Zach Elliott – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Sat, 28 May 2016 01:11:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Seniors rally for a 2-0 win headed into playoffs https://martineztribune.com/2016/05/27/seniors-rally-for-a-2-0-win-headed-into-playoffs/ Sat, 28 May 2016 01:11:54 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=4337 By GABE AGURCIA Special to the Tribune Alhambra baseball ended the regular season on a high note, defeating Las Lomas on Senior Night, May 19, with a 2-0 shutout. Runs were at a premium, and not many rallies were strung together by either team. The Knights came out strong, putting runners at first and third …

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Alhambra outfielder Gavin Duncan takes a swing in the Bulldogs’ 2-0 win over Las Lomas on May 19, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra outfielder Gavin Duncan takes a swing in the Bulldogs’ 2-0 win over Las Lomas on May 19, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
By GABE AGURCIA
Special to the Tribune

Alhambra baseball ended the regular season on a high note, defeating Las Lomas on Senior Night, May 19, with a 2-0 shutout.

Runs were at a premium, and not many rallies were strung together by either team.

The Knights came out strong, putting runners at first and third with one out, via an error, stolen base and a single. Starter Brett Sterrer was able to work around it to get through a clean first inning.

The Bulldogs got their first runner in scoring position in the second, when Jordyn Eglite got to first due to an error and Gavin Duncan grounded out to move him over. But Eglite wasn’t driven in.

Shortstop Zach Elliott produced a defensive highlight in the third inning to give the game some life.

Elliott fielded a sharply hit grounder to the right of second base. He slipped just as he snagged the ball, and with the runner more than halfway down the line, he had to pop up nearly with his back turned to first base. He planted his left foot, pivoted slightly, and threw at a peripheral angle, whipping his right arm across his body. Even with the extra process, Elliott still nailed the runner by almost a full step with a strong throw, and the crowd roared with amazement.

The WebGem from the senior shortstop may have jolted his team, as the offense started clicking in the bottom of the third.

Senior Jacob Armosino led off with a double. Elliott followed, laying down what appeared to be a sac bunt, but he beat it out for a base hit. Senior Matt Beck was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a strikeout for the first out, senior Josh Abraham lined a two-run double to right-center, giving Alhambra a 2-0 lead.

The Bulldogs once again loaded the bases in the fourth inning with a Duncan single, Elliott walked and Beck infield single. Unfortunately, they couldn’t cash in this opportunity, and it remained a two run game.
Sterrer continued his solid performance in the fifth inning. Two of the three outs came via the strikeout, the second an inning-ending curve ball that froze Las Lomas’ Max Kulsuptrakul.

The Knight offense made its best comeback attempt in the sixth inning, forcing Sterrer to keep his poise one last time.

Jack McCallum drew a lead-off walk and Connor Fragen beat out an infield single. Adam Evans advanced both runners with a groundout, putting the tying runs in scoring position with just one out. But Sterrer remained undeterred, inducing two fly outs to maintain a clean scoreboard, virtually sealing the game for the Bulldogs.

“He pounded the zone. He got ahead of most of the batters. Got ahead, stayed ahead. And he had minimal walks. As far as the jam (in the sixth inning), it was nice to see him keep his composure. He had a very strong performance today,” Coach Daryl King said of Sterrer.

It was an all-senior rally that got Alhambra its only runs of the game. A perfectly fitting outcome for the graduating group. “They went out there and had a lot of fun, played together, and were very energetic the entire time,” said King.

“They lead by example. That’s what I’ll miss the most, the leadership. They always bring a positive attitude to practices and games. And when some of the younger guys need a pep or a kick, they’re there to do it.”

King had a strong sense of optimism following the game. He noted that Elliott’s good at-bats are starting to produce base hits and runs, which will make a formidable top of the lineup with Beck, Peters and Abraham all swinging the bat well.

The Bulldogs now await their playoff seeding and scheduling.

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Alhambra handcuffed again by Dons’ Candau https://martineztribune.com/2016/05/20/alhambra-handcuffed-again-by-dons-candau/ Fri, 20 May 2016 08:01:49 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=4221 By GABE AGURCIA Special to the Tribune Alhambra baseball was narrowly defeated by Acalanes in Lafayette on Friday, May 17, by a score of 3-1. The game was offensively uneventful for the first three innings. The Bulldogs looked like they’d strike quickly when Matt Beck and Tyler Peters started the first inning with back-to-back walks. …

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Alhambra shortstop Zach Elliott tags Acalanes’ Tommy Henderson in the Bulldogs’ 3-1 loss on May 17, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra shortstop Zach Elliott tags Acalanes’ Tommy Henderson in the Bulldogs’ 3-1 loss on May 17, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GABE AGURCIA
Special to the Tribune

Alhambra baseball was narrowly defeated by Acalanes in Lafayette on Friday, May 17, by a score of 3-1.

