saturday afternoon in a winner's bracket Northern California Community College Super Regional playoff.

San Mateo (31-11) eliminated Diablo Valley later Saturday 5-2 in a double-elimination finale and now must beat CRC twice today here to deny the Hawks their first Super Regional title in school history.

CRC (24-15) has been in a Super Regional in seven of the past eight seasons, the most of any team in the North. Now they want that one elusive milestone victory.
"It's all coming together and we know that we've got more to do," Silver said, adding that he is delighted to be a student/athlete again. Silver played one season at San Jose State after his prep career before the hiatus.

"I couldn't stay away," Silver said. "I'm a better player, more mature. And it's fun."
Fun also comes in the form of watching Ales work. The freshman from Oak Ridge struck out four and moved to 10-2 on the season with a 1.10 ERA. With Silver and centerfielder Colby Brenner, CRC often makes spectacular plays.

"Silver's the best shortstop I've ever coached, and Brenner is so good out there," CRC coach Tony Bloomfield said. "And Ales - that's our guy. Poised and confident, that's what you want. He looks like a polished veteran out there."

Ales will only be at CRC this season. He will go on a yet-to-be-determined Mormon Mission starting in the fall.

"It's something I really want to do and something I'm ready for," Ales said. "But it'll be hard to leave. We've had so much fun this year."

Bryan Case had two hits and three RBIs for CRC. CRC took a 3-1 lead in the first inning on three hits and two errors. Brenner had an RBI to make it 7-1 and Silver an RBI double for an 8-1 lead in the CRC sixth.

The Hawks are attempting to become the first team to win a Super Regional without the benefit of having a single practice or game at home. CRC is undergoing a massive facilities upgrade.

* Sierra 5, Fresno City 4 - Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs at Feather River College, Brad Gerig crushed a two-run home, and Ryan Millison tossed his first complete game to put the Wolverines a win away from the program's second Super Regional championship since 2008, when they won the state championship.

Gerig had a bottom-of-the-11th homer to eliminate Laney of Oakland in a Regional playoff opener a week earlier. This time, Wolverines coach Rob Willson cq fantasized about more heroics.

"I swear, I called both his majestic bombs and I do not say that every pitch or opponent," Willson said. "This one was a no-doubt bomb."

Sierra finished second to CRC in the Big 8 Conference, which is looking to produce its fourth state champion since 2004. Sierra and CRC are a combined 8-0 in the playoffs this season.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

Bee file photo of Tony Bloomfield by Andy Alfaro

May 11, 2012
Cosumnes River College, Sierra baseball win NorCal Super Regional openers

Sierra College used another monstrous and inspired outing from ace Josh Eagle and Cosumnes River used a big inning as the Big 8 Conference rivals won Northern California Super Regional baseball openers Friday.


Josh Eagle (pictured) struck out eight of the first 13 batters he faced in pitching seven superb innings to improve to 10-2, and Kaden Kamoe stole home with two outs in the eighth inning for an insurance run in a 5-3 victory over top-seeded Feather River, the host school.

Sierra plays Fresno City at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Kamoe's steal made it 4-1. Chris Daniels earned the save for the Wolverines, who won the state title in 2008.

Eagle now has 98 strikeouts, second in the state by three.

"He was great again," Sierra coach Rob Willson said a week after Eagle tossed a complete-game, 9-strikeout gem to beat Laney of Oakland 4-2 in a NorCal Regional opener.

CRC, the Big 8 champion, beat Ohlone 10-4 at San Mateo, scoring three in the top of the sixth for a 5-2 lead. Jake Schu, Phillip Roa and Josh Silver each had three hits. Garrett Heisinger had a sacrifice fly to put CRC up for good at 3-2, scoring Roa. Luke McDonald drove in Shawn Wheeler to make it 4-2, and Blake Harrison earned the win.

CRC now takes on City College of San Mateo on Saturday at 11 a.m. CRC continues to impress as the ultimate road warrior team. Due to construction of a new field on their south Sacramento Campus, the Hawks have not had a single practice or game at home. They are attempting to become the first team in state history to win a Super Regional with the entire season played on the road.

CRC and Sierra can reach the Super Regional finals with a win Saturday in inching closer to the State Final Four. Each program would have to lose twice to be eliminated.

