Wildcats run down the Falcons in preseason play

Whitney steals seven bases
By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
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Colfax may have picked the wrong team to complete its three-game week as Whitney High’s baseball team stole seven bases against the Falcons to win a 12-2 decision in a game shortened by the 10-run rule, Friday. Whitney took an early 2-0 lead scoring in the first and second inning, but Colfax tied the game up in the top of the fourth. However, the Wildcats kept the Falcons off balance with some excellent base running and went ahead for good in the bottom half of the inning, 5-2. “They did a good job of running the bases,” said Whitney head coach Rob Dorchack of his Wildcats. “We’ve got some kids that are pretty good athletes. We’ve done a lot of work improving our team speed. Really, it’s just the work the kids put in (during) practice.” Whitney scored in the second inning when senior Sean Smith worked his way over to third base. In an effort to distract the pitcher Smith made a move toward home. When Colfax failed to pick him up Smith slid under the tag at home for a successful squeeze. “Sean is a tremendous athlete and they weren’t checking us a little bit at third base and we were able to squeak that one by,” said Dorchack. “We were really trying to get (the pitcher) to balk though. We just kind of got lucky on that one.” Luck wasn’t necessary after that as the Falcons began committing errors that helped Whitney advance from base to base. No club had a hit greater than a double although there was a total of 21 hits in the game. The Wildcats stranded eight runners. Colfax pitcher Ryan Glazner did get called for a balk in the third inning but worked his way out of trouble thanks to some good defense. The Falcons came back with two runs in the fourth inning but left the bases loaded when James Dean popped out to first base to end the threat. “We threw the ball away a bit and that’s what gave them the runs,” said Colfax coach Mike McCabe of his club’s letdown in the later innings. “Essentially we didn’t play catch toward the end that was the main thing.” McCabe praised the Whitney baseball program saying that was part of what motivated him to schedule the game. “Whitney’s a good team. They’re sharp and that’s what I wanted (our) kids to be around,” said McCabe. “That’s what preseason is all about, seeing good teams and playing on good fields … and getting out of the snow and rain, that’s the main thing.” The Colfax coach said he felt his team was solid and would perform well in the Pioneer Valley League. The Wildcats finished second in the Capital Athletic League last season and lost some players to graduation. However, Dorchack is pleased with what he’s seen from his team so far and feels if their play continues to develop the club could do well. “We lost some real influential seniors from last year’s group. It’s a completely different team though there are a lot of guys coming back,” Dorchack said. "We try to do a little small ball here and by no stretch of the imagination are we going to be a team hitting the ball out of the park.” Dorchack said he was satisfied as to how the team was developing defensively. He said he doesn’t have an overpowering pitcher and pitches for contact. He said if his club plays as a team it could be a good year. Lefthander Josh Little did just as the coach asked. He threw mostly fastballs with an occasional curve ball and changeup thrown in. Little was steady and both his infield and outfield played nearly error free. “I thought I was throwing well tonight,” said Little after the game. “I like to get ahead in the count more but I thought I threw pretty well tonight.” Pitcher Chris Schwarz came on in relief and gave up only one hit in sealing the win. Sam Dardick was 3-for-4 on the day driving in two runs and scoring. Schwarz also drove in two runs. Anthony Caretti was 2-for-3 at the plate and scored twice. Anthony Valenzuela had two hits and two sacrifices on a bunt and a fielder’s choice. The Falcon’s Lillie had two hits, one a double; Devon Loomis also doubled. Colfax 0 0 0 2 0 0 – 2 Whitney 1 1 0 3 2 5 – 12 Falcons ab r h bi Wildcats ab r h bi Glazner p 3 0 0 0 Perez 2b 3 0 0 0 Loomis ss 3 1 1 0 Billings cf 2 3 1 0 Campbell 1b 3 0 0 0 Dardick ss 4 1 3 2 Lillie of 3 1 2 1 Abrams 1b 3 1 3 1 Moore c 2 0 1 0 Caretti 3b 3 2 2 0 Guzman 3b 2 0 1 0 Smith of 2 2 1 0 Root 2b 2 0 0 0 Bushman c 3 2 1 1 Tricomo of 1 0 1 0 Little p 2 1 1 0 Dean rf 2 0 0 0 Valenzuela of 2 0 2 0 Schwarz p 1 0 1 2 Totals 21 2 6 1 25 12 15 6 Pitching Colfax IP H R BB SO Guzman 4 8 5 2 8 Lillie 1/3 2 2 1 0 Dean 1 5 5 2 0 Whitney IP H R BB SO Little 5 5 2 2 3 Schwarz 1 1 0 0 0 LOB – C 4, W 8. 2B C – Lillie, Loomis.