Reedley College bat teams set for postseason

Baseball earns No. 22 seed, travels to West Valley for best-of-3 NorCal series while No. 12 seed softball plays at San Jose City in best-of-3 first round series

Reedley College pitcher Francisco Espejo delivers a pitch to the plate during the Tigers’ 12-2 loss to Monterey Peninsula College on Feb. 10 at Tiger Field. It was Reedley’s first loss of the season after opening the season with seven straight victories. (Jon Earnest)
Reedley College pitcher Francisco Espejo delivers a pitch to the plate during the Tigers’ 12-2 loss to Monterey Peninsula College on Feb. 10 at Tiger Field. It was Reedley’s first loss of the season after opening the season with seven straight victories. (Jon Earnest)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published April 30, 2024  • 
2:00 pm

REEDLEY — Reedley College’s baseball and softball teams both have qualified for California Community College Athletic Association Northern California regional playoffs, which begins with best-of-three series this weekend.

Both teams will travel for the regionals, which reduces down to a state final four at the end of May. The RC baseball team (24-16) is seeded 22nd out of 24 teams in the NorCal bracket, and will play No. 3 seed West Valley College (30-10) starting at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 3 in Saratoga. The teams also play at 11 a.m. on May 4 with a third game, if necessary, played following that game.

Reedley went 2-1 last week to close out the regular season; winning 11-6 at Taft (April 23) and 25-7 at Coalinga College (April 25) before dropping a 17-3 home decision against Central Valley Conference champion Fresno City College on April 26. Brody Block had four of the Tigers’ 19 hits against Coalinga while Dusty Vela added two hits and drove in five runs.

Regionals winners advance to the Super Regionals the weekend of May 9-11 with regional finals set for the weekend of May 17-19. The state championships final four will be played May 25-27 at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

Reedley College’s softball team (22-16) earned the No. 12 seed out of 16 teams entering the NorCal Regional, and will play at fifth-seeded San Jose City (28-8) in a best of three starting on Friday, May 3. The Tigers edged Merced College in an April 23 doubleheader by scores of 1-0 (eight innings) and 2-1 to finish 11-7 in conference play and clinch an at-large regionals berth.

Freshman Trinity Sanchez (Reedley High) finished with a three-hitter in the Game 1 win, striking out 11 and walking just one, and Hope Ficher drove in the game-winner on a single in the eighth. Mylie Lerma’s RBI single in the sixth inning played the decisive run in Game 2, and also finished the pitching win in relief.

Head coach Stefanue Nomura credited her team’s grit for winning seven of its last 12, and for shaking off a three-game slide to get the decisive sweep of Merced.

“We are all so proud of their hard work and determination…this was a group effort all the way around,” she said.

Tigers’ Castillo makes all-CVC first team in softball

Reedley College freshman outfielder Anahi Castillo was voted onto the all-Central Valley Conference first team for her play this season. Castillo, who helped lead Orange Cove High to consecutive Central Section Division V softball championships, is batting .381 with nine home runs, 39 runs batted in, 40 hits and 30 runs (all team highs) in 38 games.

Tigers teammates Trinity Sanchez (Reedley High) and Alexa Valdez (Reedley Middle College High School) received all-CVC second team and honorable mention, respectively. Freshman pitcher Sanchez went 12-7 with a 2.87 earned run average and 110 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched, while Valdez hit .301 with 37 hits and a team-high 14 stolen bases.

Mid Valley Times Staff