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Baseball sport shorts, 2011

BASEBALL SPORTS SHORTS 2011–
(Latest baseball shorts will be at the top of the section. Scroll down to check out past results. Scrimmages do not count to win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for baseball features.)

For FC’s 2010 homepage or schedule, check out Maxpreps.com. The Eagles finished 14-16 overall and 5-3 in the West Sequoia League.

BASEBALL 2011

SEASON END

CIF Central Section DV Playoffs, May 18-27
EAGLES LOSE AT VALLEY, END SEASON–May 27
For the first time FC baseball history, the Eagles reached the DV Valley Championship game against the Corcoran Panthers, May 27. However, FC struggled and lost, 22-0, finishing their season at an overall record of 14-16.

Juniors Ryan Neufeld and Trevor York, who both went 1-3, were the overall leaders for the team on offense, batting .436 and .400. Neufeld and junior Austin Rurik pitched this game, but senior pitcher Stowe Empereur, who is currently injured, led the team on the mound, putting up a total of 104 strikeouts.

“It was extremely hard for me not being able to pitch,” Empereur said. “But overall I’m very happy with how the season turned out. We had a slow start but everyone really stepped up towards the end of league and playoffs and got us to where we ended up.”

Senior Tyler Haritzalde, who batted .258 overall, says he will never forget this season and all that they accomplished.

“I’ll remember this team forever,” Haritzalde said. “Just in the way we all came together and battled from behind and won some games. Practice was always fun and the memories are forever there with that valley runner up team.”

Rurik also agrees that this was their, “own version of Bad News Bears” as they came back from a rough start, but in reference to next season, he only has one thing to say.

“Next year, we’re going to win valley. . . ,” Rurik said.

The Eagles finished 14-16 overall and 5-3 in the West Sequoia League.

FC SQUEEZE PAST IMMANUEL ON ROAD–May 25
With just one more win needed to go to the Valley Championship game, FC faced off in a nail biter against the No. 2 seeded Immanuel Eagles, May 25. The lead switched off between each team and stayed within two, but in the end FC capitalized and won 7-6.

While senior Ryan Barnes led Immanuel, going 2-2, two bases on balls, one run and one RBI, FC put up hits throughout almost their entire lineup. Juniors Josh Grinage, Ryan Neufeld and Trevor York batted .500, and Tyler Haritzalde, ’11, and Austin Rurik, ’12, went 1-3.

“Our team kinda struggled in the middle and then we came back,” York said. “We didn’t give up, we just kept fighting. There were some errors in the field, but for the most part did well and the heart of the line up was pretty solid that day with Ryan, me and Cooper [Belmont, ’12, 1-4].”

On the defensive side for Immanuel, Eric Langdon, ’14, and Luke Hernandez, ’11, pitched with a combined total of seven strikeouts. For FC, Neufeld started the game, pitching 5.2 innings, four strikeouts, and York relieved him to pitch 1.2 innings with one strikeout.

For the first time in FC history, the Eagles will play in the DV Valley Championship against No. 1 seeded Corcoran, May 27. York says he is filled with excitement and will do anything to clinch the win.

“Now, we have to go to Corcoran and just bring it to them and hit like none other,” York said. “I’m absolutely ecstatic for this game. I barely slept last night and Ryan didn’t sleep either I know. I am pumped for this game; I will bleed for this game.”

The Eagles will next travel to play No. 1 Corcoran in the Championship game, May 27.

FC OUSTS BLUE RAIDERS–May 20
After defeating Woodlake, May 18, the Eagles moved onto the second round of playoffs against the No. 3 Caruthers Blue Raiders, who they are 1-2 against this season, May 20. FC came back from a 4-3 deficit in the fifth to win 5-4, May 20.

The last time the Eagles faced off against Caruthers, they won 4-3, May 6, under the pitching of Stowe Empereur, ’11. However, due to Empereur’s injured arm, Trevor York, ’12, started, pitching 3.2 innings with four strikeouts. After York was Ryan Neufeld, ’12, who pitched the rest of the game had five strikeouts.

