Falcons make history

  • The team that won the High Desert League championship with a flawless 9-0—unbeaten—league record.

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    The team that won the High Desert League championship with a flawless 9-0—unbeaten—league record.

  • Stephen Downs waits his turn to bat. [Michelle Penner photo]

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    Stephen Downs waits his turn to bat. [Michelle Penner photo]

By Coach Jerry Quick

The Frazier Mountain High School varsity baseball team has made history. Their Tuesday, May 7 win over Rosamond made the High Desert League title theirs this week, with a 9-0 league record.

They clinched an historic win against Bishop last week, a team the Falcons have never vanquished —until now.

On Tuesday, April 30 the Falcons traveled to Desert High School located on Edwards Air Force Base. The team got off to a sluggish start, and the Scorpions stung them with four runs in the second inning.

The Falcons came alive in response, scoring two runs in the second inning and six in the fourth, to take command of the game at 9-4. They broke things wide open with an eight-run 6th to end the contest in six innings on the league’s ten-run rule, 17-5.

Robbie Stowell had four hits with three RBIs. Josh Regan pitched a solid six innings, striking out seven Desert hitters while collecting two hits.

Andrew Penner had two hits, including a bases-clearing 3-run double. Casey Holcomb added two hits and two RBIs. Alex Oman had two hits and two RBIs. Thomas Nierhoff and Stephen Downs each had a hit and an RBI.

On Friday, May 3 the Falcons took the five-hour bus ride to Bishop to try to break a sixteen year drought. The Falcons have not won at Bishop in varsity baseball since entering the High Desert League in 1997-98.

Once again the Falcons found themselves trailing early, as the Broncos scored one in the 2nd, three in the 3rd, and then added a single run in the 5th, leaving the Falcons trailing 5-1 entering the sixth.
Josh Regan led off the sixth with a double to left center field. He scored on a single by Penner, who then took third on a throwing error, and scored on a bounce out by Casey Holcomb, making the score 5-3 at the end of the sixth.

In the seventh inning, Alex Oman led off, and was safe on an error by the Broncos’ first baseman.
Stephen Downs followed with a single to right, putting runners at first and second with no outs. After a failed sacrifice bunt attempt, and a pop out to the pitcher, Josh Regan came through with an RBI single to pull the Falcons to within one run, 5-4.

Andrew Penner came up with runners at first and second with two outs, and lined a single to center that was hit too hard to allow pinch-runner Patrick Nierhoff to score from second.

The sacks were full when Casey Holcomb came to bat and the Falcons were again down to their final out. The senior outfielder hit a fly ball that landed just out of the grasp of three converging Bronco fielders as two Falcon runners crossed the plate to take the lead 6-5.

Stowell was up next. He was hit by a pitch, re-loading the bases. Noticing that the Bishop pitcher was pitching out of a wind-up, Coach Dan Penner made a bold call to send his son Andrew on an attempted steal of home. The move shocked and surprised the Broncos as Penner slid in just ahead of the tag to add an important insurance run, 7-5.

The Broncos got a lead-off single in the bottom of the 7th, but after a fly out to right       fielder Kent Holcomb (who did a great job of shielding his eyes from the sun), the next batter popped up in front of the plate.

Penner appeared to have it, but dropped the ball off his chest protector. The runner at first did not run, thinking the ball would be caught, so Penner fired to second to record the out. In the meantime the batter, who also thought the ball was caught, was walking back to the dugout. Josh Regan threw to first to complete the double play and the Falcons had their first-ever win at Bishop.

With the win against Rosamond on Tuesday, May 7 as we go to press, the Falcons have now won the High Desert League title outright and are heading into playoffs.

This is part of the May 10, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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