Prep Preview: King vs. Ramona

I’m covering the Riverside King-Riverside Ramona varsity baseball game tonight, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, for The Press-Enterprise, pe.com & @PEcom_preps. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Cal Baptist University.

The best part of this assignment is it’s the championship game of the inaugural Austin Gorrell Classic.

kingLOGO2THE LOW DOWN:
Riverside King edged Corona Centennial, 3-2, in the opener, then defeated Riverside Poly, 4-2, to advance to the tournament’s title game. The Wolves were 16-11 overall last season, but failed to qualify for the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. Coach Ken Scott has a large group of talented position players, not least among them are junior OF Dylan Orick (a UC Riverside commit) and junior catcher Rory Smith, a CBU commit who’ll be playing on his future home field tonight.

RamonaLOGORiverside Ramona defeated Perris Citrus Hill, 7-3, and Corona, 7-3, to get to the final. The Rams went 21-7 overall last season, qualifying for the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs before losing in the first round. Coach Clint Ball’s team is led by senior SS Daniel Martinez, who hit .351 in 27 games last season. Martinez is committed to UC Riverside, but will likely have pro scouts all swarming around most of the year.

THE KEY PLAYERS:
Riverside King
— INF Matthew Alvarado (Jr., 5-foot-7, 150 pounds); LHP/INF Chad Bindl (Sr., 5-8, 165); OF Trevor Cadd (Soph., 6-2, 180); C Connor Franco (Jr., 5-9, 145); RHP/C Sante Grossi (Jr., 5-10, 155); RHP Cameron Heinrich (Jr., 5-9, 140); LHP Cade Kirkemo (Sr., 5-9, 180); OF Jeremiah McCray (Sr., 5-10, 150); LHP Ryan Moore (Sr., 5-8, 140); OF Dylan Orick (Jr., 6-2, 180); INF Tanner Rochlin (Jr., 5-9, 190); 1B Chance Sanderson (Sr., 5-11, 220); INF Gavin Shiflett (Soph., 5-4, 130); C/1B Rory Smith (Jr., 5-10, 175); INF Brett Sweeney (Jr., 5-8, 150); RHP/INF Kevin West (Sr., 6-2, 160)

Riverside Ramona — 3B/RHP Rigo Cano (Sr., 5-foot-10, 215 pounds); 2B Joseph Chavez (Sr., 59, 145); 3B/RHP Paije Dabbs (Sr., 6-2, 205); 1B Aaron Diaz (Sr., 6-3, 225); SS Daniel Martinez (Sr., 6-foot, 175); LHP Jesse Nava (Sr., 6-foot, 165); LHP Avery Ruehle (Sr., 5-10, 155); RHP Raul Rodriguez (Sr., 6-foot, 145); LHP Tylor Schilling (Sr., 5-10, 160)

THE DIFFERENCE:
Riverside King’s lineup is deep. And pitching will be thin with both teams having already played two games apiece.

THE FINAL SCORE:
Riverside King 6, Riverside Ramona 4

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