Folsom competitive at Cosumnes Oaks Tournament

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Folsom dropped three of four games at the Cosumnes Oaks Tournament over spring break, but coach Gilbert Brewer saw some good things and is excited for Delta River League play, which starts this week. The Bulldogs, 4-7 on the season, started the tournament with a 3-2 win over Burbank before losing three straight games to Christian Brothers, 13-5, Merced, 10-4 and Laguna Creek, 2-1. Brewer was pleased with the offensive production and with the team’s starting pitching, but the defense was a downer, as the Bulldogs committed 11 errors in the four games, including five against Merced. Folsom competed hard and was in the games against Christian Brothers and Merced, but allowed five runs in the last two innings against both teams that broke the games open. “We competed and were in all four games against good teams,” Brewer said. “I thought all four of our starting pitchers did well and we hit the ball well at times, but our defense hurt us. We had five errors against Merced and that will kill you and it did. Our starting pitchers were solid, but the defense didn’t support them. Improving our defense with better decision-making on the base paths and more timely hits and we could have won those games.” Sophomore Craig Stafford went the distance in the win over Burbank, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out eight. Offensively, Folsom trailed 2-0 after the first inning but scored single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings to win the game. Justin Jordan, Matt Maasberg and Sean Rogers drove in runs. “Craig settled in and pitched a great game,” Brewer said. “He had trouble with his breaking ball early, but it started to work for him and he gained some confidence and that allowed him to go the distance. It was a building-block game for him and will help him going forward. “Offensively, we got down early, but we stuck with it and battled. It wasn’t our best game of the season, but after a couple of times through the lineup, we got our timing down against their pitcher and were able to put some pressure on them and score some runs.” Jordan and Rogers had two hits in the loss to Christian Brothers, while Jordan and Ethan Robertson drove in two runs. Rogers and Dominic Bethancourt had two hits in the loss to Merced. Rogers had a strong tournament for the Bulldogs, hitting .545 (6-for-11) with two runs scored and three RBI. “Sean gave us the senior leadership and pitched, caught and played first base and designated hitter for us throughout the tournament,” Brewer said. “If we had an MVP, it was him.” Folsom played a solid game against Laguna Creek with a strong performance from Bethancourt on the mound, but only managed one hit, a single by Jake Brandt, and lost 2-1. “Dominic went the distance and struck out nine did a heck of a job,” Brewer said. “Malik Pruitt is one of the top pitching prospects in the area and Dominic matched him the entire game.” Folsom opens Delta River League play this week against Ponderosa. After playing at Ponderosa on Tuesday, the Bulldogs play host to the Bruins on Thursday and head up to Shingle Springs on Saturday to finish the series. “As a coach you get frustrated with the little things, but I try to keep in mind that we’re such a young team,” Brewer said. “I’m happy with our prospects for the rest of this season and the future. We competed at the tournament and I’m excited about starting our league schedule.”