BASEBALL; Sanger takes 6-1-1 mark into County Metro opener


Rain in forecast may alter other scheduled league openers; Dinuba loses at Hanford to open West Yosemite League play

hotos By Jon Earnest
Reedley High’s Mason Cisneros dives back into first base as Fowler High’s Chris Mendoza fields the throw during the seventh inning of the Pirates’ 6-5 loss to the Redcats in a Central Valley Diamond Classic game in Reedley on March 18.
Fowler High’s Payton Garcia is tagged out at the plate by Reedley High catcher Ely Garcia in the seventh inning of a Central Valley Diamond Classic game on March 18. The visiting Redcats rallied for three runs in the seventh inning to pull out a 6-5 victory.

HANFORD – The Sanger High Apaches were able to play two more Central Valley Diamond Classic baseball contests—and pick up two more victories—last week as the team improved to 6-1-1 on the season entering the start of the County Metro Athletic Conference season this week.
Whether the CMAC season started as scheduled depended on weather, as scheduled storms threatened the March 21 home game against Edison High. The Apaches also have a scheduled 6:30 p.m. game Thursday, March 23, at Madera High followed by a 2 p.m. CMAC tilt Saturday, March 25 against San Joaquin Memorial.
Sanger built an early 8-1 lead, then weathered a rally by host Sierra Pacific (3-5) to secure a 14-8 CVDC victory over the Golden Bears on March 14 in Hanford. The Apaches collected 14 hits off four Sierra Pacific pitchers, and got a solid relief performance from Carson Weaver after starting pitcher Cesar Gonzalez struggled in the fifth inning.
After the hosts crept within 11-7 after five, the Apaches tacked on three more runs in the sixth to secure the victory. Sanger returned home on March 17 and defeated the Golden West Trailblazers by a 5-3 score. Diamond Classic games have been rained out and rescheduled during a rainy late winter in the past two weeks.
All three CMAC contests this week are subject to rescheduling if rain continues in the forecast.
Emperors’ four-game win streak snapped
Dinuba High’s four-game win streak in rescheduled Central Valley Diamond Classic action ended with a thud in the team’s West Yosemite League opener on March 17.
Host Hanford High (3-5, 1-0) jumped out the gate with four runs in the first inning while three pitchers combined to limit the Emperors (6-3, 0-1) to just one run on eight hits in a 6-1 victory. Keine Prendez took the pitching loss, working into the sixth while collecting a pair of hits on offense. Noah Gonzalez went 2-for-4 and scored the only Dinuba run.
Weather permitting, the Emps’ WYL home opener was scheduled against Tulare Western (5-4, 1-0) on March 22, before another home game against Lemoore (4-3, 1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, March 24. Dinuba then travels to Fowler for a 7 o’clock evening matchup Saturday, March 25, in the opening round of the Fowler Easter Classic. That tournament also runs April 1-4.
Late Fowler rally sinks Reedley in CVDC game
The Reedley Pirates lost some momentum into this week’s scheduled opening of Tri-County Conference play this week. The visiting Fowler Redcats rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to wipe out a 5-3 deficit, then held off a Reedley threat in the bottom of the frame to post a 6-5 victory at Reedley High in a Central Valley Diamond Classic makeup game.
A pair of hit batters and then an infield single loaded the bases with no outs, and then a bases-loaded walk was followed by a fielders choice groundball to tie the game. The Redcats’ Jerod Smith then delivered the key hit with an RBI single to left, although the Pirates did cut down another run at the plate. Mason Cisneros drew a walk to lead off the seventh, but was stranded at second to end the game.
Angel Godinez and Alex Gonzalez each went 2-for-4 for Reedley, while Sammy Rodriguez and losing pitcher Ethan Clark both collected doubles. The Pirates had a scheduled TCC opener at Kerman on March 21 (weather permitting), then host Kingsburg in a 7 p.m. start on Thursday, March 23.
Eagles win twice in preparation for TCC opener
Immanuel High (4-3) collected a pair of road wins last week in preparation for its Tri-County Conference opener at home against Sierra Pacific on March 21. Rain in the forecast could push the Eagles’ TCC opener to Thursday, March 23, at Exeter High in a scheduled 7 p.m. start.
Nolan Santillan pitched a complete game and added a hit and two runs on offense as the Eagles won 4-2 at Central Valley Christian on March 17 in Visalia. Junior Eli Garay went 3-for-3 with a run scored and RBI. A day later, Immanuel posted a 9-2 win in Fresno against Hoover High as senior Jason Poole went 3-for-3 with four RBI. Micah Vossler picked up the pitching win while Aiden Vossler went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Immanuel a host site for Selma Greater Kiwanis tourney
One of the Central Section’s oldest high school baseball tournaments begins its 65th year on Monday, April 3.
Games in the 65th Selma Greater Kiwanis Annual Baseball Tournament will be played at Selma’s Allan Cropsey Diamond at Bobby Cox Field and at the Immanuel Sports Complex varsity and junior varsity baseball diamonds.
Kerman, the defending Selma champion, will not return this year.
The 12-team tournament begins at 11 a.m. April 3 with Sierra (4-3 through Saturday) facing Madera South (4-6). Coalinga (1-5-2) faces McLane (7-1) at 1 p.m. on the Immanuel junior varsity field. The 1:45 p.m. game at Selma will feature Taft and the host Bears while Golden Valley of Bakersfield (4-4-1) faces Torres (1-4) in rural Reedley.
At 4 p.m., Sanger West (2-6) makes its tournament debut by facing Coalinga at the Immanuel JV diamond. At 4:30 pm, Yosemite (0-1) faces Selma in Selma while Immanuel hosts Golden Valley. Torres (1-4) takes on Selma at 7 p.m. April 3 while Immanuel hosts Sierra Pacific (3-5).
The Tuesday, April 4, schedule begins at 11 a.m. in Selma with McLane facing Sierra Pacific and Sierra facing Sanger West on the Immanuel varsity diamond. Sierra Pacific stays in Selma to face Taft at 1:45 p.m. while at the same time Sanger West takes on Golden Valley at Immanuel. The only April 4 game on the Immanuel JV diamond features Yosemite and McLane at 3 p.m. At 7 p.m., Selma is matched with Madera South while Immanuel faces Yosemite.
Only three games will be played at Immanuel on Wednesday, April 5. On the varsity field, McLane faces Sierra on the varsity field at 11 a.m. before Immanuel faces Sanger West at 1:30 p.m. while Madera South takes on Coalinga on the JV diamond. The Wednesday, April 5 schedule in Selma begins with Torres against Yosemite at 10 a.m., Sierra Pacific versus Golden Valley at 12:30 p.m. with Selma facing Taft at 3 p.m. The championship game will be at 6 p.m.