Early Spring Baseball Highlights

Read below for two big games already in the books in the CCS....Delmon Young out for several weeks with ankle sprain.....And details about Selma scoring 26 runs in one inning.

CCS Already Intense -- It's only two weeks into the prep baseball season in the CIF Central Coast Section and already there's been two terrific games involving top-ranked teams.

In the first one last week, Wilcox of Santa Clara, ranked No. 5 overall in the preseason state top 20, lost a 5-3 game to No. 11 Serra of San Mateo. The Chargers were leading 3-1 going into the sixth inning when three walks loaded the bases and Serra's Chuck Lofgren then bombed a grand slam homer. It was Lofgren's second home run of the game.

Wilcox also was involved in the second game. The Chargers played St. Francis of Mountain View, another powerhouse from the West Catholic Athletic League and a team that had opened with five straight wins. But Wilcox pitcher Don Brandt nearly threw a no-hitter in a 3-2 win.

Brandt entered the seventh with Wilcox leading 3-0 and had a no-hitter. He struck out the first two batters of that inning and then came within one strike of the no-hitter before a single broke it up. St. Francis then proceeded to score two runs and nearly stole the game before Brandt got a strikeout to end the game.

Mitty of San Jose will be bumping up against Wilcox, Serra and St. Francis throughout the coming months as well. Fasten your seat belts.

Delmon Out Until April -- Camarillo High's preseason state-ranked team figures to struggle for the early weeks of the season since 2002 State Player of the Year Delmon Young won't be playing until April, at the earliest.

Scorpions coach Scott Cline said last week in a story in the Ventura County Star that Young would be held out until he has completely recovered from a severe ankle sprain he suffered while playing in a pick-up basketball game.

Young, one of the best pitchers in the state and the most feared batter, is projected to be one of the first picks in the next amateur free agent baseball draft and Cline said he would not want to endanger any of that by pushing his star player back to the diamond too quickly.

Major Rout -- In the Immanuel Tournament last week, Selma High's team scored 26 runs in the first inning and went on to post a 37-0 victory over Strathmore. The first 23 Selma batters reached base before the Spartans recorded an out. Sophomore Josh Franco retired all 12 batters he faced on strikeouts in the four-inning contest, called by time limit. Freshman catcher Ryan Mulligan drove in six runs in the first inning by reaching on an error and hitting a two-run single and a three-run double. Gabe Cardenas also drove in six runs with three singles, a double and a triple in six at-bats. The 26 runs in the first is third on the reported state list for most runs in an inning. The record is 28 for Mendocino in a 1995 game vs. Round Valley of Covelo.

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