GALLERY: Varsity baseball takes two of three from Grizzlies in first league series
By Nick Sapp
The Roseville High School varsity baseball team opened league play against Granite Bay High School last week. Prior to Sierra Foothills League play, the RHS Tigers posted a 2-6 preseason record.
Despite the rough start, senior pitcher Daniel Nakamoto is optimistic that the team can turn things around.
“I think in league we can scrape together some wins and hopefully make playoffs,” Nakamoto said.
In the first game of the series, GBHS posted a 5-3 victory. Despite scoring three runs, the Tigers were held to two hits, with much of their production coming by way of walks and hit batsmen.
The second game of the GBHS series was held at home. The team won 1-0 off a passed ball during the fifth inning with senior Chris Anderson stealing home. Junior Adam Erickson pitched a whole game and gave up four hits.
The team’s two wins prior to league play came against Laguna Creek High School and Casa Roble High School. The game against Laguna Creek ended in a 7-3 win for RHS, and the Casa Roble game was a 5-1 win for RHS.
On March 27, the team competed against the Ponderosa High School Bruins. The game came down to the last inning where it was tied 1-1. Erickson started the game and continued to pitch the whole game.
In the bottom of the seventh, RHS was on defense with bases loaded and one out. Up to the plate now was the batter from PHS who laid down a bunt to Erickson, who tossed the ball to catcher Andrew Grinder for the second out. With two outs, the PHS batter hit a ground ball to second baseman Joe Butcoff, who fielded it and threw out the guy at first, although the umpire called him safe, but the team felt he was out. In the end, the Bruins emerged with a 2-1 victory.
According to head coach Lance Fischer, the RHS team’s wins were good, but some of the best games were against Oakmont High School and PHS, even though RHS lost.
“We are kind of right there,” Fischer said. “We just have been a hit or two away from a different outcome or extending the game.”
The team has kept the same mentality going into league, according to Fischer.
“Our foot should still be on the gas, trying to get going, and we just have to start believing in ourselves more, but we are not changing our mentality,” Fischer said.
The team has yet to create a starting lineup, but according to Fischer, their middle infielders are pretty much set. Devin Orr will be playing shortstop and Butcoff at second base. In addition, their most consistent pitcher is Erikson.
Before the team started league, the team had a three-game series against themselves called the Spring Classic. The varsity team split into two teams and played three full games. The winner of this series got t-shirts.
“We thought it would be a fun tradition to start and give the guys something to look forward too,” Fischer said. “It also gave everyone an opportunity to play in as much of a competitive environment as possible.”
The team’s next league series is scheduled for today, tomorrow and Thursday against Woodcreek High School. The first game will be at home, along with the last game of the series.