“Last time we beat them only by one and Stowe had a great game,” Neufeld said. “We felt confident with Trevor on the mound. He was throwing really well, throwing a lot of strikes and he just came to play.”

To open up the fifth inning FC was down 4-3, but with a double by Neufeld and then a stolen base, he reached home on an error to tie the game, 4-4. Next up was Cooper Belmont, ’12, who walked, stole second and made it to third on wild throw by Caruthers’ pitcher. Justin Wilson, ’11, hit a sacrifice fly to bring Belmont home and ultimately win the game, 5-4.

“We just figured their pitcher was very hittable and he didn’t have any off speed pitches,” York said. “When he threw his change up it was very obvious and he couldn’t throw it for a strike; So the batters were just waiting for a fastball to hit hard. After we had the lead our team just figured we needed to play our game and play flawless defense.”

With the No. 2 seeded Immanuel Eagles next up on the schedule, Neufeld feels his team has a good chance of pulling a win out of the bag.

“We’re pretty excited,” Neufeld said. “We’re really looking forward to it. They’re a very beatable team, if we just play well I think we can definitely pull it out.”

The Eagles will next travel to play No. 2 Immanuel, May 25.

EAGLES SOAR PAST WOODLAKE TIGERS–May 18
The No. 11 Woodlake Tigers traveled to the home of the No. 6 Eagles for the first round of the Central Section Playoffs. FC jumped on their lead early, scoring four in the first and 12 by the end of the game to win 12-2, May 18.

With juniors Austin Rurik and Trevor York on at first and second, Cooper Belmont, ’12, laid down a bunt and ran out the throw to load up the bases for senior Justin Wilson. Wilson, who had hit a grand slam against Fowler, May 10, punched another one to put FC up by two, 4-2, and then end the inning 6-2.

“Coach [Thomari Story-Harden] told me to bunt and I didn’t think I was going to run it out, but I did,” Belmont said. “Justin then got up and hit a grand slam to bring us all in.”

Rurik who had been on a pitch count throughout the season was given the opportunity to play the whole game and he says his pitches were working and his defense behind him.

“I was really excited, but a little anxious; I was ready to get out there and show everybody what I had,” Rurik said. “My fast ball and curve ball were working pretty well and I got a couple guys with my change up. My defense backed me up, made a bunch of plays and did a lot of work for me.”

Leading the Eagles were juniors Ryan Neufeld, 1-2 and one home run and RBI, York, 4-5, one home run and three RBIs, and Belmont, 2-3.

FC will next take on the No. 3 seeded Caruthers, who they beat May 6, but lost to April 12 and 19. Belmont says the key to their success will be whether or not they play a complete seven innings.

“Coach just talks about staying focus throughout the whole game, not just getting a few runs and being satisfied with that, so that’s what we need to do,” Belmont said.

The Eagles will next travel to play No. 3 Caruthers, May 20.

SENIOR NIGHT WIN, PLAYOFFS NEXT STOP–May 13
For senior night the Eagles hosted the Parlier Panthers, putting up a 15-2 win, May 13, to move on to the first round of playoffs against Woodlake, May 18.

Due to senior Stowe Empereur’s injured arm, senior Dean Potigian was next on the line up to pitch. Potigian says although he would have preferred it if Empereur pitched he still had a good final league game.

“I would have liked to have Stowe pitch, but it was cool being the next senior up to pitch and that was fun,” Potigian said. “We played a pretty good game all around, we were all hitting good and it was just fun. It was a really fun night, probably one of the most fun ones I’ve had.”

Third baseman Trevor York, ’12, batted 1.000 going 3-3, including a double and an RBI. York says this senior class has been one that is encouraging and enjoyable to play along side.

