Now that was more like it.
Playing every bit like The Bee’s top-ranked high school baseball team entering the postseason, Elk Grove was crisp in all facets Monday night, eliminating Vintage of Napa 7-0 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North contest at Sacramento City College.
Two days after a lackluster effort in a 6-0 loss to Granite Bay, the Thundering Herd went back to its ace and implored all hands to treat this game with the utmost urgency. They did.
Ty Madrigal tossed a gem, allowing one hit in six innings, striking out five and walking two. The senior left-hander headed to Saint Mary’s improved to 8-3, including 2-0 in the playoffs, and 17-4 in his stellar three-year varsity career.
“Hell of a game from him, again,” Elk Grove first baseman Dylan Carlson said. “That’s what we expected from him. That’s what we needed.”
Madrigal had plenty of help from an offense that hammered out eight hits and a superb defense that included big plays by twin brother Nick Madrigal at shortstop, Carlos Moseley at second, Brooks Day at third and Carlson. Ty Madrigal, Carlson and Day had two RBIs each to pace the offense.
Day scored Carlson, who had singled and stolen second, for a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Ty Madrigal’s groundout RBI made it 2-0.
In the third, Moseley singled home Nick Madrigal for a 3-0 advantage, and Carlson made it 5-0 in the fifth with a two-run double.
All of this came against Vintage ace Aaron Shortridge. The Cal-bound senior struck out six.
“That’s a Division I arm, an outstanding pitcher, and we did a nice job putting pressure on him,” Elk Grove coach Jeff Carlson said. “Ty did a great job. That’s what we expect from our senior leaders.”
The man of the hour was indeed Ty Madrigal, someone Vintage has seen far too much of. Elk Grove eliminated Vintage from the playoffs for the third straight season, with Madrigal pitching in each of those games.
Said Vintage coach Rich Anderson, “Madrigal was fantastic.”
The ever-humble Madrigal credited his teammates, saying, “The defense did all the work. They were great behind me. Team-wise, we feel really good now.”
Elk Grove has plenty of arms to make a title run. On Thursday, the Herd plays the loser of Tuesday’s winners’ bracket game between Oak Ridge and Granite Bay. The North finals are Friday.
“We have the arms, but we’ve got to transfer that to pitching,” coach Carlson said. “We need to throw strikes. When we do that, we’re a pretty good team.”
Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North playoffs
ELK GROVE 7, VINTAGE 0
Vintage 000 000 0 - 0 1 3
Elk Grove 021 040 x - 7 8 0
Shortridge, Rudstrom (6) and MacNichols. T.Madrigal, Brown (7) and Gastellum. Top hitters: EG-Carlson 2x3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Day 2x3, 2 RBIs; T.Madrigal 2 RBIs.