Baseball defeats Sierra for D-VI Valley title
The team left the diamond defeated and disappointed. The score read 11-6 with a victorious Sierra continuing their run in the 2016 playoffs. The FC varsity baseball team looked to next year, and began to grow and prepare for the next season.
Last year, the Sierra Chieftains defeated the Eagles early in playoffs, and this season, the teams met again this season in the championship for the D-VI Valley Title, May 27.
The Eagles arrived at Rawhide Stadium with confidence and a drive to win their school’s first baseball Valley Championship.
And for the first time in school history, and in extra innings, the No. 7 Eagles were able take the lead over the No. 1 seed Chieftains and win the CIF Central Section D-VI Valley championship, 5-3.
Head coach Noah Heinz is proud of his team’s accomplishments during the season. He hopes to continue to build the campus’s baseball program into a competitive ball club.
Aaron Lacroix doubled in the winning run while Jonah Lozano drove in the insurance run as the Eagles completed an improbable run in the playoffs.
“This is one of the most impressive feats I have had the pleasure of observing during my coaching career,” Heinz said. “To go on the road and beat the No. two and three seeds and then face the No. one seed in the championship is very special. I knew this team had the opportunity and the talent to win. We just needed to play some competitive baseball early in the season and learn how to win baseball games.
“Playing against an opponent who we saw last year in playoffs was an advantage to both teams,” Heinz continued. “They knew what some of our offensive capabilities were and we knew theirs. The championship win was a mix of getting hot at the right time and putting our guys in the right positions to be successful.”
Catcher Roman Endicott, ‘18, enjoyed playing with teammates and winning the championship. Endicott put trust in the pitchers he caught during the game and thought the Castro brothers threw an excellent game.
“I am so happy I could finish the season strong with all of my teammates,” Endicott said. “Everyone gave so much. This year there was a prominent feeling of fellowship on the team. Everyone was close and we have had a lot more team chemistry than past years.”
Team manager, Jake Blackburn, ‘23, kept score for the team and recorded player stats for the season. Blackburn hopes to play on the varsity team in high school.
“Winning the championship is amazing,” Blackburn said. “Everyone is so happy and it is great to see everyone’s hard work pay off. I will definitely play baseball when I am in high school. Mr. Heinz is a great coach and I love to play baseball. After watching the players on the team, I learned how to take better approaches against certain pitchers and make smarter decisions.”
First basemen, Ronnie Peterson, ‘19, enjoyed the team’s ability to gel and come together to win the championship. Along with other sophomores and freshmen, Peterson also won a baseball championship in junior high as an eighth grader.
“It’s great to come together as a team and overcome being the seventh seed and go on the road and win the championship,” Peterson said. “The team chemistry this year is a lot better than previous years. We all know each other better and it is a lot more fun now. We know our strengths and weaknesses and how to keep each other up.”
Looking ahead to next season, Heinz plans to defend the title with the returning team and welcome freshmen hopefuls. The team lost one senior this season, their ace, Jorge Castro.
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