The game was offensively uneventful for the first three innings.

The Bulldogs looked like they’d strike quickly when Matt Beck and Tyler Peters started the first inning with back-to-back walks. However, Jordyn Eglite grounded into a double play, and Beck was stranded at third base.

Jake Berry singled and stole second with two outs in the bottom of the first, but he was stranded as well.

Zach Elliott led off the third with a single and Dominic Pruett laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him to second. A two-out single by Peters left runners at first and third, but Alhambra couldn’t knock in a run.

After the Bulldogs left another runner in scoring position in the top of the fourth, the Dons broke through in the bottom half.

Berry got his second base hit, this one a double, to lead off. Cole Gifford misplayed a Tommy Henderson chopper, leaving runners at first and second with no outs. Daniel Kim singled to right-center, initially driving in Berry. But Beck whiffed on the ball and it rolled to the warning track, allowing Henderson to come around from first and Kim to get to third. Gavin Shipp added another run with a RBI single down the third base line. Acalanes led 3-0 at the end of the fourth.

Alhambra mounted an immediate response in the top of the fifth inning.

Elliott reached on a dropped third strike to kick off the rally. Pruett grounded out, getting Elliott to second base. Beck was hit by a pitch, followed by a Peters single, loading the bases with one out. Josh Abraham put together a great at-bat, drawing a walk to drive in Elliott. But the offense stalled yet again, and the Bulldogs could only get the one run.

Acalanes starter Josh Candau held Alhambra in check for the second time this season, giving up only one earned run over five innings. Coach Daryl King didn’t think his offense was dominated, but instead acknowledged the efficiency of Candau. “It was hittable, it wasn’t anything special. But he did his job, threw strikes and got outs,” he said.

Although runs were hard to come by, King was happy to see certain guys have production come their way. “Zach Elliott came through with two nice singles on the left side, in the six hole. That’s something that I knows he’s needed. He’s been working hard. He’s been in a little slump lately, but those two hits will get somebody going.”

With just one game left before the playoffs, Alhambra needs to get its offense clicking to back up solid outings from Gifford and the rest of the staff.

“It’s about cleaning up the mental side. Going up there knowing you can do it, even when it’s bad. That’s the difference between lower and higher level hitters. A higher level hitter is someone whose confidence never falters. You see it in Division 1 and the Big Leagues. Those guys can come out 0-17 to start the season, but they know they’re gonna go 1-18 the next time out. And that one is all it takes to get it going. Same thing with our guys. You need one to get it going. Hitting is contagious. I always have confidence in the guys.”

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Alhambra baseball comeback not enough in 7-6 loss to Miramonte https://martineztribune.com/2016/05/06/alhambra-baseball-comeback-not-enough-in-7-6-loss-to-miramonte/ Fri, 06 May 2016 16:45:56 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=4079 By GABE AGURCIA Special to the Tribune Alhambra baseball lost a close one to Miramonte in Orinda on Tuesday, May 3, by a score of 7-6. The Bulldogs jumped on starter James Vaccaro immediately. With Tyler Peters and Matt Beck on second and third, respectively, Jordyn Eglite ripped a two-out double to right-center, putting Alhambra …

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By GABE AGURCIA
Special to the Tribune

Alhambra baseball lost a close one to Miramonte in Orinda on Tuesday, May 3, by a score of 7-6.

The Bulldogs jumped on starter James Vaccaro immediately. With Tyler Peters and Matt Beck on second and third, respectively, Jordyn Eglite ripped a two-out double to right-center, putting Alhambra up 2-0.

But the Matadors were unperturbed by the quick attack, responding in the bottom of the first inning.

Second baseman Trent Greene booted a grounder by lead-off man Zach Wong, who proceeded to steal second. Starter Cole Gifford walked Casey McGonigle, then got a force out at third base. After Miramonte loaded the bases Gifford got his first strikeout, but the Matadors got two singles, the second of which was a high chopper that skipped under shortstop Zach Elliott’s glove. The rally resulted in a 3-2 lead for Miramonte after the opening frame.

Alhambra threatened again in the second. Gifford drew a one-out walk, which was followed by consecutive singles from Tom Peon Del Valle and Greene. Unfortunately they couldn’t capitalize, leaving the scoreboard untouched.

Wong led off with a double in the second inning, moving to third base on McGonigle’s ground out. In a wacky turn of events, Wong tried to steal home. Gifford’s pitch short hopped catcher Josh Abraham, who knocked it down and grabbed it just in time to tag Wong out. Wong had lowered his shoulder into Abraham, sparking an uproar from the Bulldog dugout. Wong even trotted back to third, possibly thinking the ball had been foul tipped, but he was ruled out.

