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  • BASEBALL

    PRESEASON TOP 20

    With last season's record

    1. Elk Grove 29-5

    2. Pleasant Grove 24-9

    3. Davis 22-8

    4. Jesuit 21-8

    5. Granite Bay 17-10

    6. Oak Ridge 19-9

    7. Rocklin 15-12

    8. Franklin 18-15

    9. Vista del Lago 25-6

    10. Woodcreek 20-7

    11. Yuba City 21-11

    12. Whitney 28-3

    13. Grant 12-15

    14. Capital Chrristian 25-5-1

    15. Bradshaw Christian 24-6

    16. Bella Vista 20-11

    17. Oakmont 14-12

    18. Christian Brothers 16-11

    19. Colfax 20-8

    20. Valley Christian 21-12

    – Joe Davidson

  • SOFTBALL

    PRESEASON TOP 20

    With last season’s record

    1. Pleasant Grove 22-11

    2. Casa Roble 24-5

    3. Christian Brothers 20-11-1

    4. Elk Grove 23-9

    5. Sheldon 14-13

    6. Rocklin 26-5

    7. Del Campo 16-10-1

    8. St. Francis 16-9

    9. Davis 16-10-1

    10. Antelope 17-15

    11. Roseville 21-9-1

    12. Pioneer 24-6

    13. Woodcreek 20-9

    14. Cosumnes Oaks 17-14

    15. Oak Ridge 18-9

    16. Oakmont 15-11

    17. Union Mine 16-8

    18. Ponderosa 14-10-1

    19. Whitney 19-10

    20. Woodland 14-9

    – Mike Finnerty/Trevor Horn

Elk Grove-area teams top Sac-Joaquin Section baseball, softball rankings

Published: Monday, Mar. 3, 2014 - 9:05 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 - 9:39 am

Sacramento’s reputation for decades has been that it’s a baseball town.

The region also plays softball.

Played on a smaller diamond with athletes just as competitive as those in high school baseball , softball in the region has produced its share of dynasties and memorable championship teams and scholarship players. Softball, though, doesn’t have a major-league product serving as the ultimate goal.

A hotbed for both sports through the years has been Elk Grove.

Elk Grove High School has been an example of baseball staying power since the 1980s despite new schools opening in the district, including four in the past decade. And the Thundering Herd enters this season the same way it finished the 2013 campaign – on top.

Elk Grove, coached by Jeff Carlson, is The Bee’s preseason No. 1-ranked team. Carlson has won nine league championships, seven Sac-Joaquin Section Division I-North titles and five section banners, including last season, since 2000. Despite two-time Bee Player of the Year Rowdy Tellez signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Herd is ranked No. 11 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. Elk Grove’s current stars include senior center fielder Derek Hill, who has given a verbal commitment to Oregon and also is projected as a high-round selection in the June draft. Shortstop Nick Madrigal, an Oregon State commit, is a junior preseason All-American.

Pleasant Grove, also in Elk Grove, is The Bee’s No. 1 preseason softball team, returning a wealth of talent from last year’s squad that advanced to the D-I section final. Co-head coaches Russ Pettis and Bob Book, in their first season at Pleasant Grove, bring back ace Celina Matthias (a Sacramento State scholarship signee) and hitters Autumn Miller (Oregon), Marissa Maligad (Sac State) and Vanessa Washington (Delaware State).

Overall, softball teams from the Elk Grove Unified School District have reached the D-I section championship game 16 times since 2002, winning nine times – five by Sheldon.

Baseball and softball story lines to watch in 2014:

• The large schools dominate the baseball rankings, but the small schools can hold their own, sometimes even in head-to-head games. Small-school defending section champions with big-time talent include No. 14 Capital Christian, No. 15 Bradshaw Christian and No. 20 Valley Christian – each with at least one scholarship player.

