Pleasant Grove won the inaugural Boras Baseball Classic’s Northern California championship Thursday, but maybe they didn’t want to win it in the fashion they did.
Elk Grove’s relief pitching, particularly in the seventh inning, fell apart, allowing eight Eagle runners to score in that frame alone and gave Pleasant Grove an 11-1 win.
With the victory, Pleasant Grove will take on the winner of the southern California winner of the Boras Classic on Saturday, April 13 at University of the Pacific. The southern tournament will be played April 1 through 5 at both JSerra and Mater Dei High schools.
|PG's Josh Adams|
In the first-ever regular season meeting of the two Elk Grove schools, Pleasant Grove used the pitching of senior Josh Adams to hold the potent Thundering Herd bats to six hits over six innings of work. Adams tacked on a sky-high double off the right field fence to score the eventual winning run in the fifth inning.
“(Elk Grove) sort of did it to themselves,” Eagles’ head coach Rob Rinaldi said. “We hung in there, we pitched well, we played great defense. This week we just didn’t break down on the mound and played defense.”
Pleasant Grove was nursing a 3-1 lead over Elk Grove entering the top of the seventh inning.
“We got our big inning and sort of just stood there,” Rinaldi said. Fourteen Pleasant Grove batters came to the plate in that inning.
Nico Toni led off the frame by getting hit by a pitch from reliever Mason Crump. After an error by third baseman Carlos Moseley, one of four on the day for Elk Grove, Matt Stafford walked to load the bases.
Elk Grove coach Jeff Carlson then went to bullpen for sophomore Chris Martin. He proceeded to hit three batters in a row and that notched three runs for the Eagles. Carlson got out the hook again and brought in Cody Barnes to pitch. Barnes then hit Beau Boyle with his first pitch and the fourth run of the inning scored.
Bronson Grubbs and Adams each followed with RBI singles. Later in the inning, Matt Stafford tacked on an RBI double for the 8th run of the inning.
The Eagles won games against Rodriguez, Deer Valley and Rio Americano to get to the North final. With the four victories this week at McAuliffe Fields, site of the Boras Classic’s North tournament, Pleasant Grove upped its record to 9-3. The Eagles will open its defense of the Delta River League championship on April 8 with a home game against Sheldon.
The loss dropped Elk Grove’s non-conference record to 8-2. The Herd will open its defense of the Delta Valley Conference championship Thursday at Grant.