Baseball

Sonora High School baseball coach Chet Winham said a home match against Summerville on Tuesday (Sonora won 9-7), was still a warning the Wildcats would have to improve before the teams meet again at the Bears field on Friday at 3:30 p.m..

“We won, but I wasn’t necessarily happy with everything we did. They never gave up though. They stayed up and had a good attitude,” White said.

Summerville High School Coach John Baldwin, in his first year as varsity coach, also said his team struggled throughout match until a late game surge nearly put them over the top.

“It's not really any one thing, it's physical errors and mental errors that caught up with us at Sonora on Tuesday,” he said.

On paper, the teams appear to have a wide margin between them. Sonora High School is 5-2 in the Mother Lode League and making a run for a league title after falling just short of the mark in the 2017-18 school year.

“We’re challenged at the plate right now. We are working very hard to get our team batting average up. It’s slowly climbing, kids are working hard and we’ve had multiple extra practices with people staying late taking extra swings,” White said.

Tyler Matyshock, Sonora High School’s college-bound pitcher and hitting star, is set to pitch on Friday at Summerville.

“Tyler is hitting well. He hit one off the centerfield wall yesterday,” he said.

Summerville High School is 1-6 is the Mother Lode League, but Baldwin said the team has a staff of seniors strong enough to beat the two league frontrunners. Argonaut High School, Summerville’s only league win, also has a 5-2 record with Sonora.

“I think we’re playing very well right now. We just want to be able to play a more complete game and be more consistent on defense,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin said his team was a cooperative group with no standout performer, but identified junior pitcher David Cazares, senior pitcher Mike Litzler, senior catcher Markus Warnock, and other seniors Jordi Craddock, Octavian Hernandez and Paul Bruce as team leaders.

“We’ve played really good baseball but we haven't been rewarded with many wins,” he said. “Our record is not indicative of how well we are playing.”

Mike Avecilla, Bret Harte High School baseball coach, said his team has been hampered by the loss of players, either by injury or grade eligibility.

“I think the season started off a little bit on the unexpected side. Initially, we came in with the anticipation being one of the stronger teams to beat,” he said.

Avecilla said two pitchers were out, one had ankle surgery, the other arm surgery, respectively, but other players were filling in the gaps.

“I think the biggest positive factor I’m seeing are the handful of guys that are stepping up as leaders and trying to keep a positive attitude in the program despite the adversity we are dealing with,” he said.

As of Wednesday morning, Bret Harte High School had a record of 2-3. They lost to Amador High School 10-2 at home on Monday and were playing Wednesday against Calaveras High School.

A representative of the Calaveras High School athletic department could not be reached for comment.

Tennis

Like a few other spring sports, tennis has both individual and team achievement components which can drive high school athletes into the playoffs.

Sam Segerstrom, in his fifth year as the Sonora High School tennis coach, said his hope was for the team to earn a repeat title as Mother Lode League champions and continue their dominating, undefeated play.

“We had a historic season last year and we’ve really picked up where we left off. Our singles play has been dominant. We have by far the best players in the league and our doubles will determine if we are able to win league and compete for a section championship,” Segerstrom said.

Sonora High School has 30 players on their team, with 14 starters, he said. Each league match features two boys singles, two girls singles, two boys doubles, two girls doubles and one mixed doubles matches.

“Our program has been growing considering we don't even have tennis courts,” he said. “Kids are coming out and having fun and telling their friends.”

Sonora is 4-0 and won Tuesday against Calaveras High School 8-1. On Thursday they will travel to Argonaut High School.

A representative of the Calaveras High School athletic department could not be reached for comment.

Leanodard Mauro, in his 27th year as the Summerville tennis coach, said his team was still playing catch up from a season that was marred by game cancellations due to rain. He has six matches over the next two weeks, he said.

“Everybody is behind,” he said. “We’ve got quite a bit of matches to get caught up on.”

“It’s been a tough go because of practice. We have little practice because of the rains,” he said. “I’m not sure where the teams at yet. We are still putting it together.”

Thursday, they will travel to Bret Harte High School and play at home on Friday against Argonaut High School.

Bret Harte High School coach Judith Anderson, in her sixth year as coach, echoed the sentiment on the ill effects of rain on the scene.

The team has 21 athletes, she said.

“Tennis is very unique,” she said. “It's an individual sport but it’s also a team at the same time.”

On the singles side all the coaches identified a few players with the desire to make a run in the singles and doubles league championship and the CIF Co-ed Championship in early May.

Segerstrom said Sonora High senior Kate Hovatter was last years MLL single champion who went undefeated in head to head play until she lost in the section semi-final. She remains undefeated this year, he said.

Segerstrom also said Wildcat Brian McGee was undefeated this year and had not lost a set all season.

“He’s dominating to say the least,” he said. “We’re anticipating he will be the MLL singles champion as well.”

Mauro identified James Richardson, an undefeated freshman, as a contender to move on to sections.

“We’ve got a young team, we’re kind of in a rebuilding year,” Mauro said.

Anderson said junior Sarah Smith was also a player to watch out for.

“She’s a little bulldog and she stays in those matches. She's quiet and she runs really under the radar but she’s one of our really fantastic standouts,” Anderson said.

The top three teams in the Mother Lode League will also qualify for section playoffs, where players who also completed in singles can compete for the school.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.






22962427