65 SPORTS AUGUST 2017 ATHLETE OF THE MONTH IS TUESDAY EPPERSON FROM LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL GIRL'S VARSITY GOLF TEAM
Lincoln exploded with 5 runs in the first inning to jump way ahead of Center in Pioneer Valley League play Tuesday afternoon at Lincoln high school.
Anthony Herrera goes 4 scoreless innings before Center scored two on a single and a sacrifice fly in the fifth making it 6-2.
Zack Lowe would come in to pitch for Lincoln in the 6th inning with a 1,2,3 inning.
David Kosh entered in the 7th inning for the Zebras and closed it out, also going 1,2,3 and making the final play himself on a liner back to the mound.
Eli Garcia takes the win completing all 7 innings giving up two runs on a two-run homer. Lincoln stays undefeated at 9-0 in league. 15-4 overall.
When you meet Matt Contreras for the first time you find a quiet young man who seems to be in his own thought. What you don't realize is that inside he has the drive to give his all and to do more for his teammates than he would for himself.
Matt was often found out in right field for the Zebras varsity baseball team, but often came in to pitch in tough spots for Lincoln, winning 3 games.
During the season Coach Jon O'Connor praised Contreras, "Matt is the ultimate gamer. He is always there for you and he consistently comes up big for us in many ways that you don't always see on the stat sheet."
Matt is one of the guys on a team that you don't hear a lot from, sometimes you forget he is there, but you would know if he wasn't because the team would be missing a huge piece.
Although Matt didn't have the highest batting average with a.250, he was extremely patient earning 16walks, putting him third on the team as well as the fourth best on base percentage .446.
Contreras had one of the highlight plays of the year as he took a fly ball in the Sac Joaquin section championship game and the runner at third tagged up to head home. The throw home was a strike and ended the rally by the Hillmen in the fifth inning of the game. Without that throw Placer would have been within shooting distance and ready to take control.
"I was surprised that kid would run on me," said Contreras after the game. "That throw was what I was waiting for all season and that's the first one I've gotten."
Contreras was recognized by his team coaches and even the league garnering the teams Charlie Hustle award and the Golden Glove. He was also an Honorable Mention in the Pioneer Valley Athletic league All-League honors.
Matt was very humble in his individual awards recognizing the team as a whole and what they accomplished together. "It is amazing to be able to take (the section championships) home and be able to think about it every day forever." Contreras is reflecting. "But it was all of them. They all worked so hard for this. We did this together and that I will never forget"
Contreras is plans on becoming a fireman in the future, so this was his last baseball run. His coach Jon O'Conner when talking about Matt at the team banquet held on their baseball field spoke of how, "although Matt is going on to be a fireman, he clearly has the ability to play at the next level."
Zebras score 5 runs in first inning and never let the lead go as they win the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV Championship. Isaiah Garcia and Robbie Higgins drive in 2 RBI's each. Craig Schmich came through with the win on 2 2/3 innings and 5 strike outs. A bullet throw from Matt Cantreras to the plate to throw out the runner and end the top of the fifth inning. Miles Coffee would come in to close out the game for the Zebras.
Mackenzie Simpson was the first Lincoln Zebra's girl swimming section qualifier. We sat down with her at her home in a 65 Sports first feature interview.
Retrieved From Lincoln Beacon http://lincolnbeacon.com/lady-zebras-finish-season-tied-for-second
By Jeremy McDonald
Entering the final game of the regular season yesterday, just one game separated second place Lincoln and third place Placer in the Pioneer Valley League varsity softball standings.
The Hillmen played spoiler twice though as they not only beat Lincoln 6-0, but did so on senior day on Lincoln’s home field. The win by Placer means both team’s finished tied for second in the PVL.
“They started hitting,” said Lincoln head coach Donna Tofft. “We have to definitely get better with that in the playoffs because every team is good. That we’re still young up here (mentally) and we need that experience.”
Placer took a quick 1-0 lead following an RBI double by Kaelin Amerin that drove home Kiara McGinnis home who was hit by a pitch in the previous at-bat.
Starting pitcher Lexie Sheiring settled in following the double by striking out four and allowing only two hits in the next 14 batters she faced.
