Friday, April 11, 2014

Ah, Spring Break! Time For The Masters

Finally, spring break has arrived and that generally means a big more sleep, fixing up and cleaning up around the house and generally a whole lot more baseball/softball or, how about golf?

Have you noticed how every golf retailer, golf course or any golf-related business is hyping their Masters' specials? I think the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, the Masters in Augusta, Ga., seems to be the one event that even the mild golf fans will stop and pay attention, more so than the U.S. or the British Open, tournaments that will be played in June and July, respectively.

The TV coverage seems to take a ramp up, the sports radio stations have twice-an-hour updates and, of course, we all have to check our "Masters App" regularly. If there was one event on television that has me yelling/cheering at the set, it is the Masters. I still remember going bonkers when Jack Nicklaus was making incredible shots and rolling in birdie putts en route to his 1986 championship.

Plus, doesn't the grass at Augusta look greener than anywhere else?

CRC Doubles Team Qualifies For State

The Cosumnes River College Women's Tennis doubles team of Cassie Gomez and Tammy Tran have qualified for the California Community College state tennis championships April 24-27 in Ventura.

Gomez is a sophomore who attended Liberty Ranch High School. Tran, also a sophomore, graduated from Monterey Trail.

Von Ruden Leads CRC To Win

Kyle Von Ruden, a CRC sophomore who played at Franklin High School, threw a nine-inning complete game Thursday as the Hawks defeated Delta Valley College, 6-1.

Von Ruden surrendered only one earned run, nine hits, struck out seven and walked two as the Hawks pulled to 7-7 in Big 8 Conference play.

Since starting the season 10-0, CRC has gone 9-10.

Zack Stillwell, who graduated from Pleasant Grove, has now become the Hawks regular first baseman after a knee injury to starter Tyler Blake has perhaps ended the former Wildcat's season.

On the adjoining softball diamond, the Lady Hawks' leading home run hitter this season is Jessica Venturelli, a former Elk Grove High School player. She has four homers and is batting .310 this year.

A pitcher for the Herd, Venturelli has thrown in five games this year for CRC, has a 2-2 record with a 4.13 ERA.

Quick Hits .....

David Hernandez had surgery on his throwing arm and won't be pitching again for the Arizona Diamondbacks until May or June of 2015. A solid spring this year has solidified his return to the D-backs a year from now.

Younger brother Raymond has been a regular at the Elk Grove High School games this spring, the diamond where he and David were star pitchers. Raymond is now doing individual coaching around the area. His pro career was cut short by a shoulder injury a year ago. He, too, was throwing in the Arizona organization.

Dwight Childs, a high school teammate of Raymond's and a former Arizona Wildcat collegiate player, also is sharing his knowledge of catching while hoping a door will open soon in the pro ranks. He has been working on pitching the past few months. He has one of the best arms around.

One option might be to return to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, where he was a catcher last summer.

In our list of local minor leaguers, I was remind by a reader of former Bradshaw Christian pitcher Brady Dragmire, who is toiling in the minors for the Toronto Blue Jays. My apologies for omitting one of the best athletes ever to come through Bradshaw.

Also in the Blue Jays' organization is Elk Grove's Rowdy Tellez. His father Greg told me last week Rowdy is in extended spring training and will likely end up in Class A ball soon.

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