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Baseball sport shorts, 2007

(Latest baseball shorts will be at the top of the section. Scroll down to check out past results. Tournament games do not count toward win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for baseball features)

For the 2007 boys’ baseball SWSL schedule, standings and stats, click on MaxPreps
SWSL boys’ baseball

FC finished with an overall record of 10-16 and 2-6 in the South West Sierra League as of May 11.


After three lead changes and a tie, FC was unable to keep the upper hand in their 5-4 loss against Caruthers on May 11.

Caruthers got an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when their second batter drew a walk against senior Greg Kilgore and scored on a double by a teammate.

FC went down quickly in the second inning as the batters were retired in order.

Kilgore struckout three Caruthers batters, but was able to reach first on a dropped third strike. After stealing second, Kilgore picked off the run to second baseman Coleton Hutchins for the third out of the inning.

Neither team scored in the third, but the Eagles were able to tie the score when junior Stephen Willems drew a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the fourth, Caruthers regained their one run advantage for a 2-1 lead after four innings of play.

Junior Ronnie Giannetta lead off the fifth inning with a single to right field and scored on sophomore Daniel Kingen’s triple to right centerfield. Kingen scored off Hutchins’ single between the shortstop and third baseman. Senior Chris Erickson, entered for Stephen Willems, hit a single between the second and first baseman to give FC a 4-2 advantage.

“Seeing Erickson lace that two-strike pitch to drive in a run was one of the highlights of the season for me,” head coach Bill McGowen said. “That hit changed the momentum of the game. Chris is such a great kid and I’m sure hitting that rocket will be a memory he’ll cherish his entire life.”

Caruthers pulled within one run after their turn at bat in the fifth and was able to hold FC scoreless in the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, Caruthers scored two more runs to regain the lead. Entering the top of the seventh, Caruthers held a 5-4 lead.

With one out, senior Joey Logan hit a triple past a diving centerfielder in the right-center gap. Hutchins reached first base on a hit-by pitch to put runners on first and third base with one out. The Caruthers closer retired the next two batters to seal their victory.

“Caruthers’ pitcher Nielson threw some great pitcher’s pitches on the black,” McGowen said. “I’ve got to hand it to him. He had a tough assignment in shutting us down with two of our smartest runners on base in Logan and Hutchins and Kilgore and Ramos at the plate.”

Kilgore threw a complete game with seven strikeout in six innings.

“That game for Kilgore showed what a Bulldog that kid is,” McGowen said. “There is nobody else I would rather have on the mound in that situation. He pitched his heart out and I couldn’t have pried the ball out of his hand with a crowbar.”

Hutchins lead the Eagles with two hits, a hit-by-pitch and an RBI. Kingen and Logan each had a triple.

“A lot of great things happened this season with this outstanding group of young men,” McGowen said. “The improvement from the beginning of the year until now was really exciting to see. I can hardly wait for next year.

“We’re going to have a great nucleus to work with. We’ll keep climbing the mountain and won’t give up until we get to the top. Five years from now I believe we’ll be able to look back at this group and say, ‘This is the team that started it all. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their support of the ’07 Eagles.”

It was the tale of two halves of a ballgame. Fowler won the first four innings 11 to 0, but the second half was the Eagles’, 5-2, in the final three innings. In the end, Fowler came out on top, 13-5, on May 9.

Fowler’s first four batters reached base and scored in the first inning against starting pitcher junior Stephen Willems. However, the Eagles settled down and gave up no more runs in the first.

After Willems pitched the first two innings, junior Zac March and senior Jeremy Ramos each pitched an inning of relief. Fowler lead after four innings, 11-0.

FC struggled at the plate early against Fowler’s starting pitcher, Robert Freitas, and got six runners on base through the first four innings.

A single up the middle by sophomore Daniel Kingen started the bottom of the fifth inning. After two stolen bases, junior Coleton Hutchins hit a ground-rule double over the centerfield fence to bring in the first Eagle run. Hutchins later scored on a bloop single to center by Ramos.

A deep fly ball to center almost became another Fowler run, but Kingen was able to make the catch seconds before running over the portable outfield fence. The play sparked the only three up three down inning for the Eagles.

“Kingen’s catch on Cedarquist’s drive in the 5th was big league,” Bill McGowen, head coach, said. “Kingen probably robbed him of a homerun that traveled 380 feet. That kid can cover some ground out there.”

Another run was scored for FC in the sixth inning, after a scoreless half inning for Fowler. Junior Andrew Biehler executed a squeeze, scoring Willems who reached first base on a single to lead off the inning. Entering the final inning of play favored Fowler, 11-3.

“Biehler executed the squeeze to perfection,” McGowen said. “I knew I could trust Biehler to get the bat on the ball in that situation and Willems broke at the perfect time.”

Fowler finally scored off Ramos, in his fourth inning of work, and put up two more runs to bring their score to 13.

