Cordova Baseball Splits Four Games

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-23

Four games in six days.

During that time span, the Cordova High School baseball team split half of those games into wins. Most important is that the wins were in Sierra Valley Conference action.

The latest conference win came on Monday at El Dorado High, where Cordova (2-1 in the SVC, 3-5) posted a 6-4 win over the host Cougars. That game had the Lancers’ bat come alive with 11 hits. Leading the way was Jeremy Buck, who went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Following Buck in hitting were Austin Smith, Logan Appino and Trevor Ready, all of whom had two hits each. Appino also had a stolen base. Nick Ravareau and Spencer Gudgel had a base hit each. Ready and Gudgel also had two RBIs each.

On the mound, Smith went the distance for the Lancers. He allowed only four hits, and struck out five Cougar batters.

Sheldon 14, Cordova 4

In a non-league game at the Huskies’ field on March 18th, the game was tied 1-1 after the first inning. Then in the bottom of the second frame, Sheldon scored four times for a 5-1 lead.

The Huskies expanded their lead to 7-1 in the third, and scored at least one run through the sixth inning. The game was called at that time due to the 10-run mercy rule. Sheldon finished the contest with 13 hits.

Cordova had seven hits. Buck and Appino had two hits each. Ready, Smith and Zack Guererro had a hit each. Guererro’s lone hit was a double.

Union Mine 13, Cordova 3

In an SVC game in El Dorado on St. Patrick’s last Friday, the visiting Lancers had eight hits.

Appino had the big bat again for Cordova, going 3-for-3. Ravareau and Guererro had two hits each, and Jordan Meyers had one.

Cordova 10, Rosemont 9

In the SVC home opener on March 15th, Appino was perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 that included a triple and an RBI.

Part of the Lancers’ hitting parade against the Wolverines was Tipton, Ready, Ravareau, Smith and Buck, all of whom had a hit each.

Appino and Smith split time on the hill. Appino allowed only two hits, and struck out three Rosemont batters. Smith fanned four and walked two.

On Wednesday, weather and field conditions pending, Cordova was scheduled to play an SVC road game at Galt.

Today, Friday, Cordova will host Liberty Ranch in an SVC game. Next Monday, the Lancers play a non-conference game at Franklin of Stockton. Next Wednesday, Cordova is back in SVC action at Rosemont. Game times for all three are scheduled for 4 p.m.

Softball Loses at Sac City; Baseball: Pitching Woes Continue as Falcons Lose Third Straight to Santa Rosa

Source: Ronald Richardson, Folsom Lake College  |  2017-03-23

McKenna Rickles leads the Falcons with a .392 batting average.

Women’s Softball

A mid-day deluge and lightning storm couldn’t stop the FLC women’s softball team from playing their scheduled game at Sacramento City College on Tuesday afternoon, although the Panthers came out on top 7-3. Falcon shortstop McKenna Rickles continued her hot hitting as she became the first Falcon softball player to hit two home runs in one game, accounting for all three FLC runs. The Falcons took a 2-1 lead on the first of Rickles’ homers in the third inning, but the Panthers quickly responded with four runs in their half of the inning. Rickles’ solo homer in the seventh - her third hit of the day – raised her team-leading batting average to .392.  Two Big 8 teams desperate for a win - each with just one conference victory thus far in 2017 - squared off in Santa Rosa on last Saturday as the Falcons visited the Bear Cubs for an afternoon doubleheader. It couldn’t have started out worse for the Falcons as they gave up seven runs in each of the first two innings, ultimately losing the opener 15-6. The Falcon bats finally came to life in the fourth and fifth innings as they scored six runs, but the early 14 run deficit was too much to overcome. McKenna Rickles had two hits, collected two RBI, and stole a base as the Falcons’ offensive star of the game.

Rickles took the mound for the Falcons in the late game, and after the Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the first, things were looking positive for the visitors. But as has been the case, one error led to more mistakes and the Bear Cubs took full advantage, scoring five runs in the second inning. Rickles settled down and shut them out the rest of the way, but despite her second multi-hit offensive game of the day, the Falcons only tallied one more run as they lost 5-2. The Falcons hope to right the ship on Tuesday, when they’re scheduled to visit Sacramento City at 3:00 pm.

Men’s Baseball

The Saturday afternoon finale of the three-game series with Santa Rosa started out well for the Falcons as they took a first-inning 2-0 lead. But things quickly turned ugly as the Bear Cubs capitalized on five doubles, three singles, three hit batters, and a passed ball to score 10 runs – all in the second inning. To their credit, the Falcons didn’t fold as they rallied to score six more runs over the next five innings. Carson McCusker smashed his eighth home run of the season in the sixth inning, a two-run shot that landed on the middle of the track, having completely cleared the protective screen in left field. The 15-8 final score was reflective of the type of season it has been thus far for the Falcons: lots of hitting and decent run support, but the pitching has been far from reliable. The team ERA in nine conference games is 7.96, meaning they’re allowing nearly 8 earned runs per game. With three games against Modesto (7-11 overall, 3-3 in Big 8) this week, the Falcons hope to turn things around.

Upcoming Sports Schedule

Fri March 24      M/W Tennis – Big 8 Playoffs TBD

Sat March 25     Softball vs Sierra at FLC, 12:00 and 2:00 pm

                Baseball at Modesto, 1:00 pm

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New League but Same Division for CHS Athletics

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-22

Come summer 2018, the Cordova High School athletic program will experience changes.

That is when the Lancers say good-bye to their home of Sierra Valley Conference of the last four years, and hello to a new league that requires less traveling.

During the fifth and final meeting of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment held at The Reserve at the Spanos Park in Stockton, the section’s league realignment committee voted in favor of changes for the next four-year cycle that runs from summer 2018 through spring 2022.

