Thursday, July 09, 2015

Notebook:Carlson Hopes For Section Title Repeat

Please excuse Elk Grove baseball coach Jeff Carlson for not attending this weekend’s Gary Dreher Summer Classic.

The long-time Herd mentor is playing the role of baseball dad, following around older son Dylan as he participates in the much-heralded Perfect Game National Baseball Showcase in Georgia. The eight-field complex in Emerson, just north of Atlanta, annually hosts multiple special events to give a national exposure to up and coming baseball players from all over.

Dylan, who has been a varsity starter at first base for the Herd since his freshman year, has grown into one of those premier high school prospects. Just ask Dad:

“He hit a home run (Wednesday) left handed and hit a home run (Tuesday) right handed,” the elder Carlson said. “When you’re able to hit from both sides, it is a big advantage. In the long run it’s helpful when you can hit from the other side, especially with a lefthander with a good breaking ball.”

The younger Carlson is planning on inking a national letter-of-intent in November to attend Fullerton State, following not too far behind former Herd players Ray Hernandez, Jared Deacon and J.D. Davis, who also played for the Titans. 
Dylan Carlson, one of the top baseball players
in the area, in his "Perfect Game" jersey

“Dylan works out in the off-season with J.D. so he gets a good insight to what it takes to be successful,” Carlson said.

Davis is currently a bright prospect in the Houston Astros’ organization, playing in Lancaster in the Class A California League.

Tagging along on this trip with the Carlsons to the Georgia peach country is new Elk Grove infielder, Josh Urps. He’s transferred over from Pleasant Grove High School and along with Aaron Wong will be counted on to replace four-year starter Nick Madrigal at shortstop next spring.

Madrigal, who was drafted in June by the Cleveland Indians, has spent the summer in Corvallis, Ore., playing with the Oregon State University’s summer squad. Carlson said Madrigal hasn’t made up his mind whether he’ll go pro now or go ahead with previous plans to attend Oregon State in the fall.

“There is some time to sign yet this summer, and right now looks to be going to school, but that could change over night,” Carlson said.

He was the only local high schooler selected by the pros last month, but Carlson said there are a couple players, along with Dylan, in the Delta League that could be selected in June, 2016.

“(Dylan) has grown a little bit, growing more into his body, his speed has really picked up,” Carlson said. “He played in right field here in Georgia this week and yet is an outstanding first baseman. He’s going to be a big time prospect, along with (Davis High School’s Ryan) Kreidler. He was out the whole high school season (in 2015) hurt, but looked good this week. He looked like he wasn’t out at all.”

Sheldon High School pitcher Matt Manning, according to Carlson, has already attracted the attention of several scouts.

“He’s really developed into be hot prospect on the mound,” he said. “He’s going to be a hot commodity because of his size and his tremendous velocity.”

Manning has already verbally committed to attend Loyola-Marymount to play baseball and told the Citizen a few months ago he’d also like to go out for the basketball team in college. Manning will be a key member of the defending Delta League basketball championship squad at Sheldon this winter.

Meanwhile back in California, Carlson knows his varsity baseball program is in the good hands of top assistant Joe Bellotti. This weekend they will host the Dreher Classic along with Pleasant Grove and Franklin High Schools and Cosumnes River College.

Sixteen teams, including squads from the central coast and the Bay Area, will play over four days at local diamonds in a bit of an Elk Grove-area showcase of talent.  This summer is the 25th time the annual event was staged.

Elk Grove has won two of the last three Sac-Joaquin Section Division I baseball championships. Though most of the starters from the 2015 squad graduated, Carlson sees plenty of talent ready to step in next year, starting with Dylan, Urps and Wong.

“I’ve had a good chance (this summer) to get some young guys mixed in,” he said. “I like what I see coming up.”

Catcher Erek Bolton is looking like he’ll be another key member of the varsity team next spring, too.

“He’s a guy I’ve been getting a lot of calls on,” Carlson said. “He’s a plus-arm guy. I know he made the Area Code tryouts, too.”

Senior Ryan Robards will also be counted on in the outfield next season, but is going to be a key member of the Herd football team in the fall, as a wide receiver and kicker.

Add to this mix Carlson’s younger son, Tanner. The sophomore-to-be is ready to come up from the junior varsity squad and figure in the starting lineup somewhere in the varsity infield.

“He’s right playing for Pacific Baseball Academy and most of those kids play for Harvard-Westlake (High School),” Carlson said. “He’s playing shortstop for them.”

Carlson then paused to check a baseball app on his I-Pad because Tanner’s team was playing in Arizona at that moment.

“He’s having a good day,” he said. “He’s got a double and a triple today.”

Don’t be surprised if Tanner is next season’s third baseman for the Herd, with Urps at short and Wong at second.

Plus, there’s plenty of talent on the mound, according to Carlson. They’ll need to step in and take over for Ty Madrigal and Chris Martin, the Herd’s top hurlers each of the past two seasons.

“Riley Lamb is a guy with pretty good velocity who is coming up from the JV team,” Carlson said. “I’m getting call son him every week and (scouts) are coming to watch him throw.”

Carlson’s travels aren’t over the summer. He’ll be taking his Thundering Herd to the Los Angeles area to play Harvard-Westlake and Alemany High Schools.

Then it’s football season.

Carlson switches coaching offices and will once again be the head junior varsity coach and the defensive coordinator for the varsity squad at Elk Grove.

Levin Tied For Tenth At John Deere

Spencer Levin is tied for tenth place after the first round of the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic. The Elk Grove grad shot a five-under-par 66 Thursday, three shots behind first round leaders Justin Thomas and Nicholas Thompson.

Detrick Finishes Top Ten In Alabama Event

Brian Detrick wasn't in town to shoot off fireworks last weekend. He was in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at the professional waterskiing event called the Malibu Cup.

Thunderstorms prevented the finals to be run, thus Detrick finished in 10th place.

"It was very unfortunate," he texted. "I was skiing very well and played it smart to get into the semi-finals and didn't take a risk in the second round."

Detrick was in fifth place after the first round of competition and tied for fourth in the second round. He went into the finals with a chance to actually win the event, however, rain and storms hampered what is normally a big community event on July 4th.

"We finished how we were seeded into the semi-finals, so I finished 10th," Detrick texted.

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