“Jeremy Ramos and the defense did an excellent job of holding Fowler down to 2 runs in the final three innings,” McGowen said. “He really kept their guys off-balance. That’s the best I’ve seen him look this year and, against a formidable opponent, at that.”

Kingen lead off the bottom of the seventh with a ground-rule double to left. Kingen eventually scored along with senior Greg Kilgore who reached first base on an error.

Both Kingen and Willems lead the Eagles’ offense with two hits in three at-bats. Hutchins added two hits in four at-bats with two RBI’s

“I am extremely pleased with the way our hitting has come around,” McGowen said. “Hutchins is leading the SW Sierra league at a torrid .462 clip overall and Kingen (.346), Johnson (.340), Kilgore(.338), and Ramos (.329) are not far behind. In league, Stephen Willems is hitting .368 and Joey, .350. If we can put together some pitching and defense next year, we should be exciting to watch.”

For senior night, Nick Papagni of Sporting News Radio showed up and aired FC’s game against Fowler on 1550 AM.

“Nick Papagni of Sporting News Radio is an old baseball buddy of mine and he’s been offering to do one of our games for quite some time,” McGowen said. ” I know the bys on both teams were excited to be on the airwaves. It sort of brings a big-time atmosphere to the table. He promised to do another game on there for us next year.”

The Eagles suffered the other side of a rout in their 18-3 loss against Mendota on May 4.

After leadoff Joey Logan reached first on a walk, FC was unable to put a run on the board.

Senior Greg Kilgore allowed two consecutive hits after retiring the first Aztec batter. Mendota put three runs on the board for an early 3-0 lead.

“We got off the bus flat it just carried over into the game,” Bill McGowen, head coach, said. “We need to learn to harness a little mental toughness and play through the adversity we’re going to face on the road.”

FC scored their only three runs of the game in the fourth inning with Logan batting in Anthony Johnson and Daniel Kingen. Logan scored on Coleton Hutchins’ single up the middle.

“I am once again very happy with the production at the top of the order from SS Logan and 2B Hutchins,” McGowen said. “They are both clutch performers who provide consistent leadership for our team. At one point in the game Logan called a meeting at the mound and said, ‘That’s it! That’s the last run they score.’ Joey showed me a lot about his desire to win that day.”

Mendota’s largest inning was an eight-run fifth inning in their 18-3 victory.

Kilgore pitched three and two-thirds innings before Ronnie Giannetta came in to finish the fourth inning. Jeremy Ramos pitched the final two innings.

“Our pitchers fell behind in the count, left the ball up in the zone and got pounded,” McGowen said. “As unorthodox as some of their swings were, the Mendota hitters made consistent contact. We need to work on working faster and holding runners close.”

Hutchins lead the Eagles with two hits in three at-bats and one RBI. Logan added a double with two RBIs.

“Hutchins is hitting .457 overall with an astounding .612 OBP (on-base percentage) while Logan is hitting a consistent .375 in league play with a team leading 6 RBIs,” McGowen said. “Both are defensive pillars as the team’s middle infielders.”

The Eagles were able to overcome two early run deficits to defeat Riverdale 22-2 on May 1.

Riverdale scored their only two runs off starting pitcher junior Stephen Willems who pitched four innings.

A late line-up change placed sophomore Daniel Kingen in the designated hitter position instead of center field. His towering home run over the center field fence (342 ft.) in the top of the third inning was the first Eagle run of the game. Later Kingen had a double and finished with 5 RBIs.

“Our bats were sluggish in the first few innings,” Bill McGowen, head coach, said. Kingen’s HR really sparked us. Daniel Kingen impresses me more every day with his physical gifts. He has the strength and the speed to be a game-changer at times.”

In the top of the fourth inning, junior Ronnie Giannetta started a two-out rally as the Eagles went on to score six more runs.

Giannetta pitched the final two innings of the game allowing no hits in seven batters faced.

FC added more runs to their lead and remained consistent to win 22-2.

Sophomore Anthony Johnson lead the Eagles with four hits in five at-bats, while junior Coleton Hutchins got three hits in three at-bats. Three Eagles hitters went three for five.

“Anthony Johnson continued his torrid pace at the plate and is batting a team-leading .467 in league,” McGowen said. “I’m really proud of the job Anthony has done for us. He didn’t draw an easy assignment when he was asked to catch, but he has battled through it. For a sophomore to step up like that is impressive.”

With five more games left in their season, the Eagles wanted to improve their record with a win against Liberty. Similar to their game earlier in the week, the Liberty Hawks defeated FC, this time 9-0 on April 27.

Commencing the second half league games, senior Greg Kilgore took the mound against Liberty. The second batter for the Hawks hit a ground-rule double to right field with one down. The Hawks scored after the second double of the inning dropped in right center.