* In women's Super Regional softball action at San Mateo, Ohlone upset Sierra 7-3 to put the Wolverines into the loser's bracket. The Wolverines have to win three consecutive games to win this event.

Sierra had beaten Ohlone three times this season. It now plays College of the Sequoias on Saturday at noon, a team the Wolverines crushed 17-3 earlier this season.
Taylor McGregor had a three-run home run for Sierra, giving her team 73 homers for the season.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

Bee photo of Josh Eagle by Paul Kitagaki Jr.

May 7, 2012
Pleasant Grove rallies with 3 in the last inning to beat No. 1 Jesuit; teams play two more times

Round I went to Pleasant Grove High School on Monday in a battle of title contenders in the Delta River League.

The Eagles of Elk Grove scored three times in the bottom of the seventh inning, highlighted by Matt Stafford's walk-off hit up the middle, for a wild 6-5 victory over Bee No. 1 Jesuit.

Aces Zach Stilwell and Logan James combined for 11 shutout innings before fatigue finally set in for the stellar seniors. Jesuit scored five times in the top of the seventh and basked momentarily in that thrill ride before Pleasant Grove responded in front of an overflow crowd with its rally.

The teams play Tuesday at Jesuit and cap the regular season Wednesday back at Pleasant Grove. Pleasant Grove is 21-4 overall and 12-1 in league play, losing only to Oak Ridge. Jesuit is 19-6 overall and 11-2 in league play with the other loss coming to Oak Ridge.

"For six years, you've got to beat Jesuit to win this league, and now we've got our shot," Pleasant Grove coach Rob Rinaldi said in praising his team and the Marauders.

Rinaldi and Jesuit coach Joe Potulny have a great deal of respect for each other. The coaches have faced off for nearly 20 years in some epic games, including when Rinaldi led power teams in Woodland in the 1990s.

On Monday, it was Stilwell and James who endured the emotional roller coaster. Stilwell was cruising in keeping Jesuit's terrific offense in check through six innings.

Pleasant Grove took a 3-0 lead in the fifth on an Ian Chandler sacrifice fly, a Bronson Grubbs score off a passed ball and a JQ Folena base hit. Jesuit took a 4-3 lead in the seventh on Jordan Hanlin's 2-run double. Stilwell agonized at first when he was pulled in the seventh, and then was ecstatic with the rally.

"Great win," Rinaldi said. "I was so upset for Zach because he pitched so well, worked so hard, but he was happy at the end when we pulled it out. This team's been pretty resilient. We played great baseball with a couple of double plays, then the three-run inning to win it."

Stilwell tossed a perfect game with 13 strikeouts in his last outing, against Ponderosa, and he had a 15-strikeout gem against Sheldon. He fanned five against Jesuit and raved about the efforts of his teammates. He also said he admired the effort of James, saying, "He's a great pitcher. I love going against him."
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 6, 2012
Cosumnes River beats Sequoias in baseball Region and Sierra College uses dramatic 11th inning HR to win its Regional

Baseball and superstition go hand-in-hand, so it's no wonder Colby Brenner hasn't once considered a request for fresh duds.

The Cosumnes River College centerfielder has game pants that bear a gaping hole in the hamstring region, courtesy of his relentless efforts. On Sunday afternoon, Brenner had a stolen base, a diving catch in the outfield and a hustling three-run double that keyed the seventh-seeded Hawks' 7-3 close-out victory over No. 10 College of the Sequoias in a Northern California Regional playoff series at American River.
CRC advances to next weekend's four-team Super Regional in the Bay Area.

CRC athletic specialist/equipment guru Jason Neary will sew up Brenner's pants again, but that's about the only hole you'll find in the Hawks' game otherwise. Defense, sound pitching and timely hitting again told the story for the Hawks, in the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons under coach Tony Bloomfield.

"No need for a new pair of pants because these work," said a smiling Brenner, an Elk Grove High graduate.

Brenner's double came with two outs in the second inning and gave CRC a 4-0 lead against the Giants of Visalia.Garrett Heisinger, Jake Schu and Pete Pendley each drove in a run for the Hawks, and Austin Ales improved to 9-2 with a complete-game seven-hitter. He allowed two earned runs and struck out five. Ales also has four saves this season. The freshman from Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills has been superb all season, Bloomfield said.

