Baseball team off to a good start
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 01:02
The Laney Eagles baseball team got off to a fast start in the 2013 season, winning four of their first seven games in non-conference play.
After pulling out a 2-1 home victory against Cabrillo College on Feb. 7, the Eagles seemingly are picking up where they left off in 2012 when they went (28-9, 20-4 Bay Valley Conference) and were BVC champions, their first conference title since 1997.
This quick and impressive start is deemed noteworthy because this is a young team.
With six returning sophomores plus transfer pitcher Jonathan Davis, head coach Francisco Zapata will field a team primarily made up of freshmen.
Zapata knows he has a good group of players, but they have to gain experience; all of that just comes with playing time.
That valuable experience will come fast this year as the schedule gets increasingly tougher over the next couple of weeks. The Eagles have lost their last two games, 5-4 to Monterey Peninsula on Feb. 9, and 11-5 to Santa Rosa Junior College on Feb. 12.
One of the freshmen making a name for himself is Todd Burgos, a left-handed hitting outfielder from Martinez. Through seven games Burgos is batting .478 with three doubles and six RBI.
He is also sporting a .609 slugging percentage with a .519 (OBP (on-base percentage).
Burgos has been a major part of the early success of the team this season, and if the Eagles are to repeat last season’s accomplishments and advance in the state playoffs, then Burgos will have to continue his strong start.
Zapata calls Burgos “a diamond in the rough”—high praise for any player.
Another player who has shown he can be a key contributor this season has been Jacob Schober, a sophomore outfielder from Dublin. Schober usually bats third in the lineup ahead of Burgos . This gives Laney a dynamic one-two punch near the top of the lineup.
Schober is off to a pretty hot start as well, batting .333 through the first seven games with a .458 slugging percentage and .407 OBP. His value will not only be measured by his numbers but also by his experience and knowledge, as he is one of the few second-year players on the team this year.
One of the biggest strengths of this team will be the pitching staff. This is a staff that features two knuckleball pitchers in freshmen Alex Guerrero from San Leandro High School and sophomore Jeff Robertshaw.
The Eagles pitchers are sporting a 2.29 earned-run average and the staff seems to be very deep. Zapata believes his pitchers will be the strength of the team this season.
Women’s basketball team in first place in Bay Valley
Sharlina Gibson scored 21 points to lead the Laney College women’s basketball team to a 61-46 victory over visiting Napa Valley College on Feb. 13 and keep the Eagles in first place in the Bay Valley Conference.
The Eagles (10-1, 13-10) moved into first place in the BVC when Contra Costa College upset Mendocino (10-2, 17-7), 66-62, on Feb. 8, knocking the Eagles from Ukiah a half-game back.
Laney, which lost at home to Mendocino, 49-47, on Jan. 17, has a return engagement in Ukiah on Friday, Feb. 15.
Laney’s last home game is against Los Medanos College on Feb. 20