By Krissy Hetherington Special to the Sun-Gazette
VISALIA– The Redwood Rangers baseball team started their season going 3-3 in the Coca Cola Classic. The week and a half of games gave Division I Central Section teams the opportunity to face off early in their seasons to prepare for what could be a sneak peek of post-season playoffs.
To start, the boys suffered a tough 4-2 loss to Clovis North on Feb. 12th, but came back on Feb. 16 with a 6-3 win over Clovis High, winning pitcher was Sam Bower and closed by Kaden Sorensen. Next game on Feb. 19, Redwood pitcher, Cam Gallardo threw a complete game shutout leading the Rangers to a 2-0 win against Buchanan. Right after that, on the 21st, Redwood faced off against Fresno High winning 3-1. Winning pitcher, Ethan Garcia was backed up by big bats from seniors Hunter Bryan, Bronson Chamberlin, Bower, and Sorensen. On Feb. 23, Central was able to come back down by 3 runs to defeat Redwood, 4-3. To wrap up the Classic, Redwood lost a home game to Clovis East, 6-3.
After closing out the first few games of the season, the boys headed into a 10-3 win against Sunnyside on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Bower came out with a win including seven strikeouts. He was backed up by Agapito Gaza who pitched 2 innings and had 6 strikeouts with support from batting led by Diego Alvarado, Garcia, Bryan, Sorenson, and Chamberlin.
The boys then travelled to the CenCal Showcase in Fresno for a night game against Elk Grove on March t. 1. The 7-4 win consisted of great pitching from starter Garcia, reliever Gallardo, and held by Dakotas Brown. Saturday’s game against Granite Bay was postponed due to rain and lightning. The next upcoming game for the Rangers, now with a record of 5-3, was scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, away against Tulare Union. The boys seem to have a solid lineup and good batting to start the season and hope to seize sole control of the West Yosemite League.
After winning the Division ll Valley Championship last season, Redwood Softball started off their 2019 season with a 4-4 record after a few tournaments. The girls started off with a win over Paso Robles, 7-4 in the Central-Clovis East Presidents Tourney on February 19th. The girls then suffered a 7-3 loss to Buchanan the next day, but were able to bounce back in a later game that afternoon with an 8-1 win over Atascadero.
From here, the girls went on to play Tulare Western twice on February 23rd, both wins, 12-0 and 7-1. Next, Redwood hosted their own Invitational Tournament last week where the girls played against some of the top D-I schools in the Central Section to prepare for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, they lost all three, first to Madera on Feb. 28, 6-2, then to Centennial, 8-2 on March 1 followed by a loss to Clovis North, 6-0, the same night. The last game of the tournament against Stockdale was postponed, but the makeup game was Monday, March 4. The team is also scheduled to play them in the upcoming Buchanan Pre-season Tournament on March 6th.