South Fork High School’s baseball team wrapped up its 2012 regular season with a second double-header sweep of the Ferndale Wildcats, winning 3-1 and 13-3 in Miranda on Thursday. The team will be in the post season for the first time since 1996.
The Cubs’ 16-6 overall record (6-6 in league, second place) earns them the No. 9 seed in the North Coast Section’s postseason championship tournament and they are on the road today in the opening round against No. 8 seed College Prep High School (11-7) in Oakland. College Prep’s slightly higher seed reflects their tougher strength of schedule, including a regular season split against No. 1 seed Valley Christian.
Ace right-hander senior Hokeem Sadon pitched another 7 innings without giving up an earned run, but Ferndale scored on an error in the first inning and managed to hold the Cubs scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. As he has done all season Sadon also came through on offense, driving a ball to left center that bounced off the top of the fence for a triple. Junior third baseman Nate Miller drove him in on the next at-bat to tie the game.
The Cubs got some insurance in the next inning as Sadon knocked in sophomore center fielder Joey Wittlake and freshman catcher knocked in senior shortstop Conner Ferguson.
Sadon struck out 12, walked 3 and hit a batter as he gave up five hits and threw 102 pitches. Sadon has recorded a phenomenal 77 K’s in 49-1/3 innings pitched with a 0.14 ERA.
Ferndale 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 R-1 H-5 E-0
South Fork 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 R-3 H-6 E-2
Junior righty Sean Stock took the mound in the nightcap and shaky defense allowed Ferndale to put three unearned runs on the board in the first inning. Down 3-2 in the 3rd the Cubs exploded for 9 runs to put the game out of reach and then Matt Preciado got the walk-off RBI in the bottom of the 5th, taking a bases loaded walk to make the score 13-3.
Moody had a hit and 3 RBIs. Sadon, Wittlake and Miller each added a pair of RBIs and Ferguson got three knocks as the Cubs racked up 13 total hits.
Stock pitched a solid four innings, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks and fanning 2 batters. Freshman Troy Langley was perfect in one inning of relief with a strikeout.
Ferndale 3 0 0 0 0 R-3 H-2 E-4
South Fork 1 1 9 1 1 R-13 H-13 E-2
Speaking of the two come-from-behind wins over Ferndale, head coach Andy Olsen said, "It took us a while to adjust to the slower pitching coming off of St. Bernard’s the week before, but we broke out in game two and found it. It’s probably good preparation (for NCS) that we had the experience of battling back."
In scouting NCS opponent College Prep, Olsen will look for them to be "a fundamentally sound, middle-of-the-road small private school baseball team. They emphasize academics and have a lot of kids go to Ivy League schools." They don’t appear to have any flame-throwing pro prospects, as do a couple other teams in the tournament.
They play on a field at the North Oakland Sports Complex. Olsen says it’s a hard rough field of the type his squad is used to. The team departed at 8 o’clock this morning and planned to stop and take some batting practice in the Santa Rosa area to break up the journey and stay loose for the game.
With only one day to practice before the game, the team squeezed in a little of everything yesterday. Sadon will be on the mound and the lineup will look the same as it has most of the season. As he has said all season, Olsen feels with Sadon the mound, "We always have a chance to win."
If the Cubs win today they will face No. 1 seed Valley Christian in Dublin on Friday.
1. Hokeem Sadon strokes a triple to start a game-tying rally against Ferndale last Thursday.
2. Troy Langley was perfect in relief as the Cubs beat Ferndale last Thursday.