By Jeremy McDonald
In their first season playing in the Capital Valley Conference after moving over from the Sierra Foothill League, the Roseville Tigers (16-11, 11-3 CVC) were awarded the number one seed in the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-II bracket.
"My reaction to us being awarded the number one seeding is that it's flattering, but at the end of the day it's just a number." said head coach Lance Fischer. "It doesn't matter what number they give you, you still have to go out and play really good baseball to make a run at this thing.
"This is the point of the year where every team is good, motivated and hungry to get the job done so we have to compete our tails off to get where we want to be and accomplish what we what to accomplish."
As most teams in the bracket have the next few days off to recover for preparations of the "third season", the plan to fill the time is to reflect and improve.
"This time off may be beneficial as well in that it will give our arms a little time to recover a bit," said Fischer. "It will allow us some time to kind of look back on our season and take note of where we were deficient and really take some time to work on those aspects, as well as revisit and/or add in some things."
During this time, the Tigers will be playing some intrasquad competitions to try to simulate "game speed" the best they can.
The strengths for Roseville that they'll turn to are pitching and defense that helps out set up their offense.
"Our starting pitching has really kept us in games this season," said Fischer. "Our defense has done an exceptional job this year as well."
On the mound; Devin Orr and Nick Espino compensate starters Adam Erickson, Andrew Hansen and Andres Lara perfectly to get the play going and are expecting to continue their dominance into the playoffs.
The defense behind the pitcher have been outstanding for the Tigers entering the playoffs, helping Roseville permit only 2.8 runs a game in CVC-play.
"Jordan Woods and Justin Robbins have done an outstanding job at third for us," said Fischer. "Our shortstop Devin Orr just seems to make every tough play look easy and our center fielder Brad James may be the best defensive outfielder I've ever coached.
"Our catcher Chad Alves has worked his tail off and become a much, much better receiving and blocking catcher along with putting a very good offensive season together. John Kidder, or left fielder has done a stellar job defensively and is a tough out at the plate having only struck out one time all season."
Offensively, Fischer points to his team being contagious with the bats once they get rolling; regardless where it starts in the lineup
Brad James has eight stolen bases and has six extra base hits that includes one homerun, Orr leads the team with 31 hits, in doubles with eight. and has drove in 14 RBIs for the Tigers.
But the overall plan entering baseball's next season is simple said Fischer: ' play clean baseball, we can be a very tough team to beat'
They await the winner of Monday's Laguna Creek/American Cayon game and will play at American River College at 7pm.