Sadon’s velocity and command are exceptional in the local league, but the College Prep hitters have seen his quality of stuff all season and were prepared for it. Add to that the worst playing field the Cubs have seen all season, complete with uncut outfield grass, gopher holes and an infield that made every ground ball an adventure and there was little South Fork could do to show how they had earned their way into the tournament.
Head coach Andy Olsen said, "I told the kids I was proud of them. This was a big step in the right direction and a great experience. We learned how high the bar is set and we know what we have to do to come back next year."
Olsen is also proud of being one of only two public schools in the division to make it into the tournament and one of only four in the entire section. To illustrate the David and Goliath-like scenario, College Prep students pay more than $35,000 a year to attend the prestigious private school. South Fork’s baseball team, managing on minimal public support and the backs of a generous rural community can hold their heads high to have earned a place at such an exclusive level.
The Cubs got on the board in the top of the first when lead off man Troy Langley singled, stole second base, and went to third on a Joey Wittlake ground out. Sadon knocked him in on an infield hit and the Cubs found themselves on top 1-0.
"They started a lefty who was no better than the lefty that Hoopa has," said Olsen, pleased that it looked like his hitters would have some success. But the bottom of the inning foretold the outcome as two Cub errors helped College Prep set the table for a three-run inning. The Cougars got two more in the second and seven in the third to put the game out of reach.
Sadon had 4 strikeouts, walked 2 and hit 2 batters. The only other Cub hits came from senior right fielder Matthias Nicklin and junior third baseman Nate Miller.
"Hokeem battled well. He had to throw a lot of pitches he didn’t have to in our league when he could rely on his fastball," said Olsen. "Every player in their line-up could hit."
The Cubs will say goodbye to three graduating seniors as Sadon, Conner Ferguson and Nicklin finished their high school careers in the game.
"Those are big shoes to fill, but we’ll be coming back with 11 returners who will be the building blocks for our future success," Olsen said.
The post-season experience and exposure to the level of talent that exists elsewhere in Division Five can only be a positive for those returners.
South Fork 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 4
College Prep 3 2 7 0 x 12 12 1
Sadon was named Maxpreps player of the year for South Fork. He finished the season with a 1.18 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 53-1/3 innings pitched. He also led the offense, batting .526 and leading all other players in hits, runs scored, RBIs and extra-base hits. He was second in stolen bases and walks.
Sadon will be attending Sonoma State University this fall where he plans to red-shirt on the baseball team his freshman year, working his way into the collegiate level of play he has dreamed of his whole life.