League baseball, softball action resumes

Reedley and Immanuel baseball teams square off in April 4 showdown, first place Eagles post 3-1 record at Selma Kiwanis Classic tournament

Sanger West High’s Victor Valadez (7) prepares to slap hands with teammate David Melero (6) after scoring the go-ahead and eventual winning run during the seventh inning of the Hornets’ 8-7 comeback victory over Sierra High on March 27 at the Selma Kiwanis Classic tournament. Valadez had tied the game moments earlier with a two-run single. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published April 1, 2024  • 
11:00 am

REEDLEY – Prep baseball and softball will return from the spring vacation break with the resumption of league games this week, including a key Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division matchup between city rivals Reedley and Immanuel.

The first place Eagles (10-4, 2-0 TCC heading into an April 2 game at Selma), host the Pirates (6-8, 2-1) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4 at Immanuel Sports Complex’s The Yard varsity diamond. Reedley started the week with an April 2 TCC cross division home game against Washington Union.

Immanuel posted a 3-1 record in last week’s 66th annual Selma Kiwanis Classic, missing out on a spot in the finals because of a 9-4 loss to Washington Union on March 25. The Eagles’ wins came against Golden Valley (9-0 on March 25), Madera South (11-4 on March 26) and Yosemite (9-4 on March 26).

Senior Eli Garay went 7-for-9 in the four games, belting a pair of home runs and driving in eight total runs. Sophomore Wally Pena had a five-inning complete game one-hit shutout of Golden Valley while Nic Coleman pitched a one-hitter with eight strikeouts in six innings against Yosemite and also hit a solo homer against Washington Union.

Reedley finished 1-3 at last week’s annual Fresno Easter Classic tournament, posting its lone victory by a 5-4 score against Hanford High on March 26 at Clovis East High School. Jacob Silva drove in a pair of runs and picked up the pitching win working six innings while allowing four earned runs and striking out two.

Silva also collected two of the team’s six hits against Liberty-Madera Ranchos (11-3 loss on March 25) and drove in the Pirates’ lone run during a 3-1 loss against Oakmont High of Roseville on March 27.

Reedley and Immanuel will play three TCC games this season; also meeting on May 7 at Immanuel Sports Complex and May 9 at Reedley High in a 6:30 p.m. start.

Sanger West finishes second in Selma Kiwanis

On March 27 in Selma, Sanger West High (10-7) pulled off a late-inning comeback to defeat Sierra High 8-7 and earn a berth in the championship game of the Selma Kiwanis Classic. But the Hornets ran out of gas in the title game, managing just five hits and giving up seven runs in the seventh while getting blanked 11-0 by Sierra Pacific.

Sanger West roared back from a 7-2 deficit against Sierra getting a two-single from junior Victor Valadez (3-for-4, three runs and two runs batted in) and a go-ahead hit by George Cardenas. Valadez picked up the pitching win with three-plus scoreless innings of relief while freshman Koby Daoheuang got the final out for the save when Cesar Gonzalez made a diving catch in right field.

The Hornets also collected tourney victories over Golden Valley (14-2 on March 25), Washington Union (2-1 on March 26) and host Selma (6-2 on the 26th). Sanger West (0-2 in league) returns to North Yosemite League play with an April 3 home game against Madera South and a 6 p.m. road game against the Stallions (5-10, 1-1) on Friday, April 5.

SOFTBALL

Hornets go 5-0 at Woodlake Tournament

Sanger West’s softball team (12-5-1, 2-0 North Yosemite) won all five of its games last week to capture the championship of the Woodlake Tournament, capped by a 9-3 victory over the previously unbeaten host Tigers (12-1). The Hornets also collected tourney victories over Exeter (2-1 on March 25), NYL rival Roosevelt (2-7 on the 25th), Orosi (17-2 on March 26) and Granite Hills (17-7 on March 27).

Sanger West enters this week’s NYL play tied for first with Roosevelt and McLane and play both teams this week starting with an April 3 home game against the Rough Riders (12-6, 2-0). The Hornets then head to Fresno to take on the Highlanders (6-4, 2-0) in a 3 p.m. matchup Friday, April 5 before entertaining Fresno High at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 9.

Sanger High begins its CMAC season on April 9

Coming off a 1-3 showing at the Tulare Tournament last week, Sanger High (11-5) concludes the non-league portion of its schedule with a home game against Reedley High on April 3 and a 4 p.m. matchup Friday, April 5 at Tri-River Athletic Conference member Clovis North (11-3). The Broncos went 2-2 at the recent Easter Classic Tournament in Clovis.

Sanger begins its County Metro Athletic Conference season on Tuesday, April 9 at 3:30 p.m. against San Joaquin Memorial (4-6). The Apaches then host Justin Garza High (7-4) in an afternoon game on Friday, April 12.

VOLLEYBALL

Sanger boys resume CMAC play after Hawaii trip

After going 4-2 during play in the Hawaii Boys Invitational on March 21-23 in Hawaii, the Sanger High boys team returns to County Metro Athletic Conference play with two matches. The Apaches (21-4, 1-0) play at Madera on April 2 and then home against Edison (15-1, 1-0) on April 3 before they host Garza (17-8, 0-1) on Tuesday, April 9 in a 6 p.m. start at SHS Nicholson Gym.

Sanger already has one conference win; a four-set victory at Bullard (19-8) on March 19. In Hawaii, the Apaches collected 2-0 sweeps of Baldwin High-Wailuiku, St. Louis-Honolulu and Iolani-Honolulu and a 2-1 win over Hawaii Baptist Academy. The two losses came to Moanalua-Honolulu (2-1) and Mililai (2-0).

Immanuel beach volleyball hosts Exeter, CVC

Immanuel High’s fledgling beach volleyball girls program plays its first Tri-County Conference match at 3 p.m. Friday, April 5 in a tri-meet against Exeter High and Central Valley Christian at the Eagles’ beach volleyball court at the Immanuel Sports Complex.

The Eagles (3-3) have already defeated the Monarchs once, prevailing in three sets during a tournament match at Immanuel on March 22. That same day, they dropped a 2-1 decision to CVC.

Jon Earnest
Reporter