Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weds.Notebook:Larson Takes Second At Bristol

Saturday’s deadly crash at Marysville Raceway Park which killed two spectators brought back memories of the multi-car pile-up three weeks ago at Daytona Motor Speedway in Florida. Several fans in the stands were hit by flying debris, mostly from the airborne car of Elk Grove driver Kyle Larson.

Despite the fact that the entire front end of Larson’s car was sheered off the vehicle came to rest in the Daytona infield and Larson walked away unharmed.

Larson rebounded quite well in last Saturday’s Nationwide race at Bristol, Tenn., by finishing in second place, only .023  of a second behind race winner Kyle Busch.

He told reporters following the race that he is still getting used to stock cars after starting his career in sprints, the same vehicle that crashed at Marysville on Saturday.

"I think I have pretty good feedback, but I don't have the confidence in myself to tell them what to change," Larson said. "This is only the beginning of my second season in stock cars. There's a lot more adjustments you can make in stock cars than you can on sprint cars, so I kind of have a decent understanding of sprint cars. I just have to get used to the stock cars.”

Larson has drawn positive comments from several top NASCAR drivers like Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart recently who have said that the 20-year-old will be NASCAR’s next star.

Freitas Wields Hot Bat For A’s

In his first spring training with the Oakland A’s, former Elk Grove and Cosumnes River College catcher David Freitas has done quite well at the plate. He went eight-for-17, hitting at a .471 clip.  He had a double, a homer and has struck out only once in the A’s Cactus League games.

We will once again get the opportunity to see Freitas play regularly. On Sunday he was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento and will be a part of the River Cats this summer.

Also sent to the River Cats were outfielders Michael Taylor and Michael Choice, infielders Grant Green, Scott Moore and Darwin Perez and relief pitcher Brian Gordon.

The River Cats have an April 2nd exhibition game against the Ports in Stockton and then open the 2013 season on Thursday, April 4 at Raley Field against Las Vegas.

Freitas’ high school coach Jeff Carlson is quite proud of his former player, who led Elk Grove to three consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section championships between 2005 and 2007.

“Very proud of both David's,” Carlson wrote in an email, referring also to Arizona Diamondbacks’ relief pitcher David Hernandez who led the Herd to the 2003 Section title. 

“It takes great work ethic and ability to play at the level they are playing,” Carlson continued. “Been able to watch both a few times on TV past few weeks and they both have performed well.”

Hernandez, who was a part of Team USA, appeared in two games during the World Baseball Classic, threw one-and-two-thirds innings of relief work. He struck out two, surrendered one run and gave up four hits.

Elk Grove, which is ranked in the top ten in the state this spring in baseball, lost its first game of the year last Saturday, 4-2, at Campolindo, a school that is also highly-ranked in California.

“Their pitcher did outstanding job locating fastballs and curveballs and keeping our hitters off balance,” Carlson wrote. “(It was a) well-played game on both sides. We just did not do little things to get win. (It was an) evenly matched game.”

The Herd will host the inaugural Boras Baseball Classic next week at McAuliffe Fields, near Sacramento State University. Elk Grove will open play Monday against Excell Academy, a private school in Stockton, at 10 a.m. Pleasant Grove will face off against Rodriguez in the opening round that day at 4 p.m.

Sixteen teams will compete in the four-day tournament. The winner of the event will take on the winner of a similar tournament that will be played April 2 -5 at JSerra Catholic School and Mater Dei Catholic School in southern California. The two regional tournament champions face off for the Boras Baseball Classic title April 13 at University of the Pacific.

Brackets for both the north and the south tournament are now posted online at

“The primary objective of the Boras Baseball Classic is to give back to youth baseball,” tournament organizer and professional sports agent Scott Boras wrote in a news release. “We want to provide outstanding high school teams a chance to participate in an elite competition, while at the same time giving them a world-class venue to showcase their talent in front of collegiate-level coaches and professional scouts.”

Boras graduated from Elk Grove High School and represents currently baseball stars such as Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder.

Abrams Pitching at Mendocino JC

Former Laguna Creek High School pitcher Cameron Abrams has found a home apparently in Ukiah. He’s attending Mendocino Junior College and is a middle reliever on their baseball team.

In the school’s first ten games, he has a 2-1 record. 

Young Wrestler Competes in Michigan Event

Justin Wells was selected to be part of an All-Star wrestling team from California that competed recently in the Age 8-and-under Nuway National Duals in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Wells went undefeated with a record of 6-0. He had three pins, two decisions and a forfeit at 52 pounds.

Wells is a third grader who attends Roy Herberger Elementary and practices with Toby Johnson Middle School under coach William Calvert.

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