Friday, March 20, 2015

PG Wins First Delta League Game

You almost never see it – a balk in softball. On Friday evening, however, Monterey Trail pitcher Celestina Ruela made a windup and delivered towards the plate, but held up on pitching the ball. The umpire behind the plate immediately called a balk.

What made it such an unusual play was that Pleasant Grove had a runner on third at the time. That girl, Kianah Corey, was allowed to score and because it was the fifth inning and the Eagles were leading, 9-0, the game was over.

It was a walk-off balk.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before,” Eagles’ co-head coach Bob Book said.

It was special, though, for Pleasant Grove because it was their first Delta League win of the year.

The Eagles’ other co-head coach, Russ Pettis, says the 10-0 win was good for his club for several other reasons.

“The name of the game is pitching and hitting and you have to do both to be successful,” he said. “With a big squad this year I did my best to get everyone playing time and see some live pitching.”

That’s to an eight-run first inning, Pettis was able to empty the bench, throw all three of his pitchers and cruise to their seventh win of the year overall. Sierra Gonzalez drove in the first two runs with a triple. Emily Martin and Cheyenne Barritt each had two-run doubles.

“We had some blips (in the league opener, a 12-10 loss to St. Francis) and we didn’t hit the ball very well, had some errors and it kind of compounded everything,” Pettis said. “Their lead-off hitter, Danica Bailey, is phenomenal. We did come back, but there were some questionable calls, but you can’t dwell on that. We have to hit the ball and that’s critical this early in the season.”

The Eagles (7-3, 1-1) have a big week coming up with six games. They have Elk Grove and Grant in Delta League contests then they participate in the Stephanie LeDoux Tournament in Roseville.

Quick Hits ...

Had a great talk this afternoon with Pleasant Grove first-year baseball coach Rusty McLain (yes, he spells his last name this way...he made certain I spelled it correctly). I will have a special feature with Rusty in this Friday's Citizen. He's quite a guy and has the Eagles playing very well. They looked pretty good in beating Bella Vista Friday, 5-1.
PG's Rusty McLain

The Scott Boras Baseball Classic starts a week from Monday at McAuliffe Fields. I will be doing the public address on one of the fields for two games a day. Always look forward to that. Great baseball expected March 30-Apr. 2.

Talked to former Laguna Creek baseball coach Josh Lex today. He didn't talk about the reasons why he was dismissed from the job with the Cardinals, his alma mater, two days before the first practices this spring, but he was in good spirits, watching PG and Bella Vista. Someone needs to hire this outstanding young man.

Also, we're waiting to hear where former PG football coach Joe Cattolico will land. He's still teaching at the school, but I hope he makes an announcement soon about his coaching future. In an era where everyone wants to spread the field offensively and throw, Joe will bring a tough ground game and stuff it down your throat. He's a winner and a great guy to have at any high school.

Track and Field ...

He was Monterey Trail High School’s All-State running back. Trey Nahhas, who gained almost 2,600 yards this past fall on the gridiron, showed on March 14 his athleticism once again at Mark Macres Stadium.

This time he had a pole vault in hand and he easily won that event in the annual Mark Macres Track and Field Invitational.

Nahhas outdistanced all others with a vault of 12 feet, six inches.

But, it was a strong day for the tracksters from Sheldon, too. Freshman Tai McDonald won the 100 meters with a sprint of 12.66 seconds. On the boys’ side, Marcus Beloney was first with a mark of 11.19 seconds.

In the 200 meters, Sheldon’s Amari Jones was first and McDonald was second.

Isabella Dobson, who won both the 1600 and the 3200 meters, turned in Elk Grove’s top performance of the meet. The Herd’s Aiden Tank won the 200 meters in a time of 22.41 seconds.

Monterey Trail’s Camryn Cook won the girls’ 400 meters with a time of 58.64 seconds. Stephen Gibson took first in the boys’ 800 meters. The Mustangs’ Isiaha  Brown won the 110 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles.

Kara Smith of Franklin took first place in the girls’ 800 meters. Her teammate, Cecily Montanez, was the top runner in both the 1oo meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles.

In the field events Monterey Trail’s Emelda Malm-Annan won the discus throw by almost 15 feet over her nearest competitor. Her best throw was 132 feet, six inches. Amanda Brooks of Franklin took first in the girls’ triple jump.

Philip Fayne, not but a week removed from the Wildcats’ basketball team, won the high jump at the Macres with a leap of six feet, two inches.

In other track meets, Pleasant Grove’s Rae’vyn Walker ran the Sac-Jaoquin Section’s fastest times in both the 100 and the 200 meters on Wednesday in a Delta League meet with Sheldon High School. Walker’s time of 11.84 seconds in the 100 meters was the first time in the Section a girl broke the 12-second mark.

Her time in the 200 meters was 25.04 seconds, just nosing out Shantell Williams of St. Mary’s by .03 of a second.

Sheldon’s boys 4x100 meter relay squad has the best mark thus far season while the Huskies’ girls have the second-fastest in that event. Franklin’s group of Chinyere Dike, Jorden O’Neal, Ifunaya Ezimora and Cecily Montanez have the best time in the event with a mark of 47.82 seconds.

The Wildcats’ 4x400 meter relay squad also has the best time in the Section thus far.

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