Gifford got his second strikeout to end the inning.

Alhambra drew even in the fourth. Brandon Muroka walked and stole second. Gavin Duncan pinch ran for him. Greene drew a walk, then Wong whiffed on a grounder at shortstop, allowing Duncan to sprint home and Greene to take third. The score was tied 3-3.

But just as they had in the first inning, the Matadors reciprocated. Gifford walked the bases loaded with no outs, prompting Coach Daryl King to pull him in favor of Brett Sterrer.

The first batter he faced lined one off his glove. The lead runner, Will McConnell, scored as the ball rolled away on the deflection.

Sterrer got the force out at second, but Elijah Hodges was able to come home simultaneously.

Just as it seemed Sterrer had gotten through the jam, Garrett Johnson stroked a two-out, RBI double to deep left, driving in Wong.

Miramonte took back the lead, 6-3.

The Bulldogs started their comeback attempt in the fifth inning.

Abraham led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch.

Eglite singled up the middle to put runner at first and third with no outs. Eglite advanced to second on Elliott’s ground out, although Abraham could not. However, Duncan picked him up, lining a ball off Vaccaro’s foot, giving Abraham time to score. Alhambra cut the deficit to 6-4.

After a 1-2-3 top half, Wong catalyzed the bottom of the sixth inning. He singled and stole second with two outs, then proceeded to score on a single to right, putting Miramonte ahead by three runs again.

Just as seemed Alhambra was defeated, the Bulldogs put together an exciting rally.

Tyler Peters stepped in to lead off the top of the seventh inning.

He absolutely smoked a line drive over the center fielder.

Miramonte’s field is connected to a second field, the other home plate mirroring the main one a cool 471 feet away. Peters’ liner bounced all the way to the opposite backstop. Peters never broke stride, diving head first and contorting around McConnell who had made his way a couple feet up the third base line to field the relay throw. Peters swiped the back of the plate just before McConnell swung around to tag him, causing the Bulldog dugout to erupt and even the Miramonte fans to cheer with excitement.

Eglite continued his productive offensive day, crushing a out-out triple to left center. Elliott’s sac fly drove him in, but Alhambra could only bring the tying run to the plate, grounding out to end the game.

King appreciated his team’s resiliency but pointed out the self-inflicted harm as reason for defeat. “We just came out and made some mental errors. Those killed us. Gave us too much to overcome.”

Although Gifford had a sub-par outing, for his standards, King was pleased with his starter. King thought he was “a little flat” and “didn’t have his best stuff,” but acknowledged that he’s been great all season and still competed despite the slight struggles.

“Sometimes as an athlete you just don’t have it. That’s natural.”

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Campo hands Bulldogs first DFAL loss, 8-2 https://martineztribune.com/2016/04/22/campo-hands-bulldogs-first-dfal-loss-8-2/ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 15:00:41 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=3952 By GABE AGURCIA Special to the Tribune Alhambra baseball was defeated at home by Campolindo on Tuesday, April 19 by a score of 8-2. The final deficit was sizable, but it was close for most of the game. Campolindo put pressure on starter Cole Gifford right away, with second baseman Drew Ventrelle getting a one-out …

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By GABE AGURCIA
Special to the Tribune

Alhambra baseball was defeated at home by Campolindo on Tuesday, April 19 by a score of 8-2. The final deficit was sizable, but it was close for most of the game.

Campolindo put pressure on starter Cole Gifford right away, with second baseman Drew Ventrelle getting a one-out single, stealing second base, and reaching third on a ground out by UC Berkeley-bound Max Flower. Gifford was able to induce a dribbling come-backer to end the threat.

Second baseman Trent Greene immediately got on in the bottom half of the inning, jumping on the first Cole Farrand pitch for a single up the middle. But after two quick outs, Greene was thrown out trying to steal second to end the first inning.

The Cougars attacked Gifford again in the second. Third baseman Jonathan Chu hit a one-out single then stole second. Nicky Fafoutis singled after him, leaving runners at first and third with one out. After Gifford recorded his first strikeout, outfielder Ryan Rossi came through with a two-out, two-run single.

The Bulldogs made a quick counterattack in the bottom of the second. Catcher Josh Abraham drew a full count lead-off walk and first baseman Jordyn Eglite followed with a flare to right-center. Shortstop Zach Elliott made solid contact but hit it right at the opposing shortstop, who was able to start the 6-4-3 double play, leaving Abraham at third base.

Left fielder Brandon Muroka picked up Elliott, lining a single to left to bring home Abraham. Alhambra cut Campolindo’s lead to 2-1.

