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Central Section baseball notebook, 3/1: Cen-Cal Showcase recap

Rees Kent, Isaac Ayon, Koby Kropf, and Noah Galvan were all seen over the weekend competing in the Central California Showcase. (Photo by Austin Kemp)

All Clovis Unified schools were involved in the Central California Showcase which ran Friday and Saturday. Review all the results from that event, along with other D1 scores from over the weekend.

* Clovis schools and breakdowns will be listed in alphabetical order

Buchanan

Friday, February 28– Friday night brought a championship atmosphere as state-ranked #21 Buchanan beat #13 Turlock, 2-1. State rankings provided by Prep Baseball Report. Senior pitchers Isaac Ayon and Andy Owen went toe-to-toe for much of the game, in front of 20+ scouts, all holding radar guns. Ayon worked 89-93 MPH with his fastball and Owen went 87-91, but it was the Buchanan bats that came alive late to help push the Bears to victory. After getting two runners on due to a walk and HBP, Josh Williams singled home Drew Smith to tie the game at one. Then, Nick Marchini’s RBI single, which hit off of first-base, broke the tie. Ayon moved to 10-0 in his Buchanan career with 6 IP, 7 Ks and 1 ER on only 85 pitches. After the game, head coach Brad Fontes, along with Ayon, both talked about the senior’s changeup and how deadly it was over the course of the night. In fact, Ayon said that this was the first time his changeup had felt ‘great’ all year. Ayon credited the coaching staff for what has attribute to Buchanan’s hot start. “The coaches know what they’re doing,” Ayon said of his coaching staff that has combined to win 18 Section titles. “Every practice that coaches are on you and you can’t get away with anything.” Temo Becerra came in late to get the save, striking out the final hitter.

Freshman second baseman JP Acosta anticipates a ball being hit his way on day two of the Cen-Cal Showcase. (Photo by Austin Kemp)

Saturday, February 29– After an emotional game the night before, a dull atmosphere ensued on Saturday afternoon as Buchanan slept walked to an 8-0 victory against Bear Creek. Sophomore Max Bernal, who also was the starting pitcher, drove in the first run of the game in the first inning. After leaving four runners on base the next couple of innings, Buchanan would score two runs in the fourth inning, two in the fifth, and three in the sixth. Sophomores Corbin Ybarra, Drew Smith, and Evan Wallace all doubled, with Wallace’s resulting in 2 RBIs. Josh Williams, who recently verbally committed to UCSB, laced a double off the wall as well. Bernal went five innings on the mound, giving up just one hit. Through eight games, Buchanan has the best run differential in Division I.

Clovis

Friday, February 28– In a game the Cougars had to have, the bats came through as Clovis shutout #6 Liberty 5-0 on Friday afternoon. Though the Cougs put up only five runs, they constantly had people on base and tallied 13 hits. Ace Noah Beal got the start and went 6 IP, 2 hits, and 8 Ks. Not only did he get it done on the mound, Beal also opened the scoring in the third inning with a 2R-HR, which was later followed by a Nolan Sumter RBI single. Leadoff hitter Ian Mortensen helped set the table with three hits and Ryan Tiger added three more hits of his own.

Saturday, February 29– Clovis battled back, erasing a 2-0 2nd inning deficit to beat Elk Grove 5-2. After giving up the early runs, starter Ian Mortensen settled in to give the Cougars six strong innings, striking out eight batters. All five of Clovis’ runs came in a huge third inning when the Cougars would string together six hits led by Mortensen’s RBI and Koby Kropf’s 2 RBI double. Miles Henderson closed the game out to earn the save. After a slow start to the season, Clovis’ strong weekend is sure to earn them a spot in the Clovis Sports Report Top 10.

Clovis North

Friday, February 28– Senior right-hander Ryan O’Hara dominated on the mound as the Broncos raced past Rocklin 3-1. O’Hara kept hitters off balance all night going 6 IP, giving up just one hit and striking out 12. Opposing pitcher Toran O’Harran, a Stanford commit, went four innings in his first appearance of the season, giving up just one run. Trailing 1-0, Rees Kent doubled and eventually got to third which set up a Blake Asadoor sacrifice fly. The Broncos would score the other two runs in the 5th inning, highlighted by a Cason Brownell RBI double.

Saturday, February 29– Turlock beat Clovis North 3-1 as the teams came into the game ranked #13 and #8 in the PBR state rankings. Blake King hit a solo HR for the Broncos while Riley Cooper tossed a complete game in the loss.

Clovis West

Friday, February 28– The Golden Eagles used a dominant effort from Ixan Henderson to jump out to an early lead and eventually beat Bear Creek 12-8–in a game that looked way closer than it was. The Fresno State signee went 5.2 innings, struck out 12 while only allowing one hit. With the score 12-1, the Bruins put up seven runs in the 6th and 7th innings, making the score look more respectable. On offense, Clovis West was led by Henderson, Brad Senneway, and Art Navarette who all picked up RBIs. Tanner Ewell went 3-4 wit 2 triples and 5 RBI.

Bradley Senneway has been one of the most undervalued players in the section so far in 2020 as the senior has his batting average well above .500. (Photo by Austin Kemp)

Saturday, February 29– The Golden Eagles made one too many errors in their 2-1 loss to Frontier on Saturday afternoon. After the first hitter of the game led off with a single, a failed pickoff attempt led the runner to second base and then a dropped fly ball advanced him to third. A fielder’s choice would eventually score him and proved meaningful in a tight ballgame. Noah Galvan and Art Navarette combined to give up four hits on mound while Clovis West could muster up just four hits of their own against Fresno State signee Tommy Hopfe.

Other D1 scores from the weekend:

(Cen-Cal Showcase)

St. Mary’s 3, Clovis East 2

Rocklin 7, Clovis East 4

Frontier 4, Central 3

  • Kris Anglin (5 IP, 2 H, 9 Ks) for Frontier

St. Mary’s 6, Central 4

Liberty 2, Franklin 0

Tulare Western 16, Beyer 0

Franklin 13, Tulare Western 7

Elk Grove 6, Bullard 0

Bullard 18, Washington Union 4

(Not part of the Cen-Cal Showcase)

Memorial 13, Garces 2

Stockdale 8, Righetti 5

Righetti 7, Centennial 6

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