So has the defense, a unit that includes some personalities. Brenner and shortstop standout teammates Josh Silver each sport the sort of sideburn mutton chops that would make Elvis proud. Bloomfield cracked that he's mellowed too much in his old age - he's closing in on his 50th birthday - in evan allowing facial hair. He has for years adhered to a clean-cut policy, but again, superstition and a good vibe.

"I've gotten soft," Bloomfield said. "They're having fun with this."

So is the coach. Bloomfield has kept the Hawks together and loose this season, one in which they have not had a single practice or game on campus due to a facilities upgrade. Bloomfield was again wearing long sleeves even on a warm day because he's worn those same sleeves for a lot of wins. He also wears socks a certain way.

All told, CRC will continue to stick with what works as the results show a Big 8 Conference title in what has fast emerged as the state's toughest league, including Sierra College winning the state title in 2008.

* Sierra 10, Laney 9 - Brad Gerig hammered a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning on a 3-1 pitch, and Chris Daniels pitched two perfect innings in relief for the win as the 11th-seeded Wolverines won their seventh Regional in nine seasons in eliminating the No. 6 Eagles in Oakland. Gerig's blast traveled 450 feet, Sierra coach Rob Willson said, setting off a celebration.

"Brad just destroyed it, and it went over the net that is there to keep balls from leaving the place," Willson said. "It was an amazing game, incredible."

An outfielder, Gerig had three hits, two RBIs and scored three runs. Clinton Brill, Eddie Mora and Kaden Kamoe each had two hits for Sierra.

Laney forced extra innings with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, and back and forth the teams went.

"The most incredible game we've been in," Willson said. "Some titanic home runs. We're up three, then they score four. They're up, then we tie. Gerig's homer landed on top of a new building. He's strong."

* Sierra College softball 15, De Anza 9 - State Player of the Year Ashley Osier had a two-run homer and a three-run blast, giving her a state-leading 20 for the season, and the Wolverines eliminated the Dons in a NorCal Regional.

Kacy Romero also homered for Sierra, on her 19th birthday. Annette Merjano had three hits, two doubles and two RBIs, and Jenna Thorn drove in four for the Wolverines, who have a state-leading 72 homers this season.

Sierra coach Darci Brownell said this group has the best team chemistry of any she has had in her 24 years on the Rocklin campus. Sierra plays at San Mateo in a Super Regional next weekend. San Mateo eliminated American River in two games. ARC was in the playoffs for the first time in more than 10 years.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

May 5, 2012
CRC, Sierra win NorCal regional playoff baseball openers, as does Sierra in softball

Playing an entire season on the road due to construction for new facilities presented plenty of challenges for the Cosumnes River College baseball team this spring.

There were rained-out practices or brief 90-minute sessions. There was the role of visiting team even when they were the home club in the scorebook, not to mention a lot of gas expenses.

So what about the opening-game of a California Community College Northern California Regional playoff series? Another road trip and more encouraging results.

The Hawks of south Sacramento received 8-plus innings of strong pitching from Nick Smart, more superb defense and just enough timely hits to take Game 1 over College of the Sequoias 5-1 on Saturday afternoon at American River.

CRC, winners of what has become the state's top league in the Big 8 Conference, can deliver the knockout blow to the Giants of Visalia today in Game 2 at 11 a.m. Game 3 follows, if necessary.

"Great group of guys," CRC coach Tony Bloomfield said of his 19-man roster. "We don't care where we play. We just play."

Smith, a left-handed freshman from Fairfield, relied on his curveball in scattering nine hits. He struck out five and walked one. Smart wanted to complete the game but Bloomfield pulled him with one out in the ninth with 107 pitches. Blake Harrison came in and induced a double play for the Hawks.

"That was all defense today helping me," Smart said. "We have the best defense in the league, hands down. That's what makes me look good. We didn't feel any pressure. And being on the road all season, it feels kind of normal now."

Shawn Wheeler scored Josh Silver with a single in the first to open the CRC scoring, and Garrett Heisinger drove in two with a shallow single to right for a 4-1 lead. Colby Brenner's RBI single in the eighth made it 5-1 in the eighth. Brenner had two hits.

CRC will go with ace Austin Ales of Oak Ridge High School in Game 2. Ales is 8-2 with four saves.

"We would've used Ales in relief today if it was a 1-run game," Bloomfield said. "He can go every day. We have to tone him down he's that into it."