Ventrelle led off the top of the third inning with the same sequence of events from the 1st inning, singling and stealing second. The University of Chicago commit advanced to third on a fly out to right, but Gifford struck out Jack Cassidy and got Sam Dinerman to groundout to squeak out of trouble.

Gifford once again channeled his inner Houdini in the fourth inning, getting out of another jam which seemed destined to result in more Cougar runs.

Chu belted a lead-off triple to deep left-center, the ball maintaining so much speed that center fielder Daymon Blalock had to make a full speed slide to cut it off and prevent an inside-the-park home run. But Gifford kept his composure once again, stranding Chu at third with two ground outs and a strikeout.

The Bulldogs had a great chance to tie or take the lead in the bottom half of the fourth inning.

Designated hitter Tyler Peters led off with a single, and Eglite got his second base hit with one out, putting runners at first and second. Elliott drew a walk to load the bases, giving Muroka another RBI opportunity.

He one-hopped a sharp grounder to Chu at third, who initiated the 5-4-3 double play, which Muroka nearly prevented by hustling down the line. However, Alhambra got nothing out of deal.

The two teams traded runs in the fifth inning. Cassidy drove in Ventrelle for Campolindo and Greene brought in Blalock for Alhambra, leaving the Cougars with a 3-2 advantage.

Then things got ugly in the sixth inning.

Spencer Schulhauser took over on the mound, striking out the first batter he faced. But Campolindo swiftly flipped the script on the relief pitcher.

Fafoutis and Devin Regan got a single and walk, respectively, setting up Rossi for an RBI double. Ryan McNally drove in Regan from third with a single, followed by Ventrelle’s third single which scored Rossi. And with runners at first and second with two outs, Utah-bound Myles Harris lined one off of Greene’s glove, the ball deflecting into shallow right field. With McNally and Ventrelle both breaking on contact, both runners came around to score before Greene could toss the ball home.

When it was all said and done, the Cougars had knocked around Schulhauser for five runs, ballooning their lead to 8-2.

Alhambra went down in order in the last two innings, seemingly deflated by that crooked number in the sixth inning.

Head coach Daryl King was very matter-of-fact after the game. “We just got beat. We just got out hit. Sometimes that’s the way it is. It happens.”

He was happy with his pitching, saying “I love the way he (Gifford) battled. It took him a little bit to get going, he gets in tough counts, but I know he’s gonna pull through. And Cameron Machado came in, threw very well that last inning. Shut them down.”

Overall, the Bulldogs played well. They were resilient through five innings. Mishaps like the sixth inning don’t happen frequently.

Alhambra will look to bounce back against Acalanes at home on Thursday, April 21 at 4 p.m.

Game results for Thursday’s game are after Tribune deadline. For coverage from the game against Acalanes on April 21, please check the April 29 edition of the Tribune.

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Dogs win 6-1 in tournament opener https://martineztribune.com/2016/04/08/dogs-win-6-1-in-tournament-opener/ Fri, 08 Apr 2016 16:56:14 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=3815 By GERARDO RECINOS Martinez Tribune Alhambra’s baseball team was able to exercise some demons on Saturday night in the opener of the Bulldog Classic. They pounded out 11 hits in the 6-1 win over John Swett-Crockett while getting five innings of solid work on the mound from junior Brett Sterrer. For a minute it looked …

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By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

Alhambra’s baseball team was able to exercise some demons on Saturday night in the opener of the Bulldog Classic.

They pounded out 11 hits in the 6-1 win over John Swett-Crockett while getting five innings of solid work on the mound from junior Brett Sterrer.

For a minute it looked like the game would get started off on a bad note after Swett scored on a pair of singles. But Sterrer stranded a runner in scoring position.

Alhambra evened things up in the bottom of the second inning when sophomore Cole Gifford doubled in senior Zach Elliott, who doubled himself earlier in the inning.

Sterrer was only backed into a corner once in the ball game in the top of the third inning. But he bore down and struck out the next hitter on four pitches for the most important of his six strikeouts on the evening.

Junior Nick Rodriguez flew out on the very next pitch for the Swett Warriors to end the threat.

After a threat with runners in scoring position fizzled out for Alhambra in the third inning, they came back after a shutdown inning where Sterrer only threw nine pitches to reward his efforts.

Sophomore Brandon Muroka doubled deep over the center fielder’s head in what likely would’ve been a home run if there were fences.

His at bat was followed with a double by Gifford for his second RBI on the night. Keeping the double train going, senior Tyler Peters laced a bomb that would’ve left the yard in most parks in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League.

Up 3-1, the Bulldogs were riding the backs of a pitching staff that has been stellar up to this point, ecstatic that their hitting at home seems to be coming around.

Sophomore Trent Greene sparked another rally in the bottom of the fifth inning, after another shut down inning by Sterrer before he would depart from the game in favor of fellow junior Spencer Schulhauser.