FC’s offense continued to struggle, this time with Liberty’s ace, Robby Alcala, on the mound. The Eagles combined for three hits total highlighted by senior Joey Logan’s line drive-gapper to right center in the sixth.

“We just faced a pitcher in Alcala who is something special,” Bill McGowen, head coach, said. “For a high school left-hander to have that much composure and command of 3 “plus” pitches is rare. He didn’t give us much of a chance to get comfortable at the plate.”

Kilgore kept the game close for FC who were only down 3-0 with one out in the fifth. The next out came on a slow-roller to shortstop Logan. On the run, Logan fielded the ball and threw out the runner at first just before the runner touched the base.

Both the sixth and seventh innings resulted in three runs added to Liberty’s final score of 9-0. Senior Jeremy Ramos relieved Kilgore in the seventh with one out.

“Our pitching and defense really kept us in the ballgame,” McGowen said. “Defensively, we finally put it all together and Kilgore threw very well on the mound.”

The Eagles hoped to improve their overall play with a win against Liberty on April 24. After scoring a run in the top of the first inning, FC was unable to maintain the Hawks offense, losing 16-1.

Junior Stephen Willems reached first base after a dropped third strike got past Liberty’s catcher. The following two batters advanced Willems to third, giving senior Jeremy Ramos a chance to drive in the run with his single through the right side of the infield. The Hawk’s pitcher, Chris Gonzales, got the last out with a strikeout after a walk to the previous batter.

“I was really optimistic when we scored the first run of the game,” Bill McGowen, head coach, said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t hold down their hitters. Make no mistake about it, this Liberty team can produce runs.”

Junior Ronnie Giannetta, starting pitcher, struggled to settle in, giving up eight runs in one third of an inning. Ramos came in for relief and finally got out of the inning after Liberty scored two more runs for a 10-1 lead.

The Hawks scored one run in the second, but were held scoreless in the third and fourth innings. Senior Greg Kilgore made a heads-up play in the third, after a dropped third strike thrown to first drew Kilgore off first base. Kilgore corralled the ball and dove to first base before the oncoming runner.

The Hawks mercy ruled FC after scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Willems came in to pitch for Ramos and gave up the last two runs.

“Liberty is a very good team with quality talent not unlike Fowler,” McGowen said. “We faced yet another college prospect in Chris Gonzales today who shut us down with excellent stuff. People are starting to realize just how good the pitching is this year in the Sierra Division. There are at least eight pitchers in this division who have, or will, eventually play college ball somewhere in the future. That kind of competition will only make our program stronger in the coming years.”

FC had a total of three hits while drawing three walks in five innings. Three different batters each had one hit.

After moving the game from Friday, April 20, to Thursday, April 19, both teams had to quickly prepare, but Caruthers ended up on top, 7-0.

Junior Ronnie Giannetta’s first pitch of the game landed beyond the right center field fence for the first Caruthers’ run. Giannetta quickly regained his composure and retire the next three batters.

“After the homerun, I thought Ronnie settled in well and threw a great game,” head coach Bill McGowen said.

Caruthers’ ace Riley Rerucha was the starting pitcher for the Blue Raiders. Rerucha faced three Eagle batters before retiring the third out on a strikeout.

“We had no answer for their ace, Rerucha,” McGowen said. “He mixed his pitches well and kept us off-balance the entire game. When he needed to he put a little extra on his fastball and blew us away.”

Caruthers was able to manufacture another run after their leadoff batter in the second reached base on a double that hugged the third base line. The runner advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout to the second baseman.

Neither team scored in the third or fourth innings keeping the score with Caruthers ahead 2-0.

The Blue Raiders added one more run in the fifth after Giannetta was replaced by junior Stephen Willems, while Giannetta recorded two outs with runners on first and third.

Caruthers quickly retired FC in the bottom of the fifth and entered the sixth leading 3-0.

Willems got two quick strikes on the Caruthers’ batter before he grounded out to the third baseman, Giannetta. Giannetta fielded the ball before losing his balance and quickly recovered to throw the runner out at first. The Blue Raiders added four more runs in their next six batters before an Eagle pitching change.

Senior Jeremy Ramos recorded the last out by a dropped third strike that was recovered by catcher Joey Logan and thrown out at first.

The seventh inning went quickly with each team registering three outs in short order. Caruthers defeated FC 7-0.

“Overall, the team is having fun playing the game we all love,” McGowen said. “I’m very proud of the positive attitudes I see regardless of the outcome.”

The only two hits for the game were singles by senior Greg Kilgore and Giannetta.

“I hope to finish out the season strong in the remaining six games,” McGowen said, “giving God the glory whether the win-loss column favors us or not. I feel blessed to be a part of such a great group of young men. It’s been fun.”

With senior Joey Logan at a college basketball tryout, the Eagles anticipated a tough game against the Fowler Redcats on April 17. FC was unable to overcome the Redcats and lost 10-0.

