PREP ROUNDUP: Orange Cove softball drops four at Buchanan tournament

Immanuel baseball improves to 4-2, local teams travel to Clovis for Gateway to Track and Field Invitational on March 15

Immanuel High’s Aiden Vossler dives safely back into first base ahead of the tag by Hoover High’s Alex Rodriguez during the first inning of the Eagles’ 6-5 baseball victory over the Patriots on March 5. Immanuel also routed Nipomo by a 19-3 score on March 8 to improve to 4-2 on the season. (Jon Earnest)
Immanuel High’s Aiden Vossler dives safely back into first base ahead of the tag by Hoover High’s Alex Rodriguez during the first inning of the Eagles’ 6-5 baseball victory over the Patriots on March 5. Immanuel also routed Nipomo by a 19-3 score on March 8 to improve to 4-2 on the season. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published March 11, 2024  • 
11:00 am

CLOVIS – The Orange Cove Titans find themselves on the rare negative side of .500 after dropping four games last week in the Big Schools division of the Buchanan Softball Classic.

The two-time reigning section Division V champion Titans (2-4) had a pair of 2-0 losses to Division I schools Clovis North (7-0) on March 5 and Clovis West (4-3-2) on March 9 along with a 2-1 setback to D-III school Liberty-Madera Ranchos (4-2) on March 9. The only lopsided defeat came on March 5 by an 8-3 score against D-II Monache, which lost to Orange Cove in the 2022 SoCal D-IV regional championship.

Senior pitcher Mia Castillo started three games and appeared in all four contests for Orange Cove, and despite collecting three losses allowed just two earned runs in 20 innings of work while striking out 26. The Titans managed just nine hits offensively in the losses, and were no-hit by Clovis North’s Emma Blea who also collected 15 strikeouts.

Orange Cove continues its tough pre-league schedule this week, hosting unbeaten El Diamante (6-0) on March 12 followed by Central Classic tourney games with Hanford (2-4) at 2 p.m. Friday March 15 and against Mission College Prep (2-4) and at 11 a.m. Saturday in a rematch of the past two D-V section finals. Both those games will be at Clovis West High School, followed by a 3 p.m. game March 16 against Salinas High (5-2).

Two road games for Dinuba this week

Dinuba High (1-6) will try to snap a five-game losing streak this week with two non-league road contests. First, the Emperors take on travel to Visalia to play Redwood (0-4-2) on March 12, then take on Washington Union (3-2) at 6 p.m. Friday, March 15 in Easton.

Dinuba, which lost games against Madera and Clovis West last week, will play at Edison on March 20 before taking on Chowchilla High in the Fowler Easter Classic on March 23.

BASEBALL

Eagles edge Hoover, rout Nipomo

Immanuel High’s baseball team improved to 4-2 on the season with a 6-5 home victory over Hoover High on March 5 and a 19-3 trouncing at Nipomo High on March 8. The Eagles pushed across a run in the bottom of the seventh to pull out the first victory, then collected 12 hits for the easy road win.

Senior Nic Colman and junior Zabe Gonzalez each had two hits and an RBI against Hoover. Junior SJ Ramirez, Coleman and Gonzalez all collected two hits while senior Eli Garay scored four runs and Gonzalez three runs against Nipomo. Coleman worked three innings for the pitching win against the Titans.

Immanuel High pitcher Julian Ornelas delivers a pitch to the plate during the Eagles’ 6-5 baseball victory over the Patriots on March 5. Immanuel also routed Nipomo by a 19-3 score on March 8 to improve to 4-2 on the season. (Jon Earnest)

Immanuel hosts Golden Valley of Bakersfield in a non-league game on March 12 and then travels to Kingsburg to take on the Vikings (7-2) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14. The Eagles open Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division at home against Hanford West on Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m.

TRACK AND FIELD

Emperors cancel DInuba Invitational

Dinuba High has canceled the 2024 Dinuba Invitational meet, initially scheduled for this week at the high school. The Emperors now will travel to Clovis for the Gateway to Track and Field Invitational on Friday, March 15. First events begin at 1:30 p.m. at Buchanan High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, home site of the annual state meet in May.

Also entered into the meet are Reedley, Immanuel, Sanger and Sanger West. Dodson Field in Sanger will be the site of a County Metro Athletic Conference Mini-Meet on March 13.

Jon Earnest
Reporter