Joe Davidson

Home run power: Sacramento-area baseball, softball hitters are clearing the fences

Bouncing around the regions in a forward lean:

Blasting off

Power. It’s what inspires and demoralizes in baseball.

Three Elk Grove High School products, each a former Bee Player of the Year, have pulverized their share of baseballs this early season with a promise to launch more. Third baseman J.D. Davis of the New York Mets had two towering home runs against the Washington Nationals, the first registering as the hardest hit of the major-league season and the second traveling 446 feet.

At Elk Grove, Davis hit infield pop-ups that seemingly disappeared into the clouds. The 25-year-old has been hailed as a hero on Twitter of late, and savaged, too, with one fan tweeting, “I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he’s not good at baseball.”

Someone pass that fellow some smelling salts.

Rowdy rampage

Designated hitter Rowdy Tellez of Toronto had two homers and four walks in 25 at-bats.

The 24-year-old has also played first base in his major-league time, and he continues to play in honor of his mother, Lori, who died of brain cancer last summer. At Elk Grove, he hit a shot in the rain at Raley Field that landed over the right-field fence, and he crushed a shot at a high school park that cleared the fence and slammed up against a doghouse. Yeah, power.

Carlson clout

Dylan Carlson, all of 20 years old and in his fourth pro season, offered another glimpse of what he can do Tuesday.

The switch-hitting outfielder for Double-A Springfield in the St. Louis Cardinals organization hammered a homer off Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers ace and three-time Cy Young Award winner who was making a rehab start for Tulsa in a Texas League game. Carlson also homered off Mets All-Star closer Edwin Diaz in spring training.

Carlson was hitting .346 with six extra-base hits through seven games for Springfield. He’s relentless in his work ethic, a trait he learned from Davis and his coaching father, Jeff Carlson.

Hoss is boss

Rhys Hoskins of Jesuit and Sacramento State is in select company.

Since joining the big leagues with Philadelphia in August 2017, he and Mike Trout are the only two players to club 50 home runs and draw 130 walks.

Cordell goes cycling

Ryan Cordell, a graduate of Valley Christian Academy in Roseville, broke camp with the Chicago White Sox. They optioned Cordell to Triple-A Charlotte on April 8. Two days later, he recorded Charlotte’s first cycle since June 13, 1998.

Cordell doubled to lead off the bottom of the second inning and scored the Knights’ first run in a game they’d win 10-9 over Norfolk. He hit a three-run homer in the third, tripled in the fifth and singled in the seventh.

Cordell went 5 for 5, scored four runs and drove in three.


Matt Manning of Sheldon won his season debut for Double-A Erie of the Eastern League, a feeder to the Detroit Tigers.

The 6-foot-6, 21-year-old right-handed power pitcher allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven shutout innings against Altoona on Wednesday in his second start of the season. Manning, 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA, is deemed a top-50 MLB prospect with relative little use on his arm, as he played multiple sports growing up.

A teammate is former Elk Grove star Derek Hill, a center fielder who is batting .440.

UCLA rolls

UCLA is the top-ranked college baseball team in the land, thanks in part to Ryan Kreidler, a 6-4 junior infielder from Davis.

The third-year starter is batting .318 and has four home runs, seven doubles and 21 RBIs for the 24-6 Bruins. He’s surely a draft pick this spring and could well become the area’s next high-round guy.

Teammate Jack Filby, a freshman from McClatchy, got his first hit of the season against Stanford last weekend.

Club 600

Rob Willson of Sierra College earned his 600th career win as a community college coach last month, rolling along with a reputation as a gregarious yet fiercely firm program builder.

Willson elevated City College of San Francisco into a power and has done the same at Sierra since his start at the Rocklin campus in 2003. By 2008, Sierra won its first state championship. The Wolverines are 26-7 this season and in the hunt for the Big 8 Conference championship, a league that includes contenders Delta, Sacramento City and Cosumnes River.

Matt Lopez and Brandon Motheral have combined for 81s RBI for Sierra, and pitchers Austin Loeb, Ryan Gill and Elijah Garcia are a combined 20-5.

Krystal clear

Sacramento State third baseman Krystal Aubert managed just two games last season before injuries sidelined the one-time Casa Roble star.

A transfer from Washington, Aubert blasted a walk-off two-run homer to beat Montana 6-4 on Saturday. The senior has a Big Sky Conference-leading 10 homers for the Hornets, who are 21-17 overall, and is batting .330 with a .670 slugging percentage.

Meghan masher

Meghan Bradbury, a senior from San Pablo, leads UC Davis with eight homers and 31 RBIs as the Aggies have set program Division I records in wins (29), shutouts (14) and homers (26).

Sophomore Brooke Yanez of Ventura is 19-2 with a 0.98 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 129 innings for the Aggies.