Junior Stephen Willems, filling in for Logan, got one of the Eagles two hits with his infield single in the first inning. Despite getting the leadoff man on base and forcing the opposing pitcher to throw over 30 pitches, FC was unable to score.

After retiring Fowler’s leadoff man with a groundout to first base, the next two batters got base hits and eventually scored Fowler’s two runs of the first inning.

While the Eagles were able to stay out of a big scoring inning for the Redcats, Fowler consistently added to their lead in the next four innings for a 10-0 lead.

“We were completely out-gunned. It was like facing a City/County All-Star caliber pitching staff today,” head coach Bill McGowen said. “We couldn’t possibly get comfortable at the plate.”

In the bottom of the sixth, FC was able to retire the Fowler batter’s in order. Kilgore recorded a strikeout and groundout to first before a blooper over second base was caught by junior Coleton Hutchins.

FC was unable to get their second hit until the seventh inning when sophomore Daniel Kingen’s hit to left center field dropped in front of the left fielder.

Kilgore pitched six innings allowing 10 runs on six hits. Kilgore struckout six batters while walking four.

“Kilgore threw a very good game considering the windy conditions,” McGowen said. “He completely shut down a lot of their first team all-leaguers. Unfortunately, Fowler was just too deep and just kept coming through with key hits.”

The Eagles succeeded in evening their record at 9-9 with a 20-6 win against the Tranquillity Tigers on April 13.

In his first pitching start of the season, junior Coleton Hutchins gave up three runs with the first three batters all scoring. After seven batters, Hutchins finally got out of the inning with a groundout to third baseman Ronnie Giannetta.

Senior Joey Logan led off the Eagles’ first by getting on base after a hit-by-pitch. After Logan stole second base, Hutchins advanced the runner with his infield single past the pitcher. Seniors Greg Kilgore and Jeremy Ramos both knocked in runs to even the score at 3-3.

Tranquillity finally retired a batter with junior Stephen Williems lining out to the third baseman. The Eagles would increase their lead by five runs entering the second inning.

Ramos replaced Hutchins as the relief pitcher and struckout the first batter he faced looking. Two runners reached base advanced on a balk causing a Tiger run. Tranquillity would only score one more run in the inning and entered the bottom of the second down 8-5.

FC’s hot batting continued as the Eagles would score nine more runs on eight hits in the second. The lead after two innings was 17-5.

After Ramos walked the leadoff batter for Tranquillity, he allowed the runner to advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ramos got the next batter to hit a soft blooper to right field. Hutchins, now playing second, made the catch and picked off the runner at second for a double play. Ramos walked the next two batters and allowed one more run before being replaced by Giannetta who got the final out.

Sophomore Daniel Kingen led off the bottom of the third with a single to right. Logan and Hutchins both drew walks to load the bases for Kilgore. Kilgore hit a ground rule double after his hit to left field bounced over the fence. The Eagles scored three more runs for the final runs of the game.

After Giannetta retired the side, the game was called for the mercy rule. The final score was the Eagles 20, Tranquillity 6.

The Eagles stopped their losing streak and got back on the winning track with a 13-0 victory against the Riverdale Cowboys on April 11.

With senior Greg Kilgore on the hill the Eagles played excellent defense allowing no errors. Kilgore gave up one hit in the second while recording eight strikeouts and holding Riverdale scoreless.

After Kilgore retired the side in the first, the Eagles loaded the bases with no outs. Riverdale’s pitcher, Cameron Dent, retired the next two batters. Junior Stephen Willems’s single up the middle brought in FC’s only two runs of the inning.

Sophomore Anthony Johnson lead off the second with a single to center field. After sophomore Daniel Kingen reached base, senior Joey Logan brought in Johnson with his single to right. At the end of the second, the Eagles lead, 5-0.

After Willems reached first base in the third, the Eagles strung five hits together while increasing their lead to 10-0. Kingen had the only extra base hit in the game, a double to right, in the midst of the hits.

FC scored three more runs in the fourth and the game was called after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Logan lead the Eagles with his two its in two at-bats, while drawing a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Junior Coleton Hutchins and Johnson both went two for three.

Neither senior Chris Erickson nor senior Greg Kilgore were able to place in the Wheels or Home Run Derby competitions.

Fowler’s Josh Poytress and Robert Frietas won both competitions. Poytress ran the bases in under 15 seconds, while Frietas hit three homeruns, beating the previous leader, Caruther’s Riley Rerucha’s two homeruns.

FC tried to break their losing streak with a win over the Coalinga Horned Toads, but lost 14-1 on April 3.

Senior Jeremy Ramos took the mound for the Eagles and held Coalinga scoreless in the first inning after facing four batters. Ramos gave up seven runs in the second inning while retiring two batters. Senior Greg Kilgore finished the inning with a strike out.

