It’s go time in the Delta League.
The top high school baseball conference in the Sac-Joaquin Section includes Bee No. 1 Franklin, No. 2 Jesuit and No. 3 Davis, all scrambling for Delta honors as the Division I playoffs loom.
Franklin, Jesuit and Elk Grove tied for the Delta title a year ago. Franklin (15-2) is unscathed in league action this season at 9-0 with a three-game series against Jesuit this week.
Then, Franklin has a three-game set against Davis, followed by a three-game series against Elk Grove to conclude the regular season. It’s heating up just as the temperature does in a spring marred by inclement weather.
The Marauders (8-7) swept Davis before the Easter break, prevailing 3-2, 2-1 and 3-0 with defense, pitching and just enough offense.
One of Jesuit’s aces has been sophomore Anthony Susac, who struck out 10 to beat Franklin 1-0 in the playoffs last May and hasn’t slowed.
Franklin has been led by twins Grant and Carson Stevens, Zach Meddings, Nico Regino and Chase Davis.
Franklin, Jesuit and Davis figure to be title contenders in the D-I field along with defending champion Vacaville. The playoffs start May 14.
What adds to the aura of these programs are the coaches. Bryan Kilby has led Franklin to its finest seasons, including being Bee-ranked No. 1 all of this season.
Joe Potulny is respected and revered in area coaching circles for his work at Jesuit, his alma mater and where he’s been head coach since 1993.
Dan Ariola of Davis has won multiple championships and could be coaching his last team at his alma mater. Stu Clary of Vacaville led the Bulldogs to the program’s first section title and would surely run the bases in a fit of prideful glee if it were allowed.
No. 5 Rocklin has a three-game series this week against No. 6 Folsom with first place on the line.
Multi-sport star Ethan Remmers has driven in 13 runs, the same as impressive sophomore Tyler McCuistion. Andrew Ketchum and Daniel Roberts have been among the pitching leaders for Rocklin (10-8).
Folsom (13-3) is coming off a 4-0 showing in the College Baseball Match Championship tournament. Football star CJ Hutton has been an offensive boost, as have Chris Catalano, Carson Gross, Drake Digiorno and Ryan Stafford.
The team ERA is 1.93 with Jacob Lynch, Tyler Agnew and Tyson Dewall combining to go 9-2. Folsom has already matched last season’s victory total and is closing in on its first 15-win season since 2008 and first playoff showing since 2007.
Christian Brothers was no-hit in back-to-back games, on the same day, in its own Easter tournament.
Ponderosa beat CB 2-0 as Devon Suske struck out five and overcame five walks to outduel Jordan Gonzalez, who struck out five in allowing five hits. Woodcreek’s Ryan Harvey struck out 12 with no walks in his team’s 2-0 win over CB, which had a nine-strikeout effort from Stephen Sedleniek.
The SFL casts a considerable shadow over the rest of the section in this sport, headed by No. 1 Folsom, No. 3 Whitney, No. 4 Del Oro and No. 5 Rocklin.
Folsom (12-3) is having its best season since last making the playoffs in 2007, and the Bulldogs will produce their first winning campaign in nine years. This is all thanks to an influx of standout freshmen such as Emma Falen, D’Auna Johnson, Dakota Kennedy, Hailey Scott and Reina Zermeno and the coaching of Paige Braithwaite.
Folsom plays Whitney and Rocklin this week. Whitney (15-5) is led by sisters Makenzie and Mazie Macfarlane. Both bound to Utah State via scholarship, the Macfarlanes have combined for 47 hits.
Whitney beat Folsom 7-1 on Marcy 14, and it has wins over Rocklin 6-4 and 6-5 and has split with Del Oro, losing 6-3 and winning 4-3.
Sacramento Meet of Champions
The Sacramento Meet of Champions was a windy affair at American River College.
Among the regional boys winners: John Kroeger of River Valley in the long jump (21 feet, 9.25 inches); Caiden Macktinger of Del Oro in the pole vault (15-8); Chase Gordon of Jesuit in the 1600 (4 minutes, 18.8 seconds); Camden Wheeler of Monterey Trail in the 400 (48.67); Ryan Mulholland of Del Oro in the 100 (10.64); Zach Larrier of Monterey Trail in the 200 (21.3) and Garrett Gough of Nevada Union in the 3200 (9:09.8).
The top two 110-meter hurdlers in the state ran at ARC with Jamar Marshall of St. Mary’s of Stockton winning in 13.56 with wind and Warren Williams of Merrill West of Tracy placing second in 13.86.
The Monterey Trail 4x100 relay team won in 41.76 behind legs Andre Crump, Prophet Brown, Wheeler and Larrier. The Monterey Trail 4x400 relay also won in 3:19.77 behind Jehiel Budgett, Crump, Bubba Echols and Wheeler.
Among the area girls winners: Emma Barthel of Bella Vista in the long jump (17-7.25); Cate Joaquin of St. Francis in the 1600 (5:01.03); Ceonna Pipion of Vista del Lago in the 400 (55.45) and Isabella Fauria of St. Francis in the 800 (2:13.89).