“In the whole season it’s been fun with them, they’ve been great teammates,” York said. “They’re funny guys, they’ll try hard, their pretty loose and they’re not on your back or always on you. For the most part they’re pretty supportive during games and practices.”

In the past two seasons, FC has reached the first or second round of playoffs and York feels this season they have a legitimate chance of going to valley.

Only getting to the second round last season and the first my freshman year was disappointing,” York said. “I’m hoping that we go all the way because I honestly think that we can go all the way this year with all the teams in our division and bracket.”

The Eagles will next host Woodlake at home, May 18.

FC FALLS TO FOWLER AT HOME–May 10
FC opened up the game with a five run inning, but after the second inning, the Fowler Redcats began to slip away from the Eagles grasp to win 13-6, May 10.

One of the highlights in the first was a grand slam by senior Justin Wilson which improved FC’s lead to 5-0. Wilson also had a ground rule double in the third, but was unable to bring in any runs.

“Bases were loaded and Thomari [Story-Harden] just told me to get a base hit up the middle,” Wilson said. “So I was just trying to put it in play and I got a fast ball on the outside and I just hit it and it got on the sweet spot.”

Wilson says one of the main reasons why they lost the game was as a team they began to lose focus.

“I think we got caught up in the moment that we were up 5-0 against Fowler at home because that doesn’t happen a lot,” Wilson said. “We lost focus and didn’t keep moving forward with the task ahead and just lost it at the end.”

Ryan Neufeld, ’12, who pitched 4 1/3 innings and had five strikeouts, says their offense came out strong, but their defense began to crumble after the first.

“We had a lot of good energy in the first, our dugout was really in it, our hitters stepped up, but after that we kind of got comfortable with our lead and just let down,” Neufeld said. “We made some miscues on defense and threw around the ball a little too much. I got behind some hitters so that gave me a little trouble, but we kept battling.”

With FC’s final game in league coming up against Parlier, May 13, and then playoffs in the following week, Neufeld hopes they keep the winning streak alive.

“Well we just want to finish off our regular season strong and carry the momentum into playoffs so we’re feeling good entering playoffs,” Neufeld said.

The Eagles will next host Parlier at home, May 13.

FC SQUEEZES PAST BLUE RAIDERS–May 6
The Eagles traveled to play the Caruthers Blue Raiders for the third time this season, May 6. Although they had previously lost to them 9-5, April 12, and 7-5 in the Fowler Easter Classic, April 19, FC defeated them on the road 4-3 despite the 0-2 record, May 6.

Lead off for the Eagles is junior center fielder Austin Rurik who launched a triple at his first up. Then, third in the line up, Trevor York, ’12, brought Rurik in for an RBI, 1-0. Rurik went 2-2 with two additional bases on balls and York 0-4.

“I feel like it [their run] gave us a bit of confidence seeing that their team isn’t invincible,” Rurik said. “Caruthers has a great team, but that first run and getting on the board first was our way of saying, ‘We’re here at your house and we’re gonna beat you at your place. Don’t mess with us’.”

Senior ace pitcher Stowe Empereur played the entire game with 11 strikeouts and only five hits against him. However, in the third inning, Caruthers rallied to score three runs leading 3-1 and Empereur threw about 20 pitches. He says he maintained his composure though and pushed through the inning.

“I wasn’t really getting down on myself I was just worrying about my pitch a little bit,” Empereur said. “It was only the second inning and I knew I was trying to get to the seventh so that was in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t getting down on myself. Once I got out of that inning it smoothed out from there.”

FC put up a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to reclaim their lead, 4-3, and kept the Blue Raiders scoreless the rest of the game.

From the first pitch to the last, Tyler Haritzalde, ’12, who batted .250 and scored a run, had no doubt in his mind they would clinch the win.

“I thought we were just gonna go out there and win,” Haritzalde said. “There was no question that we were going to lose. That was pretty much a must win game for us, for league, playoff seeding and for our own teams pride. None of us even had the thought of losing. We just went out there, knowing that we were gonna win and that we were gonna get the job done.”