In the third inning, Kilgore faced five batters, retiring one, and gave up four runs. Junior Zac Marsh closed the inning after facing another five batters and giving up two runs.

In the top of the fourth, junior Andrew Biehler was able to get on base with his single to right with one down. Junior Ronnie Giannetta eventually brought Biehler in with his single to left center. That would be the Eagles only run of the game.

Junior Coleton Hutchins entered in the fourth and gave up one run with one strikeout.

Biehler lead the Eagles’ offense with two singles in three at-bats. Giannetta went one for one with an RBI.

“How many times can I say it? We have to stay out of the big inning,” coach Bill McGowen said. “Making routine defensive plays and pitchers staying ahead in the count to hitters are keys to winning ballgames. At some point we are going to figure this out or it is going to be a long season.”

The Eagles finally held a team scoreless in the first while also manufacturing a run for themselves.

Leadoff batter senior Joey Logan drew a walk and stole second. Junior Coleton Hutchins hit a ground out to the right side of the infield to move Logan to third. Senior Greg Kilgore hit a sac fly to right center to bring Logan in, giving FC a 1-0 lead but the Eagles could not hold on; Kingsburg defeated FC, 11-1, on April 2.

“I was very pleased by the way we manufactured our run in the first inning, McGowen said. “It was absolutely textbook fundamental baseball the way Logan, Hutchins and Kilgore all worked to plate that run.”

Junior Ronnie Giannetta threw four and one third innings and gave up 11 runs.

After a five-run second inning for Kingsburg, they were held to one run the next inning and two in the third.

With the bases loaded and Kingsburg needing one run to put the mercy rule into effect, junior Zac Marsh came in to pitch for Giannetta. Marsh got a grounder to Kilgore who threw the batter out at first. The runner at third ran home in a delayed steal and the throw by first baseman Jeremy Ramos arrived late.

Despite getting three hits, the Eagles were able to draw eight walks, four with full counts.

“We have become much more patient at the plate,” McGowen said, “and it is showing in higher opposing pitch counts. If we can carry that patience over on a game-by-game basis, we should have a formula for reproducible success.”

After their comeback victory earlier in the morning, the Eagles looked to get another win against Monte Vista Christian.

However, the Eagles would not repeat their earlier success and lost 17-2 on March 31.

“Here was a team on which no one ine the Valley had any scouting report,” head coach Bill McGowen said. “We had no idea what to expect. They ended up being very good. We wound up being the sacrifical lamb on this one.”

FC gave up seven runs after the first seven Monte Vista players reached base. Senior Jeremy Ramos pitched to the first for batters of the game before being replaced by junior Ronnie Giannetta.

Monte Vista scored five runs in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth.

FC drew three walks in the second and scored with a sacrifice hit to first by sophomore Anthony Johnson.

Senior Joey Logan got the first hit of the game in the third and would eventually score the second FC run when senior Greg Kilgore reached on an error.

One bright spot wass the varsity pitching debut of freshman Riley Endicott.

“Riley stayed very composed against some of the tournament’s best hitters,” McGowen said. “I was impressed with the poise he possesses. I think we got a glimpse of good things to come.”

In their first game of the Fowler Easter Classic, the Eagles rebounded to get a win against the Lindsay Cardinals. The Eagles rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-3 on March 31.

Senior Greg Kilgore pitched a complete game allowing three runs early in the game. Kilgore recorded twelve strikeouts while giving up only four walks.

“Kilgore struggled to find his spots early on and Lindsay took advantage of that,” head coach Bill McGowen said. “Once he made some key adjustments, he came back strong.”

Lindsay got two runs on the board after their two leadoff hitters reached base by catcher’s interference and a triple. Lindsay scored once more in the third after the first batter walked and scored on an error.

FC was held scoreless in the first two innings. The Eagles broke the drought when junior Zac Marsh drew a full-count walk in the third and the Eagles scored twice in the third.

Senior Chris Erickson entered the game as a pinch runner for junior Coleton Hutchins in the bottom of the fourth. Marsh scored Erickson after he stole second and third.

With the score tied at three runs in the sixth, Hutchins drew a walk and junior Ronnie Giannetta got a bunt single. After the Eagles loaded the bases, sophomore Daniel Kingen put the ball in play with two outs and reached on an error, scoring the go ahead run.

Hutchins lead the Eagles getting two singles in two at-bats with one walk. Senior Jeremy Ramos added two hits in three at-bats with a double.

FC looked to keep their record above .500 with a win above the Dos Palos Broncos. Instead the Broncos got key hits to win 16-2 on March 27.

Senior Jeremy Ramos pitched three and one third innings gave up eleven runs while striking out one. Ramos was able to hold Dos Palos scoreless in the first, but a two-run second and a six-run third allowed the Broncos to extend their lead to eight runs.

