Monday, March 30, 2015

Notes From The Boras

Day one of the Scott Boras Baseball Classic is complete, at least for me. I am doing the public address announcing on one of the two fields at the McAuliffe Baseball Complex in Sacramento, a volunteer thing I like to do annually because I always get to see the top clubs in northern California every year.

Here are some notes I took on Monday:

 - Elk Grove pitching held together on the Herd's first day. Alex Zalasky and Kevin Kyle beat Yuba City for a 5-1 win. Ryan Robards had a key two-run double for the big hit of the game.

In game two, Ty Madrigal tossed a complete-game five-hitter as the Herd beat Bellarmine from San Jose, 2-1. The Bells had the game-tying run on third with two outs in the seventh inning.

The teams that played Monday won't play again until Wednesday in the Boras, so Coach Jeff Carlson will have a day to figure out who will pitch in the semi-finals. Both Chris Martin and Austin del Chairo have injuries that likely will spell the end of their seasons.

Martin has an issue with tendinitis while del Chairo has a shoulder problem that could require surgery. Senior Justin Bejarano is also out for the year with a shoulder problem of his own. This may mean guys like Dylan Carlson, Robards or Eric Bolton may need to take on some additional responsibilities like pitching.

- The top individual performance on day one at the Boras was turned in by St. Francis' pitcher Jeremy Ydens. He tossed a complete game no-hitter at defending Section champion Davis, 5-0. Ydens fanned six and walked two while going the distance.

-Davis is really handicapped right now without the services of stud junior Ryan Kriedler. He's got an issue with his wrist and, according to his father, Mark, the doctors thought it best to give it complete rest, thus a cast on that arm to keep it immobile.

The elder Kriedler thinks the cast will be gone next week when the Delta League schedule begins.

- Mark and his radio partner, Whitey Gleason, are back on the air in Sacramento every weekday afternoon on ESPN-1320 (AM) between 2 and 6 p.m. "The Rise Guys", as they have been known since their days on KHTK in Sacramento during the morning hours and later on the air in the Bay Area, have teamed up with Derek Moore for a radio show that doesn't dwell on just the Kings as most of local sports talk shows.

Nor are the Rise Guys loaded with stupid comments or are self-promoting like most. Gleason has a great sense of humor and Kriedler mixes in well-researched, knowledgable insight for a radio program that covers the gamut of all sports, plus mixes in items about local colleges, too.

I will be doing a feature for the Citizen on the Rise Guys very soon. This has become the radio program I tune into every afternoon on my way home.

- Kriedler and I both attended Patrick Henry Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mark followed me through those hallowed halls about eight years after I left for junior high in Oklahoma City and high school in Denver, Colo.

We both follow the Oklahoma Sooners. Boomer Sooner!

-Pleasant Grove opens play at the Boras Tuesday at 10 a.m. against J.Serra of San Mateo

- Sad to hear Jake Rodriguez has quit playing professional baseball, but excited to read the former EGHS grad has gone to work at his alma mater, Oregon State, as an undergraduate assistant.

Rodriguez lost his dad, Tony, a fixture at EGHS baseball and wrestling events for several years, in June of 2012 while Jake was at Corvallis.

The suddenness of Tony's death really hit Jake hard. Though he was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2013 after his junior year at Oregon State, Jake played a couple summers in their minor organization, He just couldn't get his game going.

He batted just .128 in 51 games professionally.
Jake Rodriguez

EGHS pitching coach Joey Belotti told me Monday that Jake went home during the off-season, talked to his mother. Nancy,  and after discussing it with her decided to accept the offer from Beavers' head coach Pat Casey.

Returning to Corvallis also allows Jake the opportunity to earn his bachelor's degree.

Jake was one of the first four-year varsity baseball starters at EGHS. He possessed an amazing arm which allowed him to play just about any infield position. Catching was where he excelled. He also could hit the ball as hard as anyone.

I was at a game at Franklin H.S. during Jake's senior year and he hit a ball that towered easily over the left field fence and almost hit a couple soccer players playing a game on a field well beyond that fence.

I could be corrected on this, but I believe Jake has Elk Grove's highest career batting average.

- You can tell it's spring break and time for the Boras, hosted locally by EGHS Baseball. Retired Herd coach Dave Pinckney donned his uniform and was in the dugout as was former pitching coach Jason Jimenez and business department head (and former athletic director) Zach Leach.

Jimenez is now a detective with EG Police and his new schedule doesn't allow him to do much coaching. He pitched professionally with the Rays and the Tigers.

- It was great catching up with long-time Herd football coach Dave Hoskins today. He's now the offensive line coach at Christian Brothers, but still teaches a weight lifting class at EGHS, plus has a couple evening classes at City College.

Hoskins thinks CBS will be very good again this year. He's also proud of the fact he has a couple ex-Herd players still playing in the NFL. Kenny Wiggins just signed a two-year contract with the Chargers as an offensive tackle. Lance Briggs, who has been a perennial All-Pro linebacker with the Bears, is looking for a place to play for a 13th season.
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