* Sierra 4, Laney 2 - Josh Eagle tossed a complete game with one walk and nine strikeouts, and the Wolverines scored two in the top of the 10th to win Game 1 of their regional opener in Oakland.

In the 10th, Brady Steiger had a pinch-hit double to score Eddie Mora, who had two doubles, and Brad Gerig had a sacrifice fly. Eagle, a sophomore from Antioch, improved to 9-2 in drawing more praise from his head coach.

"He's an amazing pitcher and young man," Sierra coach Rob Willson said. "He's got a fast ball, a curve, his change, and a cutter. He has four pitches. Just amazing what he's done."

Sierra will go with Ryan Millison on Sunday in Game 2. Millison is the staff co-ace and a scholarship signee to Long Beach State. Sierra seeks its seventh regional title in nine years under Willson, whose 2008 club won the state championship.

* Feather River 13, Sacramento City 5 - The top-seeded Golden Eagles scored five in the fifth inning and five in the eighth to win their regional opener a year after the Panthers stunned them in the opening round. Michael Bennett earned the win for Feather River, improving to 10-1 on the season.

Feather River can win its sixth regional title since 2000 with a win Sunday. Sac City has been in the postseason every season since 1976.

* Sierra softball 12, De Anza 0 - Ashley Osier tossed a one-hitter to improve to 17-2, and the Wolverines clubbed two more home runs to give them 69 for the season in a 5-inning opening-round rout of the Dons.

Amanda Wright hit her third grand slam of the season, and Michelle Fogal had a three-run home run, her 12th of the season. Jenna Thorn had a three-run triple for Sierra, which moved to 36-5 on the season.

Osier struck out four with no walks. The state Player of the Year, Osier leads the state with 18 home runs under coach Darci Brownell, in her 24th season at the Rocklin school.
- By Joe Davidson

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson

April 28, 2012
Jesuit, Franklin, Elk Grove, Oak Ridge win Albie Swing for Cure baseball showcase games

Baseball with purpose - and for a purpose - was the theme of the day at Sacramento City College on Saturday.


The Fourth Annual Albie Swingin' for Life breast cancer benefit featured four games, eight teams and varying emotions. Scores of people were on hand who know someone who has been afflicted with cancer or lost someone. Umpires wore pink and donated their time. Players had pink wrist bands and ran on pink bases.

Proud survivors threw out a first pitch before each game. One was Caryn Carlson, wife of Elk Grove High School coach Jeff Carlson. For the third Albie event in a row, she fired a first pitch, then radiated with good cheer the rest of the afternoon, selling raffle tickets, offering high fives and hugs.

Missy Maxin and Andrea Wickstrom also threw out first pitches with Caryn Carlson. Both admitted to having a fit of nerves with clammy, cold hands. Replied Caryn in a calming, yet emphatic tone, "You're a breast-cancer survivor! Throwing out a first pitch is the fun part!"

Jesuit was the host school of the event with athletic director Chris Fahey the event coordinator. Scores of players wearing Albie T-shirts approached Fahey throughout the day to thank him for the invite and experience. He thanked them right back for their participation and effort.

A closer look at the games:

* Franklin 13, Antelope 3 - The Wildcats of Elk Grove smashed 11 hits against the Titans in five innings, highlighted by a 10-run fourth inning.

Alberto Rojas and Tyler Blake each had two RBI for Franklin. Josh Pigg had three hits and three RBI and Kyle Von Ruden had two hits for the Wildcats. Trent Spallas earned the win to improve to 4-1. With Blake earning the first complete-game win of his career on Friday with a 4-0 win over Grant, the Wildcats are poised for a playoff march down the stretch.

A Monday win against Grant secures at least a playoff berth for Franklin with Davis and Elk Grove also battling for Delta Valley Conference honors. The Division I playoffs will include Jesuit, Davis, Elk Grove, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Grove and Franklin all in the North. St. Mary's of Stockton, the two-time defending large-school champion, looms in the South.

* Oak Ridge 7, Roseville 6 - The Trojans of El Dorado Hills scored five runs in the fifth inning and won it on a Mason Watkins two-out, walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Oak Ridge leadoff man Alec de Watteville had a double and triple, Zack Mahon had a triple, and Logan Marston and Cody Uharriet each had doubles. Dylan McBride and Mark Reece each doubled for Roseville, which won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship on this very field a year ago.