The Eagles offense struggled and got only seven hits in the entire game. Junior Coleton Hutchins lead the Eagles with his two hits in two at-bats.

Hutchins scored senior Greg Kilgore in the third after Kilgore’s single in the top of the fourth with his bloop double to right field.

FC scored once more when pinch-runner senior Chris Erickson entered for Hutchins and was brought in with junior Ronnie Gianetta’s single to center.

The Eagles will travel to play in the Fowler Tournament on March 31- April 3.

The Eagles looked to continue their streak with a win against Firebaugh and with senior Greg Kilgore on the mound, they liked their chances. Both teams matched each others runs each inning until the sixth inning with Firebaugh leading 14-6 on March 23.

Two Firebaugh runs were scored in each of the first two innings after drawing walks early in the innings. Kilgore threw three and two thirds innings giving up a total of six runs.

Senior Joey Logan drew a walk with one down in the bottom of second and would eventually score off junior Andrew Biehler’s bloop single to left center field.

FC rallied to score three more runs in the third capped by a two-run triple by Kilgore.

Junior Ronnie Giannetta took the ball and closed out the top of the fourth on a fly-out to center.

With the count at one ball, sophomore Daniel Kingen drove a letter high fastball over the right center field fence for a two-run home run, tying the game at six a piece after four innings.

Giannetta recorded three strike outs in the top of the fifth holding Firebaugh scoreless.

Firebaugh scored eight runs off three Eagles pitchers in the sixth to put the game away for good.

Junior Coleton Hutchins retired the last three outs after facing four batters in the seventh.

Senior Jeremy Ramos went two for three with two doubles. Biehler added two hits in four at-bats.

FC’ bats got off to a slow start against the Avenal Buccaneers, but the defense and pitching kept the game close. FC finally scored several runs in the fifth to win 16-0 on March 21.

Junior Stephen Willems pitched five scoreless innings while recording seven strikeouts and no walks.

“Willems really did a nice job of keeping their hitters iff-balance today,” McGowen said. “He was in control most of the game and got a couple of nice defensive gems from (Daniel) Kingen and (Greg) Kilgore.

The Eagles eagerly chased pitches hitting into easy outs for the first four innings of the game and only scored once in the third.

“We came off the bus eager to swing the bats aggressively, but unfortunately we also swung at a lot of bad pitches,” head coach Bill McGowen said. “Swinging at pitches at the letters when you’re hitting into a 20 mph headwind is a bad combination.”

Kilgore sparked a 15-run fifth with his double to left field. FC got 11 hits and drew six walks as they finally broke the game open for good.

“Kilgore is hitting a league-leading .556 to pace the Eagles,” McGowen said.

Junior Coleton Hutchins made a surprise debut as a designated hitter. Hutchins went two for three with three RBIs and a walk. Senior Jeremy Ramos and Kilgore both went two for three with two walks.

“It was nice to see Hutchins back in the line-up swinging the bat exceptedly well,” McGowen said. “When he was hobbling around the bases he reminded me of the Dodgers’ Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series after his homerun off Dennis Eckersly. “I wasn’t sure if I should have hung a handicap placard off his helmet or what.”

The game was called after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Following an exciting finish with the win against Roosevelt earlier in the week, the Eagles looked to extend their winning streak against the Strathmore Spartans. FC won 10-4 on March 15.

Starting pitcher, senior Jeremy Ramos, held the Spartans giving up runs in the first, second and fifth innings. Ramos struck out a total of six Spartans in five innings and had a five-pitch fourth inning.

“Ramos did a nice job of pitching through some very adverse field conditions today,” head coach Bill McGowen said. “He kept his composure and performed like the gamer he is.”

FC’s bats started off during the first inning and the first three batters were retired in order. Two singles by senior Joey Logan and junior Andrew Biehler sparked the Eagles’ 2-run second.

“Logan came up big for us three times in clutch situations at the clean-up spot,” McGowen said. “We really need someone with his confidence in that slot.”

The Eagles extended their lead by one run in the third and a single to right field by junior Zac Marsh began FC’s 6-run fourth. FC scored one additional run in the sixth for a total of ten runs.

Led by Ramos’ three for four outing and Marsh’s three for four outing, the Eagles gathered a total of 19 hits. Logan added three hits in five at-bats

“We had 19 hits and only 1 defensive error,” McGowen said. “You’re going to win a lot of ballgames with those two numbers in your corner.”

The Eagles extended their winning streak to three games after defeating the Roosevelt Rough Riders, 4-3 on March 13.

Senior Greg Kilgore pitched a complete game with 13 strike-outs. After giving up one run in the first, third and fifth innings, Kilgore shutdown the Rough Riders in the last two innings.

“Kilgore stepped up his game to a higher level today,” head coach Bill McGowen said. “When he need to, he turned up the dial and blew the ball right by their hitters.”

