Monday, August 18, 2014

McClain Hired At PG/Fiery End To Larson's Day

A former Elk Grove High School and Sacramento State baseball coach, Rusty McClain was hired Friday as the new baseball coach at Pleasant Grove High School.

He replaces Nolan Dunkly who resigned last week after barely a week on the job. Dunkly cited differences of opinion between him and school administration on how the Eagles' baseball program should be run as the reason for quitting.

Long-time Eagles' coach Rob Rinaldi resigned the post in June after a 21-5 season and five straight years of at least 21 wins.

McClain was Elk Grove's head coach after the sudden death of Gary Dreher. McClain led the Herd to the Section championship in 1997 with a team made up of Mike Tonis, Mike Ford and Kevin Marzion.

He resigned after the 1999 season and Jeff Carlson took over the reigns. McClain spent time as an assistant under John Smith at Sacramento State and one year coached the freshmen at Pleasant Grove under Rob Rinaldi.

In recent years he's been directing the Senior Men's Baseball League in Sacramento.

In a text message Sunday Rinaldi told me he would remain the school's freshmen baseball coach, a post he accepted a week ago when offered by Dunkly. He hadn't talked to either Dunkly nor McClain since Dunkly's announcement.

Larson's Day Ends In Fiery Crash

With the NASCAR Sprint Cup regular racing season winding down, Elk Grove driver Kyle Larson had a disappointing set-back Sunday in the Pure Michigan 400.

His car blew a front tire on the 97th lap, crashed into the wall and caught fire. Despite recently-implimented rules that drivers remain in their cars after wrecks until track crews arrive, the cockpit was full of smoke and Larson got out as quickly as he could.
Kyle Larson's #42 Target Chevrolet caught fire after colliding with the wall

Fire consumed the #42 Chevrolet and left it a blackened, mangled pile of steel.

Larson also had a collision in pit row after pitting in lap 22. While leaving his stall, Larson collided with the #88 car driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., with damage sustained to both vehicles.

"Everybody was on pit road," Larson said. "I was leaving my box and looked in my mirror and saw the 27 (driven by Paul Menard) and somebody else coming to my outside, so I was leaving them room. Then the 88 came out, and we just kind of met right there. It happened really quick."

This week NASCAR races at Bristol, Conn., in the Irwin Tools 200 Night Race. Larson is currently 14th in the point standings and must finish in the top 16 to qualify for NASCAR's version of the playoffs.

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