“We started strong and did good throughout the whole game,” said Sheiring. “We had to get back and get them.”
Then the Lady Hillmen’s bats came to life in the fifth though.
Following a walk to Amerin, Emily Geil reached on a single. A double steal then set up a two-run single by Amber Budmark that gave Placer a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth.
“They just hit the ball,” said Sheiring. “They just got some hits and they scored.”
The Hillmen would add three more in the sixth inning as the Zebras struggled to drive runs in, only mustering a Matty Cunningham single in the fifth and a Lexie Smith single in the sixth as they were kept off the board.
“Main thing is our hitting for sure,” said Sami Wyatt. “We are in a slump right now and we need to get out of it.”
Lincoln will find out where they will be seeded Thursday evening as they’ll either be placed in Division-III or Division-IV (depending on where the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section selection committee decides to put them).
Tofft said the next few days will be focused on one thing with their hitting — confidence.
“We’re going to hit with confidence over the next three or four days,” said Tofft. “We’re going to get our swagger back, ‘get up here and hit the ball’. See ball. Hit ball. It’s a simple game.”
But she is optimistic about her squad however. “I love to see us, say eight, nine (seed) and sneak up on people.”
Retrieved from Lincoln Beacon. http://lincolnbeacon.com/zebras-end-regular-season-with-win-over-vca
By Rob LeRoy
Senior night started the festivities at Lincoln High School’s baseball field yesterday with the Zebras thanking their seniors at their last home game for their distinguished careers.
Graduating this year are Austin Grande, Craig Schmich, Isaiah Garcia, Jordan Stone, Matthew Contreras, Miles Coffee and Sam Russell.
When the Zebras took the field they faced an extremely well-coached Valley Christian Academy of Roseville, but eventually pulled out a 3-2 win.
The Zebras would start fast as Sam Russell led off the game with a single followed by an RBI double by Isaiah Garcia. Jordan Erickson would score Garcia on the next at bat with a single of his own putting the Zebras up 2-0.
In the third, Isaiah Garcia led off with a single and soon after reached second base on a steal. He moved over to third on an error by the catcher then scored on a sacrifice fly by Erickson to extend the lead to 3-0.
Craig Schmich pitched a solid game for the Zebras going four scoreless innings and ended his home high school career in the fifth inning on a peculiar note by hitting the last batter he faced, VCA’s Casey Demello.
Coach Jon O’Connor wasted no time after the errant pitch and immediately walked to the mound to make a pitching change. But as Schmich left the mound, player after player displayed their appreciation for him. The Zebra bench even came out of the dugout and showed immense respect for their senior pitcher.
Coach O’Connor jokingly thought of Schmich’s last pitch, “That’s great, that doesn’t even surprise me one little bit.”
After Zack Lowe struck out the next batter he walked Alex Hennagin putting runners at first and second with one out. A passed ball moved runners to second and third and a walk to Corey Cater loaded the bases. B.J. Marshall promptly stroked a single that scored both Demello and Hennagin making it a close 3-2 ball game. Lowe settled in though and halted the Lions push by forcing a pop up to second base, then striking out Grant Woodside to get out of the inning.
Matt Contreras came on in the sixth inning and took the Lions out 1-2-3. In the seventh, Miles Coffee faced four batters, one of them was a walk, before ending the game and picking up the save for Lincoln.
After the game The Beacon caught up with Craig Schmich who talked about the reception he received as he walked off the mound, on his home field, for the final time. “It felt really good knowing that my team (supported me), even if I did good or I did bad, they were always there.” About this last pitch, a knuckleball, Schmich said, “I started the season with one, and since I had one more pitch, I figured I would finish with one.”
About his coming in with the game on the line, Miles Coffee said, “I was just trying to come in and pump fastballs into the strike zone, mix up my speeds really well and keep them off balance.”
Lincoln next heads into the Sac Joaquin Section playoffs. The announcement of where they are seeded and who there are playing is expected Friday.
The Beacon witnessed an telling exchange between Valley Christian Coach Brad Gunter and Lincoln’s Isaiah Garcia after the game. “Is it true you did not strike out even once this year?” Gunter asked. To which Garcia confirmed that he had not.