Lead by junior Andrew Biehler’s three for four outing, FC pulled out a come from behind victory. With two down, bases loaded and behind one run, Biehler blooped a ball into the left center gap scoring the tying and winning runs of the game.

“Biehler has been on fire lately,” McGowen said. “He hass consistently put the ball in play and has earned a spot in the middle of our line-up. That game winning hit was reminiscent of Luis Gonzalez’s 2001 World Series moment vs. the NY Yankees.”

Kilgore got one hit in one at-bat with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.

The Eagles continue to improve their batting and defense with each game.

“Defensively, we are finally starting to come around. Dustin (McDonald) made an outstanding play up the middle today and (Ronnie) Giannetta and (Joey) Logan are starting to solidify the left side of our infield.”

FC has made strides to become a more consistent team with each game.

“The team’s dedication to our philsophy is probably what I am most proud of,” McGowen said. “We’re winning with hustle, hard work, and by being smart students of the game. I am very pleased with the improvement I have seen, but we have not even begun to scratch the surface of our potential.”

Junior Ronnie Giannetta took the mound in game two against Riverdale and gave up one run after walking the lead-off batter for the Cowboys. Giannetta struck out a total of four batters and surrendered one hit.

FC continued hitting the ball hard scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first inning. FC won 14-1 on March 10.

“The Riverdale pitchers struggled to find the strike zone and when they did, our boys hit the ball very hard,” head coach Bill McGowen said.

Sophomore Anthony Johnson led the Eagles get two hits in two at-bats with an in-the-park home run in the second. Senior Greg Kilgore added two hits with a triple in two at-bats.

“Anthony’s hustle right out of the box made that baseball rarity possible,” McGowen said. “He consistently give 100% every time he steps on the field. He’s a tough kid.”

One of Riverdale’s top players could not be there and it depleted their staff.

“I cringed when I saw their game 1 started have to come back in relief for the second game,” McGowen said.

The game was called after two and a half innings.

In the first game of a doubleheader versus the Riverdale Cowboys, both teams put a run on the board in the first inning. FC cleaned up their defense while they scored several more runs for a 18-7 win on March 10.

Junior starting pitcher Stephen Willems pitched three solid innings, stiking out four while walking four. Riverdale score five runs in Willems’ five innings of work.

Junior Andrew Biehler got three hits in three at-bats while scoring three of the Eagles’ 18 runs. Sophomore Daniel Kingen added three more hits in four at-bats while scoring four runs.

“I was very pleased with the way the way we swung the bats today.” head coach Bill McGowen said.

Filling in for the injured Coleton Hutchins, Daniel Kingen is hitting .360 and is second in the SWSL with 7 stolen bases.

“Kingen has been a force to be reckoned with from the lead-off spot,” McGowen said.

Hutchins is making great strides in his recovery from a fractured tibia suffered in soccer and is expected to return at the end of March for the Fowler Tournament.

The game was called in the bottom half of the fifth innings due to time.

After losing at home to Washington Union earlier in the week, the Eagles traveled to Gustine (65 miles W. of Merced) to take on the Redskins on March 8. FC lost 8-3.

In his second start of the year, senior Jeremy Ramos lasted four innings giving up five runs in the Eagles’ 8-3 loss on March 8. During the first two innings the Redskins scored all five runs before Ramos held them scoreless the following two innings.

The Eagle pitching gave up two two-run home runs while giving up eight hits.

FC finally got on the board when senior Greg Kilgore got a single in the fourth. Senior Joey Logan and sophomore Anthony Johnson loaded the bases for junior Zach Marsh. Marsh knocked in three runs when he reached second base off two errors with his hit to right field. The Eagles would not score for the remainder of the game.

Sophomore Daniel Kingen led the Eagles offense going two for four with a double. Senior Greg Kilgore also went two for four with a double.

The Eagle pitching could not seem to find the strike zone for the majority of the game. While senior Greg Kilgore started as pitcher, but he was pulled after facing one batter in the second after giving up five runs. The Eagles went on to lose to the Knights, 11-3, on March 6.

Sophomore Daniel Kingen lasted two and two/thirds innings, finally locating the strike zone after entering in the fourth.

“Once again, our inexperience reared its ugly head defensively,” coach Bill McGowen said. “Kilgore should have been bailed out of the first inning after 20 pitches. Instead, 35 pitches later, his tank was on empty. I had no choice but to pull him in the second inning.”

A few key errors early in the game allowed Washington Union to get an early lead. Washington scored four runs in the first and three in the second to put the game out of reach. Washington is a favorite to win the Sequoia Division title.

“The team we played today was very good,” McGowen said. “We made a lot of errors, mentally and physically, that kept us from keeping it much closer.”

Kilgore was able to get a triple, but was stranded on base in the fourth.

One bright spot was the pitching of sophomore Daniel Kingen. Making his home debut, Kingen neutralized the Panther hitters in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.

