New Season Underway for Cordova Baseball
One of the returning players for the Cordova baseball team this season is senior catcher Logan Appino, seen here catching a ball in a game last spring. --Photo by Rick Sloan
One of the pitchers on this year’s Cordova baseball team is Austin Smith, seen here in a game last spring. --Photo by Rick Sloan
In his first season as the Cordova High School baseball head coach last spring, Doug Hughes had no junior varsity team.
Now in his second season, there are 13 players for the varsity team. Plus, there are enough underclassmen to field a Lancer JV team. The last time that the Cordova baseball program fielded a JV squad was in 2014.
“It’s exactly what we needed to turn the baseball program around,” Hughes said.
Hughes and the Cordova varsity baseball squad are looking to turn their fortunes around this season. In 2016, the Lancers posted a 5-10 record in the Sierra Valley Conference and 6-15-1 overall.
This season, the Lancers have started the season with an 0-2 mark. Those defeats came at the hands of McClatchy, 10-0, on March 1st and an 8-0 setback to Winters on February 25th.
Despite the losses, Hughes is beyond optimistic about this year’s team. That is because the Lancers have experienced back on the field.
“We are fortunate enough to have the majority of our players back,” Hughes said.
Returning this season for the Lancers are four seniors in catcher/pitcher/shortstop Logan Appino, pitcher/first baseman/catcher Spencer Gudgel, second baseman/pitcher Jordan Meyers, pitcher/first baseman/outfielder Austin Smith and infielder Zack Guererro. Another senior this year’s team who didn’t play last spring is outfielder Elias Acevedo.
The juniors on this year’s squad are outfielder/utility Jeremy Buck, leftfielder and pitcher Colby McDonald, a transfer from Pleasant Grove High School of Elk Grove, outfielder/pitcher Trevor Ready and outfielder Benito Soto.
Two sophomores are on this year’s team. Ryan Tipton, who started as a freshman last spring, returns as a sophomore at the third base spot. He’s also projected to see some time on the mound for the Lancers. The other is shortstop/catcher/pitcher Nick Ravareau.
Another newcomer to the Lancers is Jesse Ortiz, a transfer from Grant High School. According to Hughes, McDonald is eligible to play immediately because he didn’t play baseball at Pleasant Grove. But Ortiz played in the Lancers’ program before transferring to Cordova. He’s going through the Sac-Joaquin Section’s mandatory 30-day sit-out period for transfers, and is eligible to play on April 3rd.
The teams to beat in the Sierra Valley Conference action this spring, according to Hughes, are everyone. Last spring, Liberty Ranch, Union Mine and El Dorado were the conference’s tri-champs.
“I think the SVC will be just like last year,” Hughes said. “I don’t think there will be one team that runs away from the pack.”
On Wednesday, Cordova played at El Camino.
Today, Friday, the Lancers have another road game in Sacramento, this time at Burbank High. Game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
“I try to schedule good teams,” said Hughes of the Lancers’ pre-season schedule. “I want our kids competing at high level every game. It’s just going to make us better in the long run.”
Then on Wednesday, March 15th, Cordova opens SVC action, which will also be the first home game of the season. That’s when the Lancers host Rosemont. Game time for the first pitch is 4 p.m.