Hometown Report: Baseball standouts swing into action

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 8:06 pm

The weather turned nice last week, and a baseball season broke out.

Amid season openers, players with local ties offered more evidence that this remains a fertile baseball town.

Fresh off a Western Athletic Conference co-championship last season, Sacramento State claimed one of three games at Texas, winning 5-3 Saturday. Freshman Sutter McLoughlin of Rio Americano High School earned the save in his debut.

Sunday, the Hornets lost 6-3, though first baseman Rhys Hoskins of Jesuit made the "SportsCenter" Top 10 Plays of the Week at No. 3 with an over-the-railing catch.

Texas coach Augie Garrido said of Sac State: "They were the absolute surprise of the Western United States (last season).… They're really good."

Big on Bears

Cal opened by sweeping visiting Michigan with the help of three area products.

Friday, catcher Andrew Knapp of Granite Bay hit a tiebreaking, bases-loaded single in the 11th inning for a 5-4 victory. Left fielder Brian Celsi of Jesuit produced a bunt single in the rally, and freshman Ryan Mason of Placer earned the win in relief. He struck out four in 1 2/3 innings.

Saturday, Knapp and Celsi combined for four hits and three runs, and Knapp had three RBIs in Cal's 6-5, 10-inning victory. And Sunday, Celsi slapped an RBI single to right in the ninth for a 2-1 win.

Feel-good moments

Butte College's Jake Pott, who played at Galt, homered in a 9-6 victory over visiting Sacramento City on Thursday and was mobbed by his teammates. The infielder nearly died after jumping into the Sacramento River with friends this past summer.

Pott collapsed after climbing out of the water, a victim of a sudden respiratory attack. He was life-flighted to the UC Davis Medical Center.

Sunday, former Sierra College All-American Josh Eagle earned his first victory for Cal State Monterey Bay, throwing six solid innings in a 5-3 win over visiting Cal State East Bay.

Monday, pinch hitter Brad Gerig of Jesuit and Sierra hit a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to rally Nevada over Kansas 9-8 in Mesa, Ariz.

Davis power surge

J.D. Davis, the 2011 Bee Player of the Year from Elk Grove, is off to a big start for 4-0 Cal State Fullerton.

Showing no ill effects from a car accident that ended his summer season in Wisconsin, the designated hitter has driven in 11 runs in the last three games, including a grand slam and a two-run homer for six RBIs on Sunday in an 8-2 win at CSU Bakersfield.

Saturday, Titans catcher Jared Deacon of Elk Grove had three hits and two RBIs in a 10-5 win over visiting Nebraska.

Vanderdoes out of spikes

Eddie Vanderdoes of Placer has given up baseball to focus on football. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive lineman signed a national letter of intent with Notre Dame.

"I loved baseball, but I need to really concentrate on football this spring, get stronger and get ready for Notre Dame," he said.

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