The Eagles will next host Fowler at home, May 10.

TRANQUILLITY NO MATCH FOR EAGLES–May 3
For FC’s second non-league game against the Tranquillity Tigers, the Eagles came out swinging with 21 hits on the day and 23 runs to win 23-7, May 3.

Stowe Empereur, ’11, batted .833, 5-6, a triple, double and three RBI’s. Cooper Belmont, ’12, went .667, a double and one RBI, and also pitched one inning with two strikeouts.

Freshman Jonathan Nyberg, who had not played for several weeks, played the majority of this game at left field against the Tigers where he also earned his first hit of the year.

“I was really excited to play because I’ve been on the bench for like four weeks,” Nyberg said. “So I was ready to show that I’ve learned more stuff because before I wasn’t very good. I was just really excited because it was one of my first hits and to actually get on base and I scored a run.”

The Eagles had a total of six pitchers and senior Dean Potigian was one of them as he pitched two innings and had three strikeouts. Although winning by such a large margin would seem pleasing, Potigians disagrees and says it was rather dull.

“Pretty much after the first inning it wasn’t really a game anymore so it just felt like the other six innings were just dragging on,” Potigian said. “It’s fun to beat them, but at the same time it was a little too much.”

Next on the schedule for FC is the No. 1 Caruthers Blue Raiders who they previously lost to in league, 9-5, April 12, and in the Fowler Easter Classic Tournament 7-5, April 19. Potigian however has hope for a win and plans to rest on the pitching of Stowe Empereur, ’11.

“Stowe’s gotta have the ball; he’s our best pitcher so we’re definitely gonna put our backs on him,” Potigian said. “We also just have to play the best all around game we have all year though; our best seven innings. Just go out there and the No. 1 team in division five, why not?”

The Eagles will next travel to play Caruthers, May 6.

RIVERDALE FALLS TO EAGLES–April 29
FC traveled to the home of the Riverdale Cowboys and tallied up 13 runs at the bats to win 13-9, April 29.

After FC put up three runs in the top of the first and then a quick half-inning under the pitching of Austin Rurik, ’12, who had six strikeouts in four innings, they were at the plate once again. With two runners on, Ryan Neufeld, ’12, was 1-0 on the count and hit a three run homer. Riverdale answered with two runs of their own to end the inning, 9-2.

Despite a few pitching changes in the last three innings, the Eagles held onto their lead throughout the rest of the game.

“We had a lot of pitching changes,” junior Tyler Krigbaum said. “That kind of tells you the weakness of our team right now because our bullpen’s not very deep.”

Riverdale was led on the offensive side by seniors Gustavo Vega, 2-3, one run, and Shawn Brenneman, 2-3, two runs and three RBI’s.

Krigbaum headed up the Eagles offense going 3-3, two runs, one double and three RBI’s. Krigbaum says that as the season has progressed his poise in his abilities has grown immensely.

“Throughout the season I’ve gotten more confidence with every game and every at bat,” Krigbaum said. “Just being aggressive like my coaches tell me and being ready to hit the ball. I just see the ball better and I’m ready to hit the ball so I’m more confident when I get in the batter’s box.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Tranquillity, May 3.

EAGLES COME OUT ON TOP–April 26
After playing in the Fowler Easter Classic Tournament where FC went 0-4, April 16-19, they recommenced with West Sequoia League games, April 26. The Eagles opened up with a shutout against the Parlier Panthers, 5-0.

Senior ace pitcher, Stowe Empereur, threw all seven innings with 16 strike outs and only two hits against him. Ryan Neufeld, ’12, who caught for Empereur and batted .750, 3-4, and two RBIs says Empereur’s pitching led the team throughout the entire game.

“Stowe was throwing a ton of strikes, he ended up striking out 16 batters, he really kept us in the game the whole time and gave us some quick innings so we had momentum to hit the bats,” Neufeld said.

