Baseball: Falcons match up against Monterey in first-round of CCS tournament

May 19, 2009 — by Karthik Annaamalai

Despite having one of the smallest rosters in their baseball league, the Falcons clinched the El Camino League’s division title, a feat they haven’t been able to accomplish since 1994 with a 5-3 home win over the Fremont Firebirds on May 7, though the regular season did not end until May 14. The Falcons used this extra time to prepare for CCS. The last time the Falcons won CCS was in 1994, something this year’s team hopes to change.

“This is the best we have done in a long time,” said senior catcher Casey Farmer, who leads the league with 17 put-outs. “We won league and we have a really good chance of advancing in CCS.”

Though the Falcons only have 13 active players, the team had an overall record of 16-10 and an impressive 12-3 league record. The team’s roster size has been a main concern for head coach Manny Steffen throughout the season because the “average baseball team in the league has at least 16 people on their roster.”

To combat the lack of players, Steffen promoted freshmen outfielder Thomas Ishikawa from JV to varsity halfway through the regular season.

“I was really excited when [the coach] told me I was getting pulled up,” said Ishikawa. “It was awesome playing with the varsity guys.”

Steffen is also bringing up freshmen Roy Bisht, Matt Ishikawa, Kushal Raj, and Eric Wang to help the team during CCS.

In CCS, the Falcons hope they can continue the season’s success. Senior pitcher Christian Bierderman is proud of the team and how far they have come.

“All the guys are really excited to go to CCS because most of them haven’t experienced the thrill of being in CCS,” said Bierderman. “As long as we play hard and make no mental mistakes, I know that we will come out the game victorious.”

The Falcons’ first CCS game is on Thursday, May 21, at Monterey, a team that they lost to by one run in the regular season.

“In our last game against them we just fell apart in the seventh inning,” said Farmer. “We could have easily beaten them but we just didn’t execute. There is a definite chance that we can win this game. Monterey has a lot of fast players but our defense can shut them down.”

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