Thursday, January 18, 2018

Another local baseball first-rounder likely

We are five months away from one of Major League Baseball’s biggest days, the First Year Amateur Draft, where the pros load up minor league rosters with those they believe will become stars of their sport one day. An Elk Grove name is once again on that prospect list as compiled annually by the publication “Baseball America.”
It’s Elk Grove High School graduate Nick Madrigal. Last season, his sophomore year at Oregon State University, Madrigal led the Beavers to a 56-6 season and a Pac-12 championship. He was that conference’s player of the year, too.
Now, the pro scouts think he’ll be some franchise’s first-round draft choice come June. “Baseball America” has Madrigal number seven in its list of the 2018 Top 200 MLB Draft Prospects, released Jan. 12.
If that is the case, Madrigal would follow former EGHS teammates Dylan Carlson and Derek Hill onto the very short list of locals who were selected in the first round of the MLB draft. The St. Louis Cardinals selected Carlson in 2016, while Hill was take number one in 2014 by the Detroit Tigers.
Also taken in that first round in 2016 was Sheldon right-handed pitcher Matt Manning. “Baseball America” recently predicted Manning could show up on the Tigers’ roster in Detroit this summer and, in its 2021 prospective roster, he would be a starting pitcher in the Tigers’ rotation.

Herd wrestlers finish third at Tim Brown

One of the biggest local wrestling tournaments annually is the Tim Brown Memorial, held inside Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento. Eight to ten mats are squared into the historical auditorium as the floor is raised to level in this unique venue.
Four Elk Grove High School grapplers wrestled for the championship in their respective weights and all of them finished second. There were Peter Ming (170), Carson Gause (160), Kendall Frank (138) and Lokahi Tonge (132). Nahele Tonge was third at 145 pounds and Hassan Khan grabbed third at 152 pounds. At 195, John Gblah placed seventh.
Other locals who did well were Nicholas Mraz of Bradshaw Christian (8th at 145 pounds), Andrew Calvert of Franklin (6th at 106 pounds), and Edison Alanis of Franklin (3rd at 120 pounds).
In the team standings, Spanish Springs of Nevada won the event with 228 points followed by Oak Ridge with 201 points. Elk Grove placed third with 190.5 points.

Tough times at CRC
De’Rajaee Austin lead Cosumnes River College in scoring with a 13.6 points per game average. He played his high school basketball at Monterey Trail.

It was a rough week at Cosumnes River College’s Clark Court. Both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams went 0-3, all Big 8 Conference games.
The men thought they had a win in the pocket in Saturday afternoon’s matinee game with Modesto Junior College. The Hawks were up by 11 early in the second half, only to watch that lead dwindle.
The Pirates chipped away at it and eventually CRC’s turnovers and missed opportunities handed Modesto a 69-66 win. De’Rajaee Austin from Monterey Trail High School led CRC with 17 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Earlier in the week the Hawks dropped a 72-62 decision at Santa Rosa J.C. and Tuesday lost to rival Sacramento City College, 84-70. In that game the Hawks led much of the first half and Austin had another big night with 26 points.
“At the start of the second half we were up 10 and I think my guys felt satisfied,” Hawks head coach Jonathan James said. “(SCC) came out hard the second half, they took their best shots and we didn’t respond to it. They were stripped of their confidence.”
James said this year’s Hawks, now 6-11 overall, “can punch but can’t take a punch.”
The former CRC and Valley High School player, who is now in his second season at CRC, claims he isn’t concerned.
“I’m not concerned at all,” he said. “I know my guys can play at a higher level. We’ve played some really good teams. In our conference, any team, any given night, can take a loss.”
What has really hit the Hawks – both the men and the women- this season is academic eligibility. CRC lost its top scorer, James Gill, to grades a couple weeks back. The women played much of last week with just six players on the court. The other half of the roster was sitting because of grades.
In the JC’s most of the players are fresh out of high school and in the first semester ever in college and the culture shock can be negative.
The women’s team entered this week 1-13 overall and head coach Coral Sage just coming off maternity leave. Sage got leading rebounder Quoquese Jackson back in the lineup on Saturday so the Hawks could finish much better.

