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Meet Patrick Bailey: Why Giants made ‘easy’ and surprise decision with first-round catcher

in Sports

The hometown hero was on the board. As was the top high-school pitcher for an organization lacking in top-end pitching talent. Nearly ready-made college pitchers, too, were still dangling, legitimate options to step into a taxi squad as soon as this (abbreviated) season.

The Giants made “a pretty easy decision,” Farhan Zaidi said, by passing over all of the above, going with yet another catcher for an organization that has one star catcher and another on the rise.

This is where the pitchforks rise, the mobs calling for Turlock’s Tyler Soderstrom, for young Oregon flamethrower Mick Abel, for Oklahoma’s Cade Cavalli. Let the Giants explain why NC State catcher Patrick Bailey is not causing much second-guessing within the organization.

“Simply put, he was in a spot on our board where — we’re in the business of best available player,” amateur scouting director Michael Holmes said in a Zoom news conference Wednesday night, a successful first venture into the new normal. “It was just too good of a talent for us not to be in play on. Everybody that we sent in to see him — despite the fact it was a shorter season — every guy that came out of there felt really good about his ability, both on the offensive and defensive side. And we really think we got a guy that can impact the game on both sides of the baseball. Guys like that, you can never have too many of them in the system.”

Continue Reading on KNBR

San Francisco Giants, father-son duo from Turlock enter MLB Draft with a chance at history

in Sports

Twenty seven years after the San Francisco Giants selected Turlock, Calif. native Steve Soderstrom with the sixth overall pick in the MLB Draft, another Turlock product is expected to be in the mix when the team is on the clock in Wednesday’s first round.

Soderstrom, who appeared in three games for the Giants during the 1996 season, can vouch for the 18-year-old catching prospect’s talents.

It’s his son, Tyler.

Only nine father-son duos have been taken in the first round of the MLB Draft and none were chosen by the same team. With the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Giants and the Soderstrom family can make history.

“It would be super special,” Tyler said. “It’s been my dream to play in the major leagues since I found out my dad played professional baseball. My dad is my mentor.”

Continue Reading on Mercury News

Pitman’s Lilly Freitas makes history, wins back-to-back state medals

in Sports

Lilly Freitas (150) of Pitman High is a two-time, back-to-back CIF State Champion after she closed out another undefeated season for the Pride this past weekend from Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield where she won out the bracket with five straight pins.

“It felt amazing… at first it was like wow; I really just did that. I am really competitive, but right after the first state title and second I couldn't believe it, and once I realized it, and went in and hugged my mom and coach and celebrated,” said Freitas.

Last year Freitas made history by becoming the first Pride state champion ever, and this year she did it again, by becoming the first ever back-to-back and two-time state champion.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Activist, gold medalist Tommie Smith to speak at Stanislaus State on Friday

in Sports

Tommie Smith said he still thinks about his “silent gesture” during the 1968 Olympics every day.

After Smith won the gold medal in the 200-meter dash and Team USA teammate John Carlos won the bronze, the two raised their fists during the award ceremony with the purpose of calling attention to racial disparity, especially toward African Americans in the United States.

“I am the 1968 Olympics,” Smith said.

Continue Reading on Modesto Bee

Pitman and Turlock High boys soccer teams tie in a thrilling CCAL matchup

in Sports

Wednesday’s Central California Athletic League boys soccer game between rivals Pitman and Turlock had it all.

There were spectacular goals, plenty of yellow cards, and both teams carrying momentum with leads.

Who the top team in the league is will have to wait another day as the Bulldogs and Pride tied, 2-2, at Pitman High School.

Continue Reading on Modesto Bee

Notebook: Local wrestlers do well at Doc B tourney; MJC sophomore named All-American

in Sports

Oakdale sophomore Michael Torres finished second in the 106-pound division at the 2020 Doc Buchanan Invitational on Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

The tournament is “one of the toughest in the country” according to FloWrestling.

Torres fell to Buchanan junior Raymond Lopez in the finals. Buchanan finished first as a team.

Pitman’s Kendall La Rosa (fifth), Juan Mora (fifth), Izzy Tubera (sixth), and Oakdale sophomore Ceasar Garza (eighth) also placed.

All five local wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 in their divisions by CalWrestler. Pitman is No. 11 in team rankings.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Turlock’s Johnson earns football honor; Modesto Christian boys open league play

in Sports

Turlock High’s Everett Johnson was named Lineman of the Year by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Thirteen Stanislaus District football players were among those named to the first team or honorable mention by a committee of high school coaches representing the north and south regions — as well as small, medium and large schools — that make up the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Last month, Johnson signed a national letter of intent to play for the University of California.

The 6-foot-7, 312-pound Johnson will graduate Turlock and enroll at Cal on Jan. 16.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Lopez: How did I do with my preseason predictions? Well, not too bad

in Sports

Only one more night of high school football remains in the Stanislaus District as both Escalon and Ripon vie for CIF State titles on Saturday.

It has been another exciting year filled with games going down to the wire and unexpected breakout players.

Before Saturday, I thought I’d take a look at my preseason predictions, which were published on Aug. 22, the day before the start of the season.

I made predictions for each of the leagues in the Stanislaus District and correctly picked six of the eight winners.

Continue Reading on Modesto Bee

Tyler Soderstrom hopes to build on strong summer

in Sports

Learning the game from his father and watching his brother go through the recruiting and draft processes have helped Soderstrom as he prepares for the next step in his baseball career. Soderstrom, a senior at Turlock High School in California, will have to decide between embarking on a professional career this summer or attending UCLA in the fall.

California prep catcher Tyler Soderstrom wasn’t active on the high school baseball showcase circuit until this summer. He played in his home state of California in previous years but knew the summer after his junior year of high school was critical for exposure.

His approach to the high school summers was by design. Growing up in a baseball family, Soderstrom was familiar with the MLB draft process and knew what events were important to improving his draft stock.

He excelled this summer to make him a well-known prospect for the 2020 MLB draft.

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MJC sneaks past American River to set up NorCal showdown with San Mateo

in Local Roundup/Sports

When Modesto Junior College freshman running back Payton Bass (Pitman) struggled for playing time early in the season, he didn’t pout and instead worked harder in practice and asked questions, coach Rusty Stivers said.

“I know I am a good player but it was hard (adjusting to college football) at first,” Bass said.

Against American River in a CCCAA NorCal semifinal on Saturday night at MJC, Bass had a career-high 94 rushing yards and two touchdowns as the Pirates beat the Beavers, 35-28.

MJC (9-2) advanced to the NorCal championship game, where it will travel to face the College of San Mateo — a 21-0 winner over Fresno City College — at noon next Saturday. The winner will advance to the state title game against the Southern California champ on Dec. 14 in Bakersfield.

“Tonight was for my team and for the sophomores,” Bass said. “We had to work and it wasn’t an easy fight.”

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

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