Greene scored on a double steal that eventually saw Elliott, who swiped second in the double steal, score on an error by the right fielder off the bat of Muroka.

The sophomore was driven in by the man of the moment at the dish, the first baseman Gifford, who made the most of his first start.

Schulhauser bridged the gap between the starter and de-facto closer of the ball game Cameron Machado with four big strikeouts in his 1 1/3 innings of work.

Machado closed out the ball game with a pair of strikeouts of his own against the top of the order to make it six straight punch outs to end the ball game.

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Bulldogs advance to tourney final https://martineztribune.com/2016/04/08/bulldogs-advance-to-tourney-final/ Fri, 08 Apr 2016 16:46:06 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=3809 By GERARDO RECINOS Martinez Tribune If you’ve ever shown up to a game late, you know the frustration of hearing the star shortstop has gone 3-for-3 with two home runs and a double, all after a benches clearing brawl. But if you show up to an Alhambra baseball game late, you might just be doing …

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Alhambra catcher Josh Abraham dives for home plate after a wild pitch to make the tag at home plate in the Bulldogs’ 6-1 win over the El Cerrito Gauchos on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra catcher Josh Abraham dives for home plate after a wild pitch to make the tag at home plate in the Bulldogs’ 6-1 win over the El Cerrito Gauchos on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

If you’ve ever shown up to a game late, you know the frustration of hearing the star shortstop has gone 3-for-3 with two home runs and a double, all after a benches clearing brawl.

But if you show up to an Alhambra baseball game late, you might just be doing it the right way.

In their 6-1 win over El Cerrito in the semi-finals of the Bulldog Easter Tournament, the Alhambra lineup was held without a hit for 4 2/3 innings before waking up and slugging out five hits in just two innings.

What was even worse is that before the bats finally woke up, the Bulldogs were trailing the Gauchos from El Cerrito.

Sophomore right hander Cole Gifford was tagged with a run in the second inning after the Gauchos turned a hit batter into a run scored.

Senior Marco McMullen singled in sophomore Henry Degnan, who stole second to get himself into scoring position.

Minus that blip in the second inning, Gifford continued to show why he has earned the trust to start such a big game.

The sophomore was poised on the mound, and attacked the strike zone consistently. He threw 21 first-pitch strikes to the 25 hitters he faced, and struck out eight in his six innings of work.

Gifford also only allowed a single hit (the RBI single to McMullen) and only allowed five total base runners to reach via hit, walk, or hit by a pitch.

Still, going into the fifth inning, he was trailing.

Sophomore Brandon Muroka reached base on an error to lead off the fifth inning, but with two outs his chances of scoring looked dismal.

A big error by the El Cerrito shortstop let the Bulldogs off the hook, as his air-mailed throw allowed the runner to score.

With the game tied, it seemed as if a sigh of relief was collectively let out from the dugout, and the boys could finally get to work.

Any stragglers (c’mon who shows up to a game an hour and 20 minutes late?) caught all the action. Senior Josh Abraham got the first hit of the game for the Gauchos, but even then it came with some help from the Knowles Field lights, which appeared to have played a part in the El Cerrito center fielder allowing the ball to soar over hit head.

Two runs scored, and Abraham put himself right into scoring position. Next up at the plate Zach Elliott traded places with his fellow senior to drive in a run on the game’s second hit.

With a 4-1 lead, Gifford came out in his final inning of work and threw only 11 pitches to allow the Bulldog bats to get back to work.

Struggling junior Jordyn Eglite laid down a slump buster bunt single to get himself going in the right direction, and was moved over and a single from Muroka.

A walk by Trent Greene set up a bases loaded opportunity for Matt Beck, and the senior singled the fifth pitch he saw to drive in two insurance runs. That allowed the Bulldogs to relieve Gifford of his duties with a win certain at that point.

Spencer Schulhauser finished the final frame despite getting into a bit of trouble, he struck out two and set up a date between the Bulldogs and Pittsburg Pirates in the final of the tournament on Friday, ,April 8 at 7 p.m. at Knowles Field.

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Alhambra breaks out of hitting slump in win at Benicia https://martineztribune.com/2016/04/01/alhambra-breaks-out-of-hitting-slump-in-win-at-benicia/ Fri, 01 Apr 2016 16:40:23 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=3736 By GERARDO RECINOS Martinez Tribune Somewhere between the locker room, the dug out, or the bus, the Alhambra boys baseball team found their hitting shoes and broke out of a small home stand slump. The Bulldogs boys pounded out eight hits (only one more than their total in their three games at Knowles Field this …

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Alhambra’s Brett Sterrer threw three innings of shutout relief in the Bulldogs’ 8-4 win over the Benicia High School Panthers on Saturday, March 26, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra’s Brett Sterrer threw three innings of shutout relief in the Bulldogs’ 8-4 win over the Benicia High School Panthers on Saturday, March 26, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

Somewhere between the locker room, the dug out, or the bus, the Alhambra boys baseball team found their hitting shoes and broke out of a small home stand slump.

