Prep Preview: Corona at Norco

I’m covering the Corona-Norco varsity baseball game today, Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at Norco High.

First pitch is set for 4 p.m. PT.

CoronaBBLOGOTHE LOW DOWN:
Corona (6-4 overall, 1-1 Big VIII League) are living the post-Tristan Beck era, and the going has already gotten a little rough. The Panthers are struggling, while the flame-throwing pitcher, now blowing away PAC-12 hitters as a freshman at Stanford, still projects as a top Major League Baseball prospect. Younger brother Brendan Beck is a 6-foot-2 junior SS/RHP this year at Corona, now batting .301 in his third varsity season. No team has beaten Corona as consistently as Norco, including twice last season, so the team’s woes may continue.

NorcoLOGONorco (8-2 overall, 1-0 Big VIII League) has won three consecutive games since losing, 3-2, in extra innings to Woodcrest Christian in championship game of the Bryan Hamilton Memorial Tournament at Chino High School back on Saturday, March 12. The Cougars then defeated Eastvale Roosevelt, 5-4, in 11 innings in their Big VIII League opener — their second consecutive extra-inning game — and look to keep momentum going tonight vs. their oldest rival. Since 2005, Norco is 23-6 vs. Corona, winning eight of the last 10 games in the series.

THE PROBABLE STARTING NINEs:
Corona
— SP Nikelle Galatas, Jr. (5-foot-11, 205 pounds); C Anthony Czerwinski, Jr. (5-10, 210); 1B Jayden Kiernan, Soph. (5-9, 210); 2B Eric Gomez, Jr. (5-2, 130); SS Brendan Beck (6-2, 190); 3B Samad Taylor, Sr. (5-9, 150); OFs: Chase Robison, Soph. (5-9, 165); Michael Hobbs, Jr. (6-2, 215); Zach Gillissie, Jr. (6-foot, 190)

Norco — SP Trevor Thompson, Sr. (6-foot-3, 185 pounds); C Dylan Leary, Sr. (5-11, 190); 1B Evan Johnston, Sr. (6-3, 185); 2B Stewart Slessor, Fr. (6-foot, 155); SS Brendan Brooks, Jr. (6-foot, 160); 3B Clayton Owens, Soph. (6-1, 182); OFs: Poncie Arguelles, Sr. (6-2, 175); Corey Treyes, Sr. (5-11, 185); Tyler Covington, Sr. (6-3, 175)

THE DIFFERENCE:
The teams are going in different directions at the moment, with Norco likely the more confident of to two.

THE FINAL SCORE:
Norco 5, Corona 3

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