The high school with the best baseball record in Northern California this season still has plenty to prove and plenty of work to do.
Christian Brothers is rolling at 25-1, earning the No. 1 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs which start this week. Prominent wins include a 16-4 victory over rival Jesuit and a 5-3 win over Division I top seed Vacaville.
The Falcons have won with pitching, including Tanner Cunha’s 11-strikeout perfect game to best Rio Americano 10-0 on May 3, and with timely hitting, punctuated by Tyler Stewart’s walk-off home run to beat El Camino 5-4 on May 10, the team’s first homer this season.
“We’re grinding through it, finding ways to win, playing hard and having fun,” CBS coach Rich Henning said. “The boys have really enjoyed the season. It really is about their growth and experience, their development as people and players. That’s the beauty of it.”
While Christian Brothers has never won a section baseball title, the Falcons have produced good teams before. In 1962, when the school was called Bishop Armstrong, CBS went 22-2 with Dick Sperbeck at coach, and throughout the 1980s under Ron Limeberger, who died in 2004. The Falcons reached the D-II section finals in 2002, 2004 and 2014 and last season in D-III.
“We talk about that,” Henning said of discussions with his team. “But really, it’s about taking it one game at a time, one pitching, one inning, one game. In the playoffs, we know it’s about pitching and defense, and we have to execute.”
Brendan McMillan is batting .531 with 11 RBIs, Michael Ingram .491 and 18, Alex LeForestier .478 and 18, Stewart .462 and 26 and Kade McKechnie .407 and 14.
Cunha is 8-1 with a 1.14 ERA and David Hensley 4-0 with an 0.93. The team ERA is 1.37.
Henning graduated from CBS in 1978 and played for Limeberger, who became more than just a coach.
“I didn’t have a father and Ron took me under his wing, to father-son dinners, and I still have a great relationship with his family,” Henning said. “It’s been a privilege to coach here.”
Swimming – Davis scored 273 points to win its 19th section girls’ swimming championship and 15th since 1990 by dethroning three-time defending champion Granite Bay, which was second with 268.5. Davis finished second the past three seasons.
Mia Motekaitis scored 37 points for Davis, winning the 200 freestyle in 1 minute, 49.06 seconds, and taking second in the 200 free and 100 butterfly. She was on the winning 200 medley relay team that clocked a 1:45.34.
Chloe Clark of Granite Bay set a section record in the 200 individual medley in 1:59.51 and won the 100 backstroke in 53.47.
Sacramento Country Day freshman Amalie Fackenthal set the section mark in the 50 free in 23.04 seconds and also won the 100 free in 50.22. Kristina Murphy of Christian Brothers set the record in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.83.
Oak Ridge repeated as section boys swimming champions, outscoring Granite Bay 362-266.
Bryce Mefford of Oak Ridge won the 200 free in 1:34.93, breaking his own section mark. The senior also broke his own record in the 100 butterfly in 47.19. Oak Ridge freshman Ben Dillard won the 200 IM in 1:50.94.
McClatchy freshman Gianluca Urlando won the 100 back in 48.41.
For complete results, visit http://cifsjs.org/sports/swimdive/index.
Tennis – Laguna Creek wasn’t just the first Elk Grove Unified School District program to reach a section boys’ tennis final, it was the first from the district to win it, taking D-II honors with a 6-3 victory over Rio Americano.
The Cardinals lost to Davis 7-2 in the Northern California regional playoffs despite victories by No. 2 singles Jan Silva and No. 4 singles Kevin Lin.
Jesuit won the D-I team title, its 12th since 1998.