Cole trade may help EG’s Davis

The big trade last week in the MLB was the World Champion Houston Astros acquiring another good arm in their starting rotation in Gerrit Cole. A player Houston sent to Pittsburgh in the trade was third baseman Colin Moran, who played much of the season at Triple-A Fresno.
Now that he’s gone to the Pirates the dugout in Houston is a little bit cleaner for Elk Grove High School graduate J.D. Davis. He spent the final two months of the season with the Astros in their stretch drive, playing sporadically.
With Alex Bregman the starter for Houston at third and Moran now gone, it’s more and more likely he’ll be etched into the Astros’ 25-man roster come Opening Day.
Don’t be surprised if Davis is in the lineup as the team’s designated hitter during spring training.
And, by the way, another ex-Elk Grove baseball standout, pitcher David Hernandez, remains a free agent. He split time last season with the Angels and the Diamondbacks.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

CRC Sports Week

CRC Sports Week
News and Notes from Cosumnes River College athletics 


Cosumnes River College suffered through a 0-3 week on the hardcourts, the second full week of action in the Big 8 Conferencce.

Men’s Basketball (6-11 overall, 2-5 Big 8 Conference)

Sacramento City College 84, Hawks 70 – Tuesday, Jan. 9

CRC started the game strong with some hard-nosed defense and up-tempo offense. The Hawks jumped out to a quick 12-3 lead and had a 35-25 advantage at half time. But, in the second half the Panthers scored the first eight points, outscoring the Hawks, 26-12, in the first 7:20.

SCC led as much as 16 points until CRC battled back to cut the margin

De’Rajaee Austin

to  eight with under two minutes to go, thanks mainly to trapping, steals and a couple quick threes.
“At some point you have to play with your heart,” head coach Jonathan James said. “Tonight, Sac City did that. This game wasn’t an X’s and O’s battle. It was a matter of will, heart and pride. Tonight, we didn’t show that and got beat.”
De’Rajaee Austin (Monterey Trail H.S.) led the Hawks in scoring with 26 points. He also had six assists and five rebounds. Jordan Roberson (Cordova H.S.) tacked on 24 points and seven rebounds.

Santa Rosa Jr. College 72, Hawks 62 – Thursday, Jan. 11

The Bearcubs of Santa Rosa J.C. came in to this game state-ranked at No.14 and on a nine-game winning streak going back to mid-December. The game was tight with lead changes throughout much of the first half, but with four minutes left in the half, Santa Rosa went on a 13-3 run to end the period. The score was 37-28, Bearcubs, at halftime.
CRC went on a 10-2 run with six minutes to go to narrow the gap to tie the game at 59.
Jalen Valverde (Elliot Christian H.S.) scored on a layup, followed by an Everton Maxwell (Laguna Creek H.S.) drive on an assist by Austin, then a three-pointer by Roberson, followed by a three by Austin.
Santa Rosa recovered and the Hawks were forced to foul late to send the Bearcubs to the free throw line.
Austin led with 23 points, Roberson had 15 and Maxwell added 13.

Modesto Jr. College 69, Hawks 66 – Saturday, Jan. 13

The Hawks had a solid start to this Saturday afternoon matinee show. In fact, they had a 38-30 lead with a couple ticks left on the clock, but an off-balanced three-pointer by Modesto J.C. right at the buzzer sent the teams to the locker room with the Hawks holding a five-point advantage.
Then, Modesto whittled away at the CRC lead. The Hawks had an 11-point margin at one point, only to see the Pirates grab a 62-61 lead with three minutes to go. A series of tough shots and untimely turnovers spelled doom to CRC and they dropped a 69-66 decision. Roberson tried a game-tying shot at the horn, but just missed.
Leading scorers were Roberson with 18 points, Austin with 17 and Valverde with 13.