The Bulldogs boys pounded out eight hits (only one more than their total in their three games at Knowles Field this season) and eight runs in a homecoming win for Benicia alumnus coach Daryl King.

The 8-4 win not only came at the right time, as league play looms, but saw multiple players across the Bulldog lineup contribute in big ways.

Tyler Peters started the game, but didn’t make it past the third inning. Peters was snapping some nasty breaking balls off, but was withdrawn with an apparent injury. It’s unclear as to whether the decision to remove him from the game was precautionary or more worrying.

But before Peters was pulled, the boys behind him managed to send him off with a chance to get a win.

Matt Beck reached base via an error in the top of the third inning. Beck was moved to third on a nice piece of opposite field hitting from fellow senior Josh Abraham who doubled down the right field line.

After Jordyn Eglite drew a walk, Zach Elliott singled off of starter Anthony Lopez to tag the pitcher with is first earned run of the season.

The Bulldogs would get one more run in the third when Dominic Pruett grounded into a double play.

Peters got the team back to the plate with a 13-pitch shutdown inning to keep the momentum going.

Gavin Duncan sparked yet another rally after hustling out an infield single with a diving slide to the base to beat the throw.

Duncan was moved over by senior Jacob Armosino who laid down a perfect bunt down the firs base line. Peters’ sacrifice fly drove in Duncan.

With two outs, the Bulldogs’ Beck was hit by a pitch and came around to score after stealing a base. Abraham singled in Beck, and was then driven in himself on a booming double off the wall by Eglite.

The Panthers scratched across a run off Peters in the bottom of the fourth inning before the SF State bound senior was removed in favor of reliever Brett Sterrer.

Sterrer cashed in one of Peters’ base runners, but got out of the inning on a come backer to the mound.

Sterrer was excellent throughout his appearance, not allowing more than a pair of walks.

Eglite drove in another run int he top half of the sixth inning on a ground out, and then sophomore Trent Greene did as well on a blooped single.

The Bulldogs would score twice more in the inning, with the eighth and final run coming on a hard-hit single up the middle by junior pinch hitter Matt Peon del Valle.

Alhambra’s Spencer Schulhauser and Cameron Machado closed out the game, with Machado getting out of a jam to get the game’s final out.

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Bulldogs walk off in DFAL opener win over Mats https://martineztribune.com/2016/04/01/bulldogs-walk-off-in-dfal-opener-win-over-mats/ Fri, 01 Apr 2016 16:28:01 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=3727 By GERARDO RECINOS Martinez Tribune It’s tough to say that in a game that ended more than three hours after the first pitch was thrown, the most defining moment happened about an hour and 40 minutes earlier. But down 2-0, with a pair of runners in scoring position, a bunted ball was thrown into the …

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Alhambra senior Zach Elliott slides past the Miramonte catcher to score the winning run in the Bulldogs’ 3-2 win in 13 innings in the league opener on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Elliott was driven in on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Trent Greene. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra senior Zach Elliott slides past the Miramonte catcher to score the winning run in the Bulldogs’ 3-2 win in 13 innings in the league opener on Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Elliott was driven in on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Trent Greene. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

It’s tough to say that in a game that ended more than three hours after the first pitch was thrown, the most defining moment happened about an hour and 40 minutes earlier.

But down 2-0, with a pair of runners in scoring position, a bunted ball was thrown into the back of the base runner. In that moment the Miramonte runner would’ve taken the bruise for the run. After the umpire ruled interference, he wouldn’t have taken it for $20.

That call allowed Alhambra to eventually win the game 3-2 on a walk off sacrifice fly by sophomore Trent Greene, but that was six innings later.

“So far this year he’s been up and down, and we’ve been telling him to keep working,” King said of Greene. “His approach the plate is much more confident.”

In the seventh inning the Bulldogs rallied around their pitcher, Jordyn Eglite, and made sure they wouldn’t make him the victim of another scoreless loss for a Bulldog pitcher.

It would have been unfair for Eglite to have been handed the loss, he threw five frames of lights out ball. He struck out six, and only one of the five base runners he allowed scored.

The only hit of the day for Miramonte off Eglite was an RBI double in the second inning off the bat of Daniel Huston.

To his credit, Miramonte’s Tim Tague was even better. He was perfect his first time through the lineup, and had only allowed a single hit before the bottom of the seventh inning.