Oak Ridge coach Todd Melton said his team is rounding back into form after enduring agonizingly tough series against Jesuit and Pleasant Grove in the Delta River League and then getting past Sheldon. Only a collapse from here would prevent the Trojans from reaching the postseason. Oak Ridge reached the Division I North finals last season and has the pitching and hitting for a return trip.

* Elk Grove 17, Pioneer 7 - The Thundering Herd scored five runs in the second inning, eight in the fourth and four in the sixth to beat the Patriots of Woodland.

Elk Grove slugger Rowdy Tellez had five RBI, including a three-run triple in the bottom of the sixth to end it, per the mercy rule when a team leads by 10 or more after at least five complete innings. Herd freshman infielder Nick Madrigal had four hits and two RBI, Derek Hill had two hits and three RBI, David Smith had two hits and Michael Wright drove in two.

The Thundering Herd is battling Davis and Franklin for Delta Valley Conference top honors. How many teams in Northern California can match Elk Grove's offensive clout with Tellez and Nunez, the versatile junior lead off hitter?

Pioneer earlier this season beat Jesuit in a nonleague game when the Marauders started ace Logan James. The Patriots certainly loom as a threat in the Division III playoffs.

* Jesuit 6, Christian Brothers 5 - Josh Falco doubled, advanced to third on a hidden-ball trick that was resulted in a balk and scored on a sharp single by Andre Gregory in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Marauders in the nightcap.

CBS loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth before Max Eggleston struck out the final two batters to seal it.

Louis Mejia had four hits, including a double, and Lorenzo Arcuri had two RBI for Jesuit, the top-ranked team by The Bee.

Hunter Dodson had four hits for CBS and Jeff Johnson and Jared Cottini combined for four hits for CBS, which is in a three-way tie for second place in the Capital Valley Conference with Oakmont and Del Campo behind Bella Vista.

Jesuit and Pleasant Grove are tied for first in the Delta River League with both teams facing each other in a three-game series to close out the regular season starting May 7.

* Other breast-cancer survivors who threw out a first pitch included: Tina Machua, Tami Jones, Cheri Person, Thelma Lazano, Patricia Nannini, Dianna La Motta, Maureen Feirera, Noelle Malone, Michele Muinn, Ellen Grant and Sandra Cummings, the grandmother of Jesuit catcher Jordan Hanlin.

- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson. Listen to radio link on www.espn1320.net

Bee file photo of Rowdy Tellez by Andy Alfaro

April 27, 2012
Section shocker: Sierra Foothill League is bumped into D-I

In a move that will have a major impact on the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason landscape, the section will bump the Sierra Foothill League to Division I starting in 2012-2013.


The section's board of managers also decided on Wednesday to move girls basketball powerhouses Sacramento and St. Mary's of Stockton and the Modesto Christian boys into higher divisions next year.

The moves are part of an effort by Commissioner Pete Saco and the board of managers to try to even the playing field in the geographically large and diverse section that stretches from Merced to Yuba City.

The SFL traditionally has been a D-II league but its growing dominance of that division - it won 15 of 29 section titles in 2010-11 - forced the section's hand, say section officials.

April 27, 2012
Placer's Mason strikes out 12 and two hits Bear River in 2-0 win

Ryan Mason struck out 12, allowed two hits and didn't walk a batter to lead Placer to a 2-0 win over Bear River today at James Field in Auburn.

Mason, a 6-foot-6 righthander and Cal scholarship signee, threw 93 pitches in helping the Hillmen (15-6, 7-4) to move to within a game of first place Lincoln (11-11, 8-3) in the Pioneer Valley League.

A.J. Sanchez homered, Todd Valliere drove in a run with a base hit and Michael Reale had a double to highlight Placer's offense.

Placer plays host to Lincoln on Tuesday.

April 27, 2012
Cosumnes River beats Santa Rosa; wins Big 8 baseball title

Blake Harrison and Austin Ales combined for a three hitter and Garrett Heisinger had a double and two runs batted in to lead Cosumnes River College to a 4-0 win over Santa Rosa today at American River College to secure the Big 8 Conference baseball title.