Part of that change includes Cordova moving to a new Division IV league, which its name has yet to be determined. Joining Cordova as part of the new six school league are Florin, Valley, Johnson and West Campus, all of Sacramento, and Natomas. Currently, Florin, Valley and Johnson are part of the Metro Conference, D-II, and West Campus and Natomas in the Golden Empire League, D-IV.

“Cordova welcomes the opportunity to compete with schools in the new league,” said Cordova Athletic Director Tom Pena. “While we will miss the tradition of competing in the SVC, we are excited to play closer to home and reduce the travel time our students must sometimes endure during league play.”

Cordova and the current SVC, which is currently D-IV will under the new league realignment proposal will drop to D-V, includes El Dorado, Galt, Liberty Ranch, Rosemont and Union Mine. El Dorado is in Placerville and Union Mine is in El Dorado, just outside of Placerville.

Taking Cordova’s place in the SVC is Bradshaw Christian of Elk Grove, which is currently in Sierra Delta League, D-VI.

According to Will De Board, director of communications for the section, ballots have been sent out to all 192 schools in the section to vote on the changes that range from high schools in Yuba City to the Merced areas.

The section’s Board of Managers and league officials will cast their votes of the changes at the next BOM meeting, which is scheduled to meet Wednesday, April 5th, also at The Reserve. Time for the meeting has not been determined, according to the section’s website,

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Cordova Softball Improving as Season Continues

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-16

Cordova softball player Alexis Wygand puts down a bunt against Galt in an SVC game on the Lancers’ field on Tuesday. Wygand is one of two fresh-men on the varsity squad this season. 
--Photo by Rick Sloan

A mixture of returning and new players is taking the field for the Cordova High School softball team.

Those Lancers are also playing under new head coach Kimberly Little, who takes over for Tracy Cole, who didn’t return after one season because of a recent promotion at his employer. Little has coached high school softball before taking the Cordova job earlier this year.

Back this year are five players, all of whom were on last year’s team that earned a Sierra Valley Conference playoff berth that produced an 11-14 overall record that included a 7-8 mark in conference play. Heading the list is centerfielder Leila Cooper, who batted .412 last spring; second baseman/shortstop Sierra Reyes and Julia Rosales, all seniors. Rosales batted .400 last spring, and Reyes .306.

Returning for Cordova is sophomore catcher Mason Pittaro, who also had one of the big bats for the Lady Lancers last spring with a .453 batting average and 23 RBIs. Pittaro also had six doubles, five triples and four home runs. Cassandra Rucker rounds out the list of returning players, now a sophomore after being moved to the varsity team as a freshman last spring. Rucker had a .269 batting average last spring.

Newcomers to this year’s squad are Lizzy Cariveau and Samantha Lee, both juniors who were on the school’s frosh-soph softball team last spring. Other players are sophomores Vivi Luque, Hunter Norton and Agnus Budge. Two freshmen move up to this year’s varsity squad is Jasmine Hull and Alexis Wygand.

“We are young, but a very talented team,” said Little of this year’s team. “We are improving each and every game. This is an amazing group of hunger, eager to compete.”

This season, Cordova is off to an 0-6 start, which includes an 0-2 mark in the SVC. But the Lady Lancers and the rest of the conference play 15 games.

As for the SVC, the teams to beat this season, Little feels Liberty Ranch, which has an 8-0-1 record, and Rosemont are those teams. Union Mine, behind University of the Pacific bound pitcher Bethany Hammer, won the SVC title last spring. The Diamondbacks, who lost to Liberty Ranch in an SVC game, 8-1, on Tuesday, are 1-1 in conference and 4-2 overall.

Yesterday, Thursday, Cordova played at Liberty Ranch. Next Monday, the Lancers play at Capital Christian in a non-league game at 5:30 p.m. Then on Tuesday, Cordova welcomes Hammer and Union Mine in an SVC game that is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

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Lancers Baseball Too Much for Titans

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-15

Lots of hits was the theme for the Cordova High School baseball team last week.

The Lancers banged out 16 hits, which led to a 24-2 win over Burbank on the Titans’ field in a non-league contest on March 10th. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Leading the way for Cordova (1-3) was Spencer Gudgel, who went 3-for-4 that included two doubles. Lancer players who had two hits in the game were Ryan Tipton, Trevor Ready, Zack Guererro and Jeremy Buck. Tipton also smacked a double, along with teammates Nick Ravareau, Colby McDonald and Jordan Meyers.

The Lancers’ Logan Appino, one of six seniors on this year’s Cordova squad, walked four times in the game. That led to stealing three bases. Guererro and Buck had two stolen bases each.

On the mound, Cordova used three pitchers against the Titans’ bats. Appino started the game for the Lancers, going two innings and allowed only one hit. Closing the game was Austin Smith. Burbank had only three hits.

The Lancers started Sierra Valley Conference action on Wednesday, hosting Rosemont. Today, Friday, Cordova plays at Union Mine to continue SVC action.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Cordova plays another non-league game at Sheldon of Sacramento. That game is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Next Monday, the Lancers return to SVC action at El Dorado. On Tuesday, Cordova host Florin in non-league game, and play at Galt in SVC game next Wednesday. All games start at 4 p.m.

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New Season Underway for Cordova Baseball

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-09

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

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.

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Gridders Volunteer Help in Clean-Up Drive

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-09

Last fall, the Cordova High School football team did its part on the field by winning a share of the Sierra Valley Conference and earning a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff berth.

Now the Lancers are doing their part off the field.

Tomorrow, Saturday, the football players are volunteering with the Republic Services and the City of Rancho Cordova to clean up neighborhoods. The clean-up drive is scheduled to start at Cordova Villa Elementary School. They are expected to help out in the clean-up from 9 a.m. until noon.

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