He hasn’t shaved since March 26 but the scraggly-faced Brooks Day hasn’t let that stop him from playing third base for Cosumnes River College like the baseball Hall-of-Famer for which he was named – Brooks Robinson.
During that time in which Day’s razor has laid idle, the Hawks have won five Big 8 Conference games in a row, are now in third place in the standings, thanks not only to some sound defense, but also quality pitching.
Day, a former Elk Grove Thundering Herd starter at the hot corner, showed Saturday why as a freshman in college he’s a starter.
|Brooks Day scores CRC's 2nd run|
In the Hawks’ 3-2 win over Sacramento City College, the game was tied at two in the seventh inning and a go-ahead runner was on third. A screaming liner was knocked right down the third baseline and much like the former Baltimore Oriole Gold Glover, Day went to the ground, backhanded the ball, bounced to his feet and gunned down the batter for the final out of the inning.
“Coach Bloomfield moved me towards the line a little bit and he put me in the right spot to make the play,” Day said. “That’s the play I should make. I got a good read off the bat.”
Hawks coach Tony Bloomfield pointed to that big play as a key reason his club, which started conference play losing five of its first six, has turned it around since.
“We got beat by American River two-our-of-three and we had two bad innings in that series,” he said. “Everybody can pitch. Everybody can coach. You have to show up and play the game and our kids are playing pretty well right now.”
Back on March 19, perhaps the low point to the season to this point, Hawks pitchers gave up a total of 18 walks in a 17-11 loss to San Joaquin Delta College. Now, they’ve really turned that around and Bloomfield says that’s the big reason they’re 6-4 in the Big 8.
“We finally solidified our pitching staff,” Bloomfield explained. “Up until the 21st game we didn’t have a starting pitcher get a win. Matt Richardson pitched really well. We moved Matt Stafford (Pleasant Grove H.S.) to the starting rotation. We moved (Jeremy) Caldwell to the starting rotation. We moved Andre Gregory to centerfield so he could pitch on Saturdays and we think that’s helped us.”
|Jeremy Loeb get Brandon Langan to ground out to end the game|
Designated hitter Brian Morley came through with a big double scoring Brett Bloomfield from first base in the eighth inning for the game winner Saturday. Still, Hawks’ pitching –starting with former Cosumnes Oaks’ pitcher Jeremy Caldwell, then relievers Thomas Galart and Chris Loeb – were key to handing the Panthers just their second conference loss of the season.
Day claims he won’t shave as long as the Hawks keep on winning.
“As long as the streak is alive, I won’t shave,” he said.
His parents may not appreciate that, but they are quite busy watching other college games this spring, as well. Day is a half-brother (and high school teammate) to twins Nick and Ty Madrigal. They, too, are freshmen contributing right now for Oregon State and St. Mary’s College, respectively.
“It’s pretty hectic,” Day said of his parents attendance at their games. “They try to split it up as evenly as possible.”
Day says making the transition from a Section championship team at Elk Grove to CRC has come pretty easily for him.
“They ask me to play the game hard and play the game the right way,” Day said.
Bloomfield, says that transition, though, hasn’t been without a few struggles.
“He’s a defensive player first, an offensive player second,” Bloomfield explained. “He’s had a tough time adjusting to the pace of the play here. It’s faster than high school. It’s a Bermuda-cut, fast-paced field. So, now he’s adjusted and playing the field really well.”
Peyton Wheatley, a high school teammate of Day’s at Elk Grove, made several put outs flying around left field Saturday. He says Coach Bloomfield isn’t much different that high school coach, Jeff Carlson, who was in attendance at Saturday’s win.
“They are both loud and will get in your face,” Wheatley said. “Very intense. They are pretty similar. They both want to win.”
The Hawks play the second game of the three-game set against City College Tuesday. Then they’ll host the Panthers for the final time this year on Thursday.