FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 9, 2014 —
By Austin Miller
River City High School Journalism Class
“It felt amazing. The atmosphere was unbelievable.” said team captain, senior shortstop Alex Dodd. He and his River City High School baseball team had just finished playing a game under the lights of Raley Field, home of the Sacramento River Cats.
Last Thursday, River City played a night game against West Campus High School at Raley Field. Fundraising by both teams gave them the opportunity to play a night game on the professional field, and the experience the field brought to the players was unlike any other.
“So many people cheering you on,” continued Alex, “It gave me chills knowing that all of those people were there to watch River City.”
Kevin Burkes, senior outfielder, also added that “seeing our fans and community all there to show their Raider pride was my favorite part of the game, and also being able to experience the feeling of playing on a big league field.”
The feeling of playing on a professional field, with a crowd of people cheering you on, is unreal. It makes the game that much more exciting and that much more intense. Thursday’s game gave our team a glimpse of the pro-ball atmosphere, and in that one-of-a-kind atmosphere, River City came to play.
For the entirety of the game, the River City pitching staff was in control, allowing their defense to make the routine plays as well as creating some strike-outs of their own. All three pitchers put together a shutout for the team.
Ruben “Chito” Salas started 4 innings for River City. Jake Pridmore made a relief appearance pitching a 3 and two-thirds innings. Lorenzo Pineda closed the game, getting a final out.
With RBI’s from Austin Miller, Eric Beall, and Isac Tacdol, River City came out on top, 3-0. Isac himself also had 3 stolen bases that game, but noted that his favorite part of the game was “winning to get our seniors a ‘hoorah’ in a big game like this one for their last year.” Smart offensive play along with timely hitting allowed River City to earn that win for its seniors.
A special moment for the seniors, however, occurred during the 7th inning. After getting the second out of the inning, Jake Pridmore was met on the mound by the rest of the senior players on the team. As Lorenzo came in from the bullpen to close the game, the seniors walked off the field together to a standing ovation from the crowd.
“It was pretty emotional knowing that all of us seniors will be gone after this year. This is it! It hit me when we went to go take Pridmore off the mound, who pitched a great game by the way,” said Alex.
The game itself was special to the coaching staff as well. Head Coach Alec Smith explained that “It felt amazing [bringing the players to Raley Field]. I am so happy our young men got the chance to experience playing on one of the best fields in all of the state of California, under the lights, with music and a great atmosphere.”
Coach Alec also noted that he hopes the team takes away “the fun part of it [the game].” I want my young men to learn to compete and have fun while executing at a high level.” What this game proves is that River City Baseball can do just that. If the team can continue to play the kind of ball it did tonight, then there are high hopes for the rest of the season.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Raley Field — home of the River Cats minor league baseball team — opens its field up to play for regional high school teams as part of an annual program.
Copyright News-Ledger 2014