Empereur felt this game would determine whether they would be able to dig out of their losing slump and hopefully have a chance at clinching league in the future.

“I knew that we didn’t do very good in the Fowler Tournament and this game was a big turning point,” Empereur said. “If we lost this game it probably would’ve set us back even more and we defenitely needed to win. We just had to play hard and everyone played good and got all our hits, had good defense and so we came off with a win.”

The Eagles will next host Riverdaleat home, April 29.

Fowler Easter Classic Tournament, April 16-19
FC DEFEATED AT FOWLER TOURNAMENT–April 16-19
The Eagles traveled to Fowler for the annual Fowler Easter Classic Tournament, and struggled from the beginning as they lossed the first day to Dinuba 14-7, and then to Coalinga 7-0, April 16.

FC previously lost to Fowler 10-1, April 14, and once again fell short, losing 11-2, April 18.

For the final day of the tournament the Eagles faced off against the Caruthers Blue Raiders who they played on April 12 where Caruthers made a comeback to win 9-5. The Blue Raiders bested the Eagles 7-5 in a close game to improve to 2-0 against FC, April 19.

Head Thomari Story-Harden says the overarching problem was not particularily on the physical side, but in the mental part of the game.

“We just lost focus throughout the tournament,” Story-Harden said, “but hopefully we can learn from this tournament and move on. I have faith in our team; we just need to believe and everything else will work itself out.”

The Eagles finished 0-4 overall.

The Eagles will next travel to play Parlier, April 26.

EAGLES STRUGGLE AWAY AT FOWLER–April 14
After coming off of a disappointing loss to Caruthers, 9-5, April 12, the Eagles traveled to the Fowler Redcats and had trouble once again as they lost, 10-1, April, 14.

The Eagles only had three hits on the day and one run scored in the first by Austin Rurik, ’12. Rurik also pitched four innings with eight runs earned off of him.

“It was super discouraging because I thought we were gonna pull out a win and play a great game,” Rurik said. “But we just got destroyed. So, we did what we could, but we didn’t play our hearts out and that’s the problem.”

In addition to struggling on the offensive side, Rurik says they had several errrors on defense as well.

“Our defense made a couple of mistakes, but you know we’ll bounce back; we’ll be able to pull through in the next game,” Rurik said.

Senior Justin Wilson who has not played in two weeks due to a shoulder injury played designated hitter this game, says the only difference between them and Fowler was Fowler’s ability to execute plays.

“Fowler I don’t think was a better team necessarily, but they were just more sound than we were,” Wilson said. “They made the routine plays while we didn’t; they got crucial hits when they needed and we didn’t. If we had just strung that together we could’ve easily beaten Fowler and be the better team in league.”

The Eagles will next play in the Fowler Easter Classic against Dinuba and Coalinga, April 16.

BLUE RAIDERS DOWN FC–April 12
Despite FC’s 3-1 lead, the Caruthers Blue Raiders sneaked past the Eagles in the final three innings to win 9-5, April 12.

Three of the Eagles starters were unable to play due to disciplinary action, so three underclassmen had to step up, including sophomore Garrett Childs.

“I wasn’t that nervous because during the first couple weeks of games, I had been playing every game, the whole game,” Childs said. “I felt like I did alright, but a ball did come to me and I missed it and I got on base, so overall I did okay. Hopefully next game we can have them [three players unable to play] back though.”

Stowe Empereur, ’11, had Caruthers baffled at the plate with 11 Ks and only one run against him until the sixth inning where FC lost hold of their 3-1 lead.

“I think his arm was kind of hanging,” junior Cooper Belmont said. “They were kinda picking up on him, but weren’t really hitting it too much. They were kind of hanging in there and plus, he was getting a little wild.”

In the top of the sixth Ryan Neufeld, ’12, who had a double and two basehits, replaced Empereur, but right off the bat he struggled. Caruthers had a walk off home run and put up one more run after, 5-4.