• The No. 2 Pleasant Grove baseball team returns as formidable an up-the-middle trio as anyone in the section with ace Matt Stafford, catcher Nico Toni and shortstop Bronson Grubbs. Each was named All-Metro last season.

• The region’s top softball pitcher is Haley Snyder of No. 3 Christian Brothers. A senior headed to Stanford, she hopes to study law.

• The top baseball pitchers include Matt Trask of No. 3 Davis (UCLA), Chris Loeb of No. 4 Jesuit (undecided), Mitch Hart of No. 5 Granite Bay (USC), Austin Root of No. 6 Oak Ridge (Sac State), Logan Webb and Ryan Smith of No. 7 Rocklin (Cal Poly and Sac State, respectively), Michael Majeski of No. 9 Vista del Lago (undecided), Cameron Avila-Leeper of No. 13 Grant (Arizona), Tyler Schimpf of No. 14 Capital Christian (Texas), Jeremiah Moore of No. 20 Valley Christian (Sac State) and Anthony Castaneda of Woodland Christian (Sac State).

• The top softball infielders include Krystal Aubert of No. 2 Casa Roble (Washington), Zamari Hilton and Anessa Kaylor of No. 5 Sheldon (Sac State and San Jose State, respectively) and Ashleigh Hughes of No. 10 Antelope (Arizona).

• Top baseball infielders include Brett Bloomfield and Ryan Kreidler of No. 3 Davis (Kansas and undecided, respectively), Andy Snow of No. 4 Jesuit (Arizona State), Vinny Esposito and Devin Lehman of No. 5 Granite Bay (Sac State), Hank Lo Forte of No. 8 Franklin (Fullerton), Devin Pettengill of No. 12 Yuba City (undecided), Grant Heisinger of No. 15 Bradshaw Christian (Stanislaus State) and David Campbell of No. 19 Colfax (San Jose State).

• Unsung baseball players include Kennedy’s Adam Takeuchi (9-2, .493 in 2013), Whitney’s Drew Romo (7-1, .462) and Lincoln’s Jake Sola (8-2, .475).

• Unsung softball utility players include Amber Wright of No. 4 Elk Grove (Cleveland State), Alejandra Garcia of No. 8 St. Francis (Cal Poly), Jenna Curtan of No. 13 Woodcreek (Riverside), Sabryna Scott of No. 14 Cosumnes Oaks (Cal) and Krysten McCue of No. 15 Oakmont (Cal).

BASEBALL

PRESEASON TOP 20

With last season's record

1. Elk Grove 29-5

2. Pleasant Grove 24-9

3. Davis 22-8

4. Jesuit 21-8

5. Granite Bay 17-10

6. Oak Ridge 19-9

7. Rocklin 15-12

8. Franklin 18-15

9. Vista del Lago 25-6

10. Woodcreek 20-7

11. Yuba City 21-11

12. Whitney 28-3

13. Grant 12-15

14. Capital Chrristian 25-5-1

15. Bradshaw Christian 24-6

16. Bella Vista 20-11

17. Oakmont 14-12

18. Christian Brothers 16-11

19. Colfax 20-8

20. Valley Christian 21-12

– Joe Davidson



SOFTBALL

PRESEASON TOP 20

With last season’s record

1. Pleasant Grove 22-11

2. Casa Roble 24-5

3. Christian Brothers 20-11-1

4. Elk Grove 23-9

5. Sheldon 14-13

6. Rocklin 26-5

7. Del Campo 16-10-1

8. St. Francis 16-9

9. Davis 16-10-1

10. Antelope 17-15

11. Roseville 21-9-1

12. Pioneer 24-6

13. Woodcreek 20-9

14. Cosumnes Oaks 17-14

15. Oak Ridge 18-9

16. Oakmont 15-11

17. Union Mine 16-8

18. Ponderosa 14-10-1

19. Whitney 19-10

20. Woodland 14-9

– Mike Finnerty/Trevor Horn


Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.

Read more articles by Joe Davidson



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