Cosumnes River lost the second game of the doubleheader 4-3 in 14 innings to the Bearcubs (21-13, 13-10) to finish the regular season 15-9 in conference and 20-15 overall.

April 18, 2012
Baseball showcase to raise funds for breast cancer awareness

The fourth annual Albie Swingin' for Life Breast Cancer Awareness Baseball Showcase will be held April 28 at Sacramento City College.

Four games will be played, including The Bee's three top-ranked teams. The matchups:

10 a.m. - No. 11 Franklin vs. Antelope
1 p.m. - No. 2 Oak Ridge vs. Roseville
4 p.m. - No. 3 Elk Grove vs. No. 14 Pioneer
7 p.m. - No. 1 Jesuit vs. Christian Brothers

In three years the event has raised more than $25,000 to help support the Albie Carson Breast Cancer Foundation.

April 17, 2012
Eckels, Davis beat Elk Grove 5-4 in baseball showdown to honor fallen coach

A year ago Tuesday, the town of Davis was devastated by the loss of one of its own.

Scott Heinig, a Davis High School and UC Davis pitcher and then coach, died from injuries suffered from a fall. He was 22. Heinig last season was the pitching coach for his alma mater Blue Devils and players had his jersey No. 20 stitched into the back of their caps. They also made sure his jersey No. 20 was in the dug out, home and away, to serve as motivation and a reminder.

Blue Devils ace Ben Eckels was especially close to Heinig. He admitted that Tuesday was an especially difficult day and starting assignment, his mind elsewhere, though Bee No. 4 Davis beating No. 3 Elk Grove 5-4 in a key Delta Valley Conference certainly helped sooth matters. Eckels struck out two with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to escape his most serious jam, his seventh and eighth punch outs of the day.

"It was a pretty tough day," Eckels said, holding onto jersey No. 20. "It was hard to focus. I had to do what I could, had to focus."

Coach Heinig, Eckels said, meant more to him than he could articulate.

"He helped tutor me, he was a mentor, we worked on baseball, would go to UCD games," Eckels said. "I woke up this morning and said I'd win it for him."

Eckels said he wasn't at his best, but considering the situation and opponent, he was plenty pleased.

"I thought how Ben got out of the sixth inning was huge," Davis coach Dan Ariola said. "It hasn't been easy on Ben losing Scott. He was a freind, a mentor - everything to Ben, a big loss. Scott would be proud of what Ben has done."

Eckels gave Davis a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a run-scoring double. Batterymate and team captain George Hatamiya had an RBI for a 3-2 Davis lead in the fourth and Chris Gnos had a two-run single for a 5-2 lead in the sixth.

Dom Nunez had an RBI triple in the Elk Grove third and fellow junior national recruit/prospect Rowdy Tellez tied it 2-2 with a base hit in the same inning. Hatamiya earned the save.

Davis plays host to Grant on Wednesday and face Pacers ace Cameron Avila-Leeper, he of the 17-strikeout gem earlier this season. Avila-Leeper fanned 13 against Franklin last week in a victory. Elk Grove finishes the week week with two league games against Monterey Trail and a showcase game Saturday against Monte Vista of Danville in the Banner Island Classic in Stockton.
- By Joe Davidson
Follow on Twitter: @sb_joedavidson, www.surewestsports.com and www.ESPN1320.net

April 16, 2012
Former San Juan player Dreier strikes out 16 in seven innings

Josh Dreierweb2.jpgFormer San Juan High School baseball star Josh Dreier, now at Phoenix's Arizona Christian University, is the Association of Independent Institutions Male Athlete of the Week.

Dreier set several Arizona Christian school records with a strong performance against La Sierra University of Riverside on Saturday.

He extended his school-record string of scoreless innings to 21 with a one-hitter while striking out a school single-game record 16 batters over seven innings.

April 14, 2012
Jesuit beats Oak Ridge two out of three times this week as Bee's top-ranked baseball teams face off; teams split Saturday

Jesuit beat Oak Ridge two out of three times this week in a high school baseball showdown in the Delta River League in what very much felt like a playoff series.

Oak Ridge came into the week top-ranked by The Bee with Jesuit at No. 2, and the teams performed like the region's best clubs with pitching, defense, timely hitting, coaching tactics and player leadership.

Jesuit won the opener Tuesday 1-0 on a Logan James gem and a last at-bat home run by leadoff hitter Andre Gregory.