“Then we brought in Ryan and after having Stowe, he probably seemed a lot easier to hit,” Belmont said. “I don’t know if it’s stuff so much that we did bad, but they stepped it up a notch. We weren’t really ready for it and so we were kind of falling asleep.”

Belmont stepped up to pull FC out of the inning at pitcher. The Eagles were down by one run and came through in the bottom of the seventh to force the game into extra innings.

The Eagles continued to struggled on both offense and defense as Caruthers continued their streak at bat to win, 9-5.

“As a team we didn’t hit that bad, it’s not like we did horrible hitting, but it was at the key moments that we didn’t come through,” Belmont said. “We did the little things right, but when bases were loaded a couple times we didn’t come through where we really needed to. It was the big moments that we didn’t execute in.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Fowler, April 14.

EAGLES PULL PAST TRANQUILLITY–April 8
FC hosted the Tranquillity Tigers in a non-league game, and the Eagles had the bats swinging in their 12-4 win, April 8.

Ace pitcher Stowe Empereur, ’11, played for five innings with 14 total strikeouts. On the offensive side, Ryan Neufeld, ’12, led 3-4, three doubles.

However, in the sixth inning, FC only maintained a lead of three, 7-4 as the Eagles made several errors on defense. They got out of the inning though under the pitching of Neufeld, and then responded with five runs to win.

“We came out pretty strong, hit the ball well and Stowe pitched almost un-hittable and threw a lot of strikes,” Neufeld said. “Then after taking a comfortable lead we let up and allowed them to get back in the game. But after a solid offensive sequence in the sixth we were able to put the game out of reach.”

The Eagles will next host Caruthers at home, April 12.

RIVERALE NO MATCH FOR EAGLES–April 5
To open up the West Sequoia League, FC traveled to the home of the Riverdale Cowboys, April 5. The Eagles faced little resistance as they topped Riverdale, 15-5.

FC was led once again by senior Stowe Empereur who went 2-4, with one home run and two RBIs and also senior Tyler Haritzalde, 3-4, and three RBIs.

Second baseman and right fielder, Josh Grinage, ’12, had two base-hits on the day and two RBIs. He says prior to this game he had been struggling with his swing, but against Riverdale it all seemed to come together.

“I think I did pretty good considering my batting hasn’t been where it needs to be the past games and this game it really came alive,” Grinage said.

Grinage says their 9-8 win over Sierra, April 2, propelled them into league, giving them confidence.

“The game against Sierra really gave us momentum,” Grinage said. “So with that, we hit really well in situation, we pitched pretty good, and our fielding was okay. We need to work on our bullpen and have everyone up to par and not only have three good pitchers, but all consistent pitchers.”

The Eagles will next host Tranquillity at home, April 8.

FC PULLS OUT COMEBACK IN LAST TWO INNINGS–April 2
For the final non-league game of the preseason, the Eagles took on the Sierra Chieftains (Tollhouse), April 2. FC staged a rally in the sixth and seventh innings to fight back from a deficit of four runs, 8-4, to win 9-8.

In the first two innings, FC was up 3-0, but squandered their lead and fell to Sierra, 8-3.

For the first time in his FC career, senior Stowe Empereur, who went 2-3 for the day with four total RBIs and pitched the first three innings, slammed a home run in the fifth inning. Sierra’s five run lead was narrowed to 8-4.

“I was a little surprised because I wasn’t trying to hit a home run and I had two strikes on me so I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Empereur said. “The guy just threw a fat pitch and I put a really good swing on it and it went out. It kind of changed the momentum of the game a little bit because it got us real pumped up and everyone started playing better.”

Then, in the seventh inning, 8-4, Empereur was at bat, with bases loaded. Empereur was even on the count 1-1, and kept his composure to hit a triple, barely escaping the hands of Sierra’s center fielder. His hit brought in all three runners and was thrown out at third to end the inning 8-7.

Senior Tyler Haritzalde says Empereurs triple brought about a regrouped effort among the team to win the game.

