Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EG Nips Buchanan, Gains Boras Finale

Elk Grove junior left-hander Chris Martin tossed a complete game three-hit gem Wednesday night to lead the Herd to the Northern California championship game of the Boras Baseball Classic for the second year in a row. Martin confounded Buchanan High School batters much of the night en route to a 3-1 victory.

EG junior Chris Martin
Three Bears' errors in the first inning allowed Elk Grove to jump to a quick 3-0 lead, but the rest of the way could do little against Buchanan ace Aaron Gutierrez, who had five strikeouts.

Sophomore Ryan Robards had a big RBI double in the first frame.

Martin allowed just one hit through the first five innings, but Buchanan got a pair of singles and loaded the bases in the sixth inning with one out. A big strikeout and ground out ended the threat.

He ended up with four K's.

Elk Grove, who lost to Pleasant Grove, 11-1, last year Boras' NorCal championship game, will take on St. Francis High School, which defeated Clovis West, 3-0. The Herd lost to St. Francis a little more than a month ago, 2-1, in Mountain View.

Quick Hits ....

Elk Grove's outstanding centerfielder Derek Hill sat out the game Wednesday. He's reportedly suffering from an issue with one of his legs. No one would say officially.

James Santos filled in quite nicely in centerfield chasing down quite a few fly balls.

Not certain if Hill will play in Thursday's championship game. ...

There was quite a crowd for Wednesday's games. Many in the crowd were Pleasant Grove players and fans who hung around following their 7-3 impressive win over Davis. The Eagles got to Blue Devils' ace Matt Trask for six runs in the fourth inning.

The Eagles will play at 4 p.m. Thursday in their concluding game of the Boras. ....

CRC assistant coach Brad Kilby was at Grant's 12-2 win over Christian Brothers Wednesday morning. The reason: he's talking seriously with Pacer ace lefty Cameron Avila, who isn't going to go to Arizona after all.

Suggestion for Avila: Go to CRC. That will be the best baseball program you can play for. Tony Bloomfield will make certain you do well in the classroom and Kilby, a former Oakland A's reliever, is the best tutor you can get right now collegiately. ...

Remember when Jeff Carlson and Dave Hoskins were co-head football coaches at Elk Grove? When Hoskins resigned in 2007 principal Cathy Guy mistakenly thought Carlson was also quitting. He had no notion to do so.

Then that started a real mess which ended up with EGHS hiring Carlos Meraz as a football coach for about six weeks, then the teachers' union filed a grievance because of a little known rule that any open job must be filled by a qualified person from within the school district (I call it the "Chris Nixon" rule). Only if no one from within the district applies can the job be open to a qualified person from outside the district.

That's how Nixon, who applied, but didn't get an interview or anything, got the EGHS head coaches' job. Meraz was last seen back in Martinez from whence he came.

Okay, because of that hull-a-baloo the district said there would no longer be "co-head coaches." Well, did someone forget that when they hired Bob Book and Russ Pettis to co-coach softball at PG?

WELL ... (here's my point/question): I recommend Chris Nixon and Joe Cattolico, who recently resigned at PG, become co-head coaches at Elk Grove. Nixon can coach the offense, Joe the defense and Father Butch Cattolico can coach special teams or do whatever he wants. Moe Lollar has the "Hammerhead" brand on the O-Line and Steve Blum on the D-Line.

I bet Mike Johnson wouldn't mind a similar arrangement at Franklin, too, especially if Joe were to say "no" to Nixon. ...

Now that I'm on a roll why not name the EGHS football stadium "Lance Briggs Stadium?"He's definitely sent the Herd football program a bunch of money over the years and this town hasn't had an  All-Pro linebacker like Briggs, ever.

Back to the "Chris Nixon" rule --- If EGUSD were to overlook it, I know a guy who should be Pleasant Grove's next football coach - Burbank's John Heffernan.

Note I wrote "should be." Heff probably doesn't want to deal with the same stuff Catt had to and is happy to remain at Burbank where he has had the class football team of the Metro League for ten years now.

P.G. could have their pick of quality coaches from all around Northern California if it wasn't for the "Nixon rule." That's a great school with an established football program thanks to Catt.



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