The second hit he allowed (an opposite field single to Josh Abraham) knocked him out of the game.

Reliever Zach Wong couldn’t get out of the jam though.

Greene singled in the first run on a single back up the middle, and then Tyler Peters came to hit.

Peters, who was injured in the game against Benicia, was up there feeling well enough to swing, but even if he couldn’t get the bat around, his presence at the plate did the job. Wong skipped his third pitch in the dirt allowing Abraham to score.

When asked after the game if Peters was actually allowed to swing the bat at the plate, King said, “he had the green light. He felt good enough to swing.”

With Cole Gifford adding to his pedigree out of the bullpen with five innings of shutout work, King handed the ball to the guy the call “Big Baby.”

Brett Sterrer threw three innings at the weekend against Benicia in relief of the injured Peters, but was even more lights out on Wednesday, retiring all nine hitters he faced in order.

His performance on the mound allowed the Bulldogs to mount a pair of rallies that were killed off agonizingly with a strike out in the 11th, and a ground out in the 12th.

But in the 13th, the Bulldogs capitalized.

In baseball there is a saying. “After the error comes the hit.”

Senior Zach Elliott didn’t set the world on fire on Wednesday, but when it came down to it, he put the bat on the ball and made the defense make a play.

When they didn’t he made them pay. Matt Beck bunted Elliott over, and Abraham moved him over to third on a fielder’s choice.

Wong tried to cut down Beck at third but the throw to third was too late to get Beck.

The Matadors elected not to pitch to Eglite in the 13th, even though the first baseman was 0-for-5 with a strike out. They elected to pitch to Greene.

The sophomore infielder was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and an RBI at that point.

After a day of waiting a long time for a finish, Greene didn’t waste time. The second pitch was deep enough to score Elliott and end the game.

“Our hitters knew, especially late in the game, they knew they had to step up, because out pitchers had been doing their jobs,” King said. “They rallied together and the guys went out there and scrapped one out. They knew what time it was, Division III opponent. That’s a key game.

“They just stuck with it. They started out a little flat, then they woke up,” he said.

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Bulldogs shutdown by California-Whittier to end home stand https://martineztribune.com/2016/03/25/bulldogs-shutdown-by-california-whittier-to-end-home-stand/ Fri, 25 Mar 2016 22:12:58 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=3703 By GERARDO RECINOS Martinez Tribune The Bulldog baseball team got the tables turned on them on Tuesday afternoon, as they dropped a 1-0 game to California-Whittier. Less than a week after walking off, and being able to live with the fact that the hitting has been sparse at home so far this season, the Bulldogs …

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By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

The Bulldog baseball team got the tables turned on them on Tuesday afternoon, as they dropped a 1-0 game to California-Whittier.

Less than a week after walking off, and being able to live with the fact that the hitting has been sparse at home so far this season, the Bulldogs need help.

They had four hits on the game, but none of them came with a runner on base, let alone in scoring position. After a lead off error allowed Tyler Peters to reach two pitches into the ball game, he was erased after a failed bunt and run attempt.

Seniors Zach Elliott and Josh Abraham had the other two hits.

Agonizingly enough, Abraham’s hit came in the bottom of the first as well. Had Peters not been caught stealing, he could’ve moon-walked home on Abraham’s slicing double down the right-field line.

And once again the tough luck loser would be junior pitcher Jordyn Eglite. Once again victimized by a lack of help from his offense, the tall righty only allowed a single hit in his five plus innings of work.

Eglite struck out seven and his only base runners before the single in the top of the sixth that knocked him out of the game were a pair of walks and a pair of hit batters.

It looks as if the Bulldogs need a re-tooling. The experiment hitting Peters in the lead off spot seems to have gone flat. The first baseman had three at bats on Tuesday, and all three came with no runners on base. The same player who drove in a team-leading 20 RBIs last season hasn’t had much of a chance to do damage so far this season. And neither have most of his teammates so far.

Only Abraham is hitting at a consistent clip from the three-hole in the lineup. He however was forced to hit with two outs three times on the afternoon.

The visitors from Southern California have run riot so far in their Spring Break trip up North. They’ve played three games in four days and won all three. Their final game of their trip was a game against Diablo Foothill Athletic League foes Campolindo, which was played after Tribune deadline.

You’ll forgive the Condors if they can’t finish the road trip at 4-0, especially in their third game in consecutive days.

They didn’t knock the cover off the ball to beat the Bulldogs, in fact they only managed a single hit. However that hit came around to score.

Sophomore reliever Cole Gifford’s first hitter laid down a routine bunt, but fellow sophomore Trent Greene failed to cover the bag. Rather than hold on to the ball Gifford tried to lead Greene to the base with the throw. The result: the ball rolled down the right-field line and allowed the lead runner to score.