“Stowe’s triple was big,” Haritzalde said. “We got together and thought, ‘Hey, we can do this and runners got on, Ryan [Neufeld, ’12,] pitched well, we played great defense and knew we could and followed through.”

FC was down by one in the bottom of the seventh, but junior Trevor York, third baseman and shortstop, who went 3-3 on the day, came up to bat with Haritzalde, on first and Austin Rurik, ’12, on third. York knocked a double into the gap bringing Haritzalde and Rurik in to score and ultimately, winning the game 9-8.

“I was going for contact on the ground or any fly ball, but instead I got a line drive in the gap,” York said. “So I was like, ‘I’ll take it!’ It turned out good and Tyler scored all the way from frst to give us the lead.”

Head coach Thomari Story-Harden says the win gave his team a confidence boost and hopes it will also give them an edge coming into league.

“Wining this game was definitely a collaborative effort across the board,” Story-Harden said. “This victory will spring us into league and we must stay focused and take one game at a time.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Riverdale for the first West Sequoia League game of the season, April 5.

EAGLES ROLL OVER STONE RIDGE CHRISTIAN–March 31
The Stone Ridge Christian Knights traveled to the Eagles’ home field and from the first inning, FC took control by knocking in three runs, March 31. The Eagles kept on pushing forward as they won the game, 15-1.

Starting shortstop, Ryan Neufeld, ’12, says with the recent change in their batting style, they were able to keep the hits going and runs coming in.

“We changed our hitting approach a little bit,” Neufeld said. “Instead of trying to hit home runs and pull the ball, we tried hitting it to right field and just taking the ball where it comes. We had some pretty nice hits in the gaps, we played pretty solid defense and our pitchers threw a lot of strikes.”

Next on the schedule for FC is the Sierra Chieftains. Neufeld says that if they keep the same mentality they had against Stone Ridge Christian, a win is possible.

“Keep up the good defense and the hits will come after that if we keep swinging, staying aggressive and we’ll definitely score some runs,” Neufeld said.

Coach did not release the stat book or respond to questions.

The Eagles will next host Sierra at home, April 2.

FC DEFEATED AT HOME AGAINST WASHINGTON UNION–March 29
For the Eagles first home game of the season, they hosted the Washington Union Panthers, March 29. Despite keeping the score within one up until the fourth, 2-1, the Panthers pulled ahead in the fifth with four runs and two in the sixth, ultimately winning, 7-1.

As a first baseman, Tyler Kirgbaum, ’12, says they had the potential to clinch a win, but with several errors by FC, Washington Union’s lead kept lengthening to the end of the game.

“It was a good game up until the fourth when we had costly errors on little plays,” Krigbaum said. “We missed fly balls and dropped grounders, but it was just small things that we can fix. We also left runners stranded because we couldn’t hit anyone in which can be fixed with batting practice and knowing what pitchers are going to throw next.”

Krigbaum feels their team will soon mesh and says with each practice they get closer and closer.

“What’s gonna help us gel the most is practice because they’re high level and they’ve been really good the last two weeks,” Krigbaum said. “We have a high level of intensity and focus at our practice, making us better when we go out there.”

Coach did not release the stat book or respond to questions.

The Eagles will next host Stone Ridge Christian at home, March 31.

EAGLES SHUTOUT KINGS CHRISTIAN–March 25
The Eagles traveled to Lemoore to face off against the Kings Christian and came out swinging as they knocked in ten runs within the first two innings, March 25. They limited the Crusaders to only two hits as FC won 17-0, earning their first win of the season.

Junior Austin Rurik says that with a full squad now out on the diamond, they were able to play to the best of their abilities.

“It really gave you the experience of getting the monkey off your back,” Rurik said. “Having our whole team out there was really helpful. It really made a huge difference because we were able to play with a solid team and it made it a lot easier to have fun.”

Rurik hopes the win will propel them into their impending games this week, so they can pull out another win.