“I am really looking forward to seeing Kingen’s strong arm on the mound,” McGowen said. “I think he has a bright future in baseball.”

Juniors Stephen Willems and Andrew Biehler got on base with a hit-by-pitch and a base on balls. Sophomore Dustin McDonald knocked in a RBI when he grounded into a double play in the fifth.

After a quick lunch, FC defeated Sierra in the second half of a double-header for their first win of the season, defeating the Sierra Chietains, 8-5, on March 3.

Junior Stephen Willems took the mound for the Eagles and pitched four plus innings while surrendering Sierra’s five runs.

Sophmore Anthony Johnson then held the Chietains for the next two innings.

“Johnson pitched a marvelous two innings to get the win,” McGowen said. “He showed tremendous poise for a sophomore.”

After a strong pitching performance, the FC offense kicked into gear in the 7th and gave support.

“Our bats finally came alive in the seventh with doubles from Willems and
Kingen,” coach Bill McGowen said. “We also got singles from (Zach) Marsh, (Ronnnie) Giannetta and Johnson. You could tell we were not going down without a fight.”

During the top of the seventh, senior Greg Kilgore led off the rally by getting on base with an error. The Eagles batted through the lineup scoring seven runs to take the lead and won their first game of the season.

Kilgore then got on the mound to close out the game in the bottom of the seventh. After giving up a leadoff walk, Kilgore struck out the side to preserve the win.

“Kilgore came in and absolutely shut the door on Sierra’s hitters in the
final frame to pick up his first save, McGowen said.”

Willems went two for three with a double while sophomore Daniel Kingen went two for five with a double.

“This was a huge win that will help carry us Tuesday against a very skilled, well-coached Washington Union team,” McGowen said. “But, with Kilgore on the hill, I like our chances.”

The Eagles host Washington Union on March 6 at 3:30 P.M. to continue the Chowchilla Tournament.

After losing their first game against Le Grand, the Eagles looked to get their first win versus the Sierra Chietains in the first game of a double-header on March 3. FC lost 9-0.

Senior Jeremy Ramos kept the game close surrendering two runs in the first two innings. Unfortunately, FC was unable to get their bats started against the Chietains.

Junior Ronnie Gianetta got two hits in three at bats, but the Eagles still could not manage to manufacture a run.

Sierra scored three runs in the third and four in the fourth to win, 9-0. Matt Brooks led Sierra with three hits in four attempts with a double.

Despite senior Greg Kilgore’s stellar effort, the Eagles’ baseball squad dropped their home opener, 6-2, to Le Grand on March 1. Kilgore went 4 innings, struck out 9, did not allow a walk, and hit a game-tying triple in the third inning and earned 2 RBIs.

Kilgore, who was pulled after 4 full innings due to a predetermined pitch count, gave way to senior Joey Logan. Logan struck out 3 batters in 2 innings without a walk. Five Eagle errors led to 5 unearned LeGrand runs.

While Le Grand benefited from Eagle mistakes, their pitchers walked 5 Eagles and hit 2 batters.

“We have a lot to work on,” rookie coach Bill McGowen said. “We made errors that, in time, should iron themselves out with more repetitions.”

While FC was out hit, 7-2, and did not score in the final 3 innings, coach McGowen believes there are already bright spots in his lineup.

“Our pitching looked like it was in mid-season form,” McGowen said. “I was obviously very impressed by Kilgore’s dominating effort and the fact that neither he nor Logan surrendered a walk was amazing for an early season game.”

Eagle sophomore, Dustin McDonald, had the only other Eagle hit of the game in the sixth but was left on base.

Louis Leyva led Le Grand by going three for four with a triple and one RBI.

The Eagles play a double-header on Saturday, March 3 to continue the Chowchilla Tournament. The first game will be at Sierra-Tollhouse in the foothills.

While spring still seems a way off, the boys planned to open their preseason by hosting Laton as part of the Chowchilla Tournament on Feb. 27. However, the game was cancelled to due to rain in Fresno.

In the first alumni game in over five years, 12 alumni helped open the Eagles’ 2007 season on Feb. 24. With their first game coming up on Feb. 26 at home against Laton, each FC player played a few innings in preparation for the upcoming preseason.

Senior Greg Kilgore took the mound in the opening inning and retired three of the first four batters while walking one. Unfortunately, assistant coach and opposing alumnus pitcher, Jonathan Wiebe, was also able to retire the side in three batters.

The alumni got out to an early lead after FC pitcher, senior Jeremy Ramos, got frazzled and loaded the bases with two out. He gave up two runs after being taken out and replaced with junior Stephen Willems, who got the final out of the inning.

In the bottom of the third inning, the alumni’s pitching gave up six unearned runs and they were unable to overcome the deficit. The current FC squad won 6-4 in the scrimmage after six innings of play.

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