Gifford settled down following the error, only allowing a single hit in his two innings of work out of the pen, but he too was the victim of a slumping offense.

The Bulldogs will hope that getting away from Knowles Field can solve their woes at the plate on March 26 in a make up game against Benicia on the road.

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Bishop O’Dowd outlasts Alhambra in NCS playoff https://martineztribune.com/2015/11/21/bishop-odowd-outlasts-alhambra-in-ncs-playoff/ Sun, 22 Nov 2015 02:19:14 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=2494 Alhambra’s varsity football team left the field at Bishop O’Dowd exactly 364 days after their playoff loss last year with the same result, a second-round loss. That game however could not have been more different than the gritty 17-14 loss the Bulldogs suffered at the hands of the Dragons on blustery Saturday afternoon in Oakland. …

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Alhambra senior Matt Beck lowers his shoulder and spins off the tackler to score from 39 yards out in the first quarter of the Bulldogs' 17-14 loss to Bishop O'Dowd-Oakland on Nov. 21, 2015. Beck's touchdown was brought back due to a penalty. (GERARDO RECINOS / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra senior Matt Beck lowers his shoulder and spins off the tackler to score from 39 yards out in the first quarter of the Bulldogs’ 17-14 loss to Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland on Nov. 21, 2015. Beck’s touchdown was brought back due to a penalty. (GERARDO RECINOS / Martinez Tribune)

Alhambra’s varsity football team left the field at Bishop O’Dowd exactly 364 days after their playoff loss last year with the same result, a second-round loss.

That game however could not have been more different than the gritty 17-14 loss the Bulldogs suffered at the hands of the Dragons on blustery Saturday afternoon in Oakland.

And moreover, this second straight appearance in the North Coast Section playoffs marks the first time Alhambra has made consecutive cameos in the playoffs since Coach Alan Hern took over the program in 2010.

“The program is on the rise, and they (the seniors) were a part of that,” Hern said after the game, highlighting the time and work the players put in.

For their part, Bishop O’Dowd made the adjustments they needed to make to come out on top. Their first three drives on offense were unimpressive, and they could only muster three yards. But thanks to a 32-yard punt return by sophomore Jevon Holland, they had the ball inside the Bulldog 5-yard line, and were able to come away with an all too crucial field goal from put through by Sean Senn.

On the previous drive Hern elected to try a fake punt, and while he was bailed out on an interception by senior safety Damon Blalock, the Bulldogs were pinned deep.

Every time Nicki Rucki came onto the field to punt, she was doing so in the shadow of her own end zone.

Alhambra answered back on a drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock and spanned 65 yards. The drive was capped off by Jonathan McCart’s 1-yard touchdown. Matt Beck had scored from 39 yards out earlier in the drive, but his touchdown run was brought back due to a personal foul penalty that happened behind the play.

In a game that featured very little firepower in the passing game, it was the running backs and the offensive lineman that shone on Saturday. And none shone brighter than the freshman sensation Austin Jones. The first-year back piled up the yards and added to his already stellar season in which he has run for more than 1,000 yards.

Alhambra got a heavy dose of Jones early on when O’Dowd Head Coach Napoleon Kauffman elected to start pocket-passer Joe Deluca under center over running threat Nick Allen.

Allen entered the game late on, however it was unclear as to whether Deluca was withdrawn due to performance or the slight limp he was wearing.

At the half, Alhambra had only complied 58 yards on offense, and were clearly determined to take it up a notch.

They got a big take away on defense when senior Josh Ramirez picked off Allen’s pass in the end zone to set Alhambra up with a shot at the lead.

“Our defense played great,” said Hern. “They gave us a chance to get the win.”

Neither team could convert on third quarter takeaways, so that the quarter ended the same way the half did, at 10-7 in favor of O’Dowd.

Quarterback Zach Elliott scored after Alhambra took advantage of a mental mistake by the Dragons’ special teams unit that was flagged for fair catch interference. It took only four plays to go 32 yards, and Alhambra was ahead.

On the ensuing defensive series, Jeremy Abraham made a big sack and the momentum started to shift, but the Alhambra offense continued to sputter and fade.

“Their corners were physical and we had trouble getting off our coverage, and that limited our outside receivers,” Hern said. The Bulldogs missed senior captain Josh Abraham, which affected the match ups the Bulldogs liked going into the game.

Allen scored from nine yards out, so that, with 3:25 left, Alhambra had one last shot.

That shot went so poorly there was no way for Alhambra to recover. Elliott was nearly picked off on his first pass attempt, and the Bulldogs were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play after that. Another incomplete pass set up fourth down, where Elliott was sacked, and Alhambra’s season was put to rest.

The Bulldogs finished the season at 7-5 overall.

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