Thunder sweeps Miners for 3-0 start in SFL

Coach cautious after fast start
By: Joshua Gutierrez/Placer Herald Correspondent
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The Rocklin High baseball team made a statement to open Sierra Foothill League play by taking a three-game series from Nevada Union last week.

Returning home for the final game, Logan Webb pitched six shutout innings as the Thunder defeated their SFL opponent 9-1 Saturday. The junior pitcher scattered five hits, allowing the Miners nothing better than singles on the afternoon.

Webb finished his start by striking out four of the last five batters to bring his day’s total to nine.

“I was just trying to get ahead with my fastball. Once I got ahead, I wanted to use my off-speed stuff,” said Webb, as to his strategy in Saturday’s win. “But I was trying to make them hit the ball.”

In the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Rocklin head coach Roc Murray reiterated the specific tactic of his young pitcher.

“I told him to make them hit the ball,” said Murray as to his conversation with Webb during a visit to the mound. “We were up at that point … it was time to get to work.”

The Rocklin offense began its scoring with some opportunistic base running on the part of Jake Faulkner.

With Faulkner on first, Webb hit a line drive that ricochet off the glove of Nevada Union third-baseman Travis Hansen and went into foul territory. With the aid of a Miners’ error, Faulkner was able to score.

Rocklin’s Ryan Alexander then came to the plate to single home Webb. The catcher ended his day with a 3-for-3 performance, with two runs scored and one run batted in.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Thunder offense dug in to score five runs. Rocklin had five extra-base hits that inning, including Andrew Goyhentche’s RBI triple. The shortstop finished with three RBI to lead the team.

Despite the sweep of Nevada Union, head coach Murray spoke about the internal efforts needed going forward.

“There were some things today that I felt like we didn’t do well and there are things we need to work on,” said Murray. “And they are more about how we handle ourselves than what they do.”

 Game 2 – On the road for the second game, Rocklin was out hit by Nevada Union, but still won by a score of 6-5 last Thursday.

Game 1 – Setting the tone to start their SFL opener, Austin Dick pitched a two-hit shutout as the Thunder rolled to a 9-0 win April 9.

Dick commanded the game, striking out six batters and allowing no base-on-balls. The senior pitcher shut down the last 14 batters to end the game and seal the win.

Dick’s pitching was well supported as the Thunder offense tallied eight hits, four base-on-balls, and nine runs scored.

Batting ninth, Goyhentche nearly ended the game in the fifth inning blasting a two-run triple. In an effort to stretch his hit to an in-the-park home run, the senior was tagged out scrambling back to third.

Lead-off hitter Christian Bennett opened with a single and finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Faulkner had three RBI and drove in Bennett with a double to start the scoring.

SFL – Rocklin 3-0, Granite Bay 3-0, Woodcreek 2-1, Del Oro 1-2, Roseville 0-3, Nevada Union 0-3.

Schedule – Del Oro April 18, at Del Oro April 16, 20.