“It gave us a lot of momentum carrying into these upcoming games,” Rurik said. “It really helped us to focus on our win and continue to move forward and build on what we’ve already progressed on.”

Head coach Thomari Story-Harden says the teams hard work has payed off as it was a great relief to finally break their losing streak.

“Everyone was excited to bring the first win home, especially considering we played a well rounded game,” Story-Harden said. “We have been working really hard at practice, I feel as though that is why we played so well. It’s always a relief when you can break up a losing streak, especially when you are on the road.”

The Eagles will next host Washington Union at home, March 29.

Central Classic Tournament, March 1-13
EAGLES FALL IN LAST THREE GAMES–March 9-12
For the final three match-ups of the Central Classic Tournament, the Eagles lost to Madera South 23-5, March 9, Hoover 12-0, March 11, and Tulare Union 12-1, March 12, to finish 0-7 overall.

Senior pitcher, Stowe Empereur says even though they struggled record wise, the tournament acted as more playing time for their young team.

We were not ready for the tournament, we didn’t have all of our players out and so we had a lot of beginners on the team,” Empereur said. “But we did learn a lot. We learned how to lose, and before you learn how to win you need to learn how to lose.”

Head coach Thomari Story-Harden says he has hope for the season and still anticipates the progress his team will accomplish.

“I feel as though we are making strides with every loss and they are staying mentally strong,” Story-Haden said. “I also believe in our team and will do everything I can to help turn our season around. I’m reminding our boys, ‘Its not how you start, it’s how you finish’.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Kings Christian, March 25.

SANGER AND REEDLEY COME OUT ON TOP AGAINST FC–March 5
The Eagles took on the Sanger Apaches and Reedley Pirates in a double header and lost both, 20-2 and 16-0, March 5.

Sophomore Matt Jenkins pitched an inning against Reedley for his first varsity game as he said he really had the “jitters”.

“I pitched an inning and it was pretty nerve racking, but at the same time exciting to pitch for varsity the first time,” Jenkins said. “However, I think I just failed. My arm was hurting in the first place, I was tired and I was nervous, so it didn’t go so well.”

Jenkins also says that as a team they need to focus on their infield work in these next few days before their game against Hoover, March 8.

“We need a lot more work on the infield and defense because a lot of people don’t know what they’re doing and it’s their first time playing,” Jenkins said. “Honestly, we just didn’t do really well and our swings need to improve.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Hoover, March 8.

LIBERTY DEFEATS EAGLES–March 3
The Eagles traveled to take on the Liberty Hawks for the second day of the Central Classic and fell short once again, taking a 20-0 loss, March 3.

First year varsity player, Garrett Childs, ’13, says as a team, much work is required if they hope to start putting up wins. However, it may take some time and so in the meanwhile he chooses to put behind the losses and move on.

“We do have a lot of young people on our team, but we’re still learning and it’s only the second game,” Childs said. “We do have a lot of work to do though because we all wanna get better and win games, but we just need to try our hardest and do our best. And if we lose just put it behind us and if we win great.”

The Eagles will travel to play Reedley and Sanger, March 5.

FC SHUTOUT AGAINST FRESNO–March 2
The Eagles traveled to play the Fresno Warriors for their first game of the season. FC failed to put up any points though as they lost 10-0, March 2.

With players in new positions, such as Tyler Haritzalde, ’11, at third and Matt Jenkins, ’13, junior Trevor York says as it was their first game they put up a reasonable effort.

“Our team tried hard and we could have done better, but it was our first game and we haven’t seen any pitching until now,” York said. “For most guys it was their first time playing a certain spot. So it was just a lot of people playing in spots they’re not comfortable and familiar with.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Liberty, March 2.

For past coverage, check out the Baseball sport shorts, 2010.

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    Rachel WilhelmSep 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I love Lizzie and am so happy that she has joined ensamble! She is seriously an amazing singer and amazing friend!

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