Women’s Basketball (1-14 overall, 1-6 Big 8 Conference)

Sacramento City College 75, Hawks 52 – Tuesday, Jan. 9

Cosumnes River College took on the Sacramento City College Panthers for the first time during the 2017-2018 season. With several players out, the Hawks unveiled two players that took the court for the first time during the season. Erica Oswald and Yasmine Trevizo made their season debuts for CRC.
Leading the Hawk offense was Brookelyn Larkin who shot 47.8% from the field resulting in 25 points. Trina Shaner added in 10 points followed by Alexiza Liddell's nine points. Newcomer Trevizo added four points in her debut for the Hawks. Shaner, Larkin and forward Micaela Dagler played all 40 minutes this night.
"I was very happy with the way the girls played,” assistant coach Jennifer Jacobs said. “Adding two new players to the roster a day before the game is anything but easy. But, the girls fought through the adversity and played a very good game. It's a lot to ask to have three girls play 40 minutes and another one playing 35, but they did it and I could not be happier for how they handled it."

Santa Rosa Jr. College 64, Hawks 48 – Thursday, Jan. 11

The Hawks hung with the Bearcubs in the first quarter and trailed 16-13. But, the tables turned on CRC in the second quarter and they Hawks were out-scored, 15-4, in that period. Once again playing with just six players, it was a good effort on everyone’s part. Larkin finished with 26 points and Shaner ended up with 17.

Modesto Jr. College 69, Hawks 43 – Saturday, Jan. 13

The Hawks were down early and just never recovered. They trailed the Pirates, 31-17 at intermission. Fortunately, Quoquese Jackson was available to play and she came off the bench with 10 rebounds. Once again Larkin led CRC in scoring with 19 points and Shaner contributed nine.

This Week:

Basketball -

Tuesday, Jan. 16 - Sierra College vs. Cosumnes River College Women 5:30 p.m., Men 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 19 – American River College vs. Cosumnes River College, Men 5:30 p.m., Women 7:30 p.m.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Top Stories of 2018

The Citizen has posted its Top Stories of 2018.

We featured some of the stories we covered this last year that were either newsmakers or accomplishments that stood out. Of course, someone will mention a story that we "forgot" and that happens when putting together this kind of a feature.
Elk Grove volleyball player Ashley Vanderpan

However, there were lots of stories we told on the pages of the Citizen of people excelling in their sport, but also -such as the case of Elk Grove volleyball player Ashley Vanderpan -  we chronicaled those who showed great courage. In Ashley's case, it was incredible to see her return to her sport after a near-debilitating health issue put her in the hospital for three months.

David Freitas got to play a few games for Atlanta in 2017.
Then we had a year when two more locals were promoted to the top ranks of Major League Baseball. Elk Grove 2007 graduate David Freitas, after bouncing around in several MLB franchises' farm sytems, got called up in August to play catcher for the Atlanta Braves. He followed another Herd grad, J.D. Davis, who was promoted from Triple-A Fresno to the Houston Astros.  Davis will have the chance to earn a regular spot on the Astros' roster this year, while Freitas signed on with the Seattle Mariners in the off-season.

Still awaiting his roster spot is David Hernandez, a 2003 Elk Grove grad, who played for both the L.A. Angels and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.

In football,
Cole Hikutini became the fourth Elk Grove – area football player to make a NFL active roster this season. The 49ers signed Hikutini (6-4, 247) off its practice squad in October. The former Pleasant Grove Eagle was originally signed with the team as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 4, 2017. He was waived on September 2 and signed to the team’s practice squad the following day.
49er tight end Cole Hikutini
He joined high school teammate Arik Armstead on the Niners, who was the club’s top draft choice two years ago out of Oregon. But, both finished the season on the injured reserve list, having to watch San Francisco finished the season with a five-game winning streak, jump-starting Niner faithful after a few years of disappointing seasons.
By the way, the other two locals in the NFL were starters in 2017:  Kenny Wiggins, an offensive guard for the Los Angeles Chargers, and Ethan Westbrooke, a defensive end with the Los Angeles Rams. Both of those guys get to experience the NFL playoffs in the coming weeks.