Retrieved From the Lincoln Beacon
By Jeremy McDonald
The year of firsts continue for Lincoln High swimming as two of their female relay teams qualified for the CIF- Sac Joaquin Section races in Lodi.
“It’s really good to be recognized throughout Placer County and Northern California, just to represent our school,” said Samantha Withworth.
Withworth added how impressed she was on how the program has come along in it’s first three years to get the opportunity to compete in sections.
The 200 medley relay team qualified with a time of 2:03.88, with the required qualification time being 2:08.00. The 200 free relay team qualified with a time of 1:51:79 with the required time to qualify in that event 2:06.00.
Sophomore swimming phenom Mackenzie Simpson helped both teams to qualify for sections, but will be only competing in the junior varsity 100 yard breaststroke come sections time, talked about the nerves with the team competing.
“It’s always nerve racking right before a race,” Simpson said. “But we’ve all swam together so we always pump each other up and keep each other’s heads up.”
Featured in the individual medley, and awaiting Simpson’s replacement, are Withworth, Corrine Linke, and Aunkia Landucci.
In the freestyle, Linke and Landucci will be competeing with Kelsey Prentice.
“(The goal is) to drop as much time as we can,” said Prentice on the team’s aspirations at sections.
The Lincoln swim team will be prepping for their big date in Lodi over the next two weeks with the big event starting Friday May 15th.
By Jeremy McDonald
Lincoln picked up ten honors when the Pioneer Valley League All League selections were released Tuesday.
Receiving All League honors are Miles Coffee, Charles Middleton Jr, Jordan Erickson, Eli Garcia and Craig Schmich.
Matt Contreras, Same Russell and Robbie Higgins all got Honorable Mentions honors.
Leading all but on base percentage, Isaiah Garcia stole the PVL MVP honors and in his first year as head coach Jon O'Connor received Coach of the Year honors.
retrieved from Lincoln Beacon website: http://lincolnbeacon.com/zerbas-too-much-for-el-dorado
By Jeremy McDonald
The Lincoln High School boys volleyball team made “senior night” a special one as they swept visiting El Dorado in three sets, 26-24, 26-24, 25-18.
Aaron Vandeveer, a freshman, was instrumental in the win for the Zebras.
“They’re trying to make us better for next season and they’re helping out a lot,” said Vandeveer on the “passing of the torch” from the seniors to the underclassmen.
Vandeveer and Gunner Michealson got Lincoln off to a 14-8 first set lead, but defensive miscues led to a 7-2 run by El Dorado who cut Lincoln’s lead to one.
With the game tied at twenty four, Matt Moss made a kill after a lengthy play and a Mitchell Holt smash bounced off a defender to give the Zebras the first set, 26-24.
“Just trying to be scrappy to the ball,” said Moss. “Trying to get to the ball and not let it hit the floor. Sometimes it’s just back and forth, kind of ugly ball. But if we can win those, then that’ll help us a lot.”
Lincoln struggled to find their groove in the second set due to Elijah Magat’s play for the Cougars, but the Zebra’s patience paid off. As in the first set, Lincoln’s slowed Magat’s influence on the game which allowed the Zebras to take the second set at the same 26-24.
“We knew Elijah is their big hitter,” said Coach Ken Lowe. “One of the biggest emphases was stopping him this week and we didn’t completely stop him, but we took a little bit out of him and I think that really helped us tonight.”
In the third, Behind Vandeveer and Holt, Lincoln maintained a small lead over El Dorado before pulling away late for the set and match win, 25-18.
“I was going hard because I wanted to win on senior night,” said Michealson. “Everyone that is a senior wanted to win tonight.”
By Jeremy McDonald
The Pioneer Valley League leader in most of the offensive stats has decided to to stay near to home Tuesday.
Isaiah Garcia, has decided to play baseball at California State University-Northridge, a NCAA Division-I school, for baseball.
The Matadors are currently 27-19 overall and 6-12 in conference play in the 2015 season and are playing at Fresno State this afternoon.
More information to come!