Cubs (Both Baseball and Softball) Advance to the Championship Games
The South Fork High School Boosters in an article written by Suzanne Van Meter describe the baseball team’s exciting game:
Yogi Berra couldn’t of said it better himself when describing the Saturday afternoon match-up between the South Fork High School Cubs and the Laytonville Warriors. “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
In their second post season contest in as many years, the baseball chemistry between the players on both teams goes back at least a decade when the many of the athletes on both rosters played together in Little League. For these little leaguers, during the regular and tournament seasons alike, ball players were in it together.
Fast forward to the 2017 NCS Division VI playoffs last May. South Fork hosted Laytonville in the first round. Earlier in that pre-season the Cubs handled the Warriors with apparent ease during two contests in Laytonville (11-6 and 4-1) the Cubs seemed poised for a victory to advance past the Warriors to round two. But the Warriors had a very different plan and went on to defeat the Cubs on their home diamond in a stinging upset.
The story continues to March 2018 where, once again, the two rivals faced off in the preseason with the Cubs owning the twin bill in Miranda 3-2 and 10-0.
But we’ve heard it before. “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” And the South Fork squad was up for the challenge to overcome the previous season’s loss in the playoffs.
Senior ace Scott Coffelt got the nod to start the round two game where he enjoyed early success on the mound backed by the solid effort from his defense that never let up. Ahead with points on the board since the first inning, the Cubs chipped away at the Warriors with a run per inning until the fourth when the hitting efforts were matched hit for hit by the steady pitching and strong plays in the infield to keep the Warriors blanked until too late in the game to recover
Hoping for a fresh spark on the mound, coach Jason Walzak replaced starting pitcher Justin Jepson with Michael Rawles midway through the third inning.
With Freshman Cameron Messenger at bat, and two outs recorded the Cubs second baseman capitalized on a pitch and singled to RBI Coffelt to make the score 3-0.
A rally in the fourth inning made the score 5-0 and then South Fork really turned up the pressure in the fifth inning without any intentions of taking their foot off the throttle. Sophomore third baseman Kaydon Pogue caught a popped-up blooper and fired it off to CJ Van Meter at first base to double up the Warriors. Coffelt struck out the next batter and sent the Warriors back on defense in a quick 1-2-3 half inning.
The Cubs kept the bats busy with singles and walked batters putting baserunners in scoring position.
A stolen base by Sophomore Ayden Bignon caused a chain reaction of passed balls which eventually resulted in three quick scores for the Cubs. Once again, the Warriors tried to adjust by making another pitching change and put hurler Liam Maizner on the mound. The fourths run in the inning came when Coffelt, who was intentionally walked in the fourth inning, connected with the first pitch he saw and crushed the ball out of the park with his fourth homer of the year to make the score 9-0.
The Warriors offense finally produced a run in the seventh inning when senior Nathen Luna RBI’d in his teammate but it was too little too late and the Cubs ended the game with a strike out by Coffelt to former SHLL Dodger teammate Gustavo Rosas.
Skipper Corky Coffelt was pleased with his team. “We played outstanding baseball.” He said after the game. “We hit well, pitched well and fielded well. It was a great team effort and I’m proud of all the boys. It was also very nice to have the crowd support.”
For the Cubs, the stats reveal the success of their team effort too. Coffelt’s complete game win produced 9 strike outs and one walk and was punctuated by his 2 for 3 at-bat performance and a homerun. Fellow senior Gabe Malley went 1 for 1; juniors Orin Paula 0-2, Cooper Scott 2 for 5 and led the team with 4 stolen bases, CJ Van Meter 2 for 5, Cody Wyatt 3 for 4; Sophomores Ayden Bignon 1 for 1; Kaydon Pogue 1 for 4; Freshmen Crue Contreras 1 for 3, Graham McConnell 0 for 1 and Cameron Messenger 1 for 2.
The Lady Cubs have also advanced to the championship round. They will play in Geyserville on Tuesday, May 29th at 5:00 p.m. for the title.