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WEEKLY ATHLETICS RECAP

Baseball enters Regional on roll; Golf wins Big 8 crown

BASEBALL

The No. 10 seeded Chabot College baseball team doesn't need to look too far back to see the formula needed for success against host No. 7 Laney in the CCCAA Regional Playoffs. 

The Gladiators (23-13) put the pieces together in a big way in their Coast-Golden Gate Conference finale – an 18-6 demolition of conference champion Mission on April 28, and again in a 21-4 win over Canada on April 29. 

Chabot and Laney (26-10) will open their best-of-three series at 2 p.m. on Friday at Laney, and will play again at 11 a.m. on Saturday. If needed, a third game would follow. 

Laney had a 20-4 record en route to a Bay Valley Conference title. 

"They're really good," Chabot coach Steve Friend said of Laney. "They won a lot of games in their conference. They can hit. They can pitch, and they've got great team speed. It will be extremely intense. It'll be some hard-fought baseball." 

He added that the key will be which team controls its pulse when things get a bit chaotic. 

Chabot has showed its mettle down the stretch, winning nine of its last 11 games after a rough stretch of four straight losses. 

"We play in an extremely difficult conference, so every game is a battle," Friend said. "You can play really, really well and lose. Unfortunately, we had a stretch where we weren't playing really well. We didn't put it together, but the kids kept grinding it out and they believed in themselves." 

Friend said they made some adjustments along the way, but Chabot's toughness made the biggest difference. 

"That's the key, right?" Friend said. "It's a cruel game we play. You can do everything right and not have success. They dealt with it. That's something we talked about since day one – about responding. How do you respond.' 

Friend nominated hot-hitting sophomore Michael Echavia for NorCal Player of the Week. 

After a 5-1 loss to Mission last week, Echavia said he was "seeing the ball real well at the plate. I focus on being on time with the pitch and put a good swing on every pitch I can." 

Echavia, a right fielder, crushed a grand slam in the top of the eighth inning to round out the scoring in the 18-6 win. He was 2 for 3 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Against Canada, he was 4 for 5 with four RBIs and three runs scored.  

Steven Nice had a blockbuster game against Canada with three home runs, including a grand slam, and eight RBIs. Craig Woolson and Dan Burschinger also hit home runs. 

GOLF 

The Chabot men's golf team put the final touches on a Big 8 Conference championship with a third-place finish at the conference's fifth major tournament at Yolo Fliers on Monday. 

Chabot had a five-player score of 371, paced by Daniel Robertson's 70. Folsom Lake took first place with a 361. Zack Bailey fired a 74, and Sean Talmadge shot a 75. Matt Baiardi and Ryan Ortega had 76s. 

With impressive skill and balance, the Gladiators wound up with 1,908 total strokes overall, six fewer than runner-up Folsom Lake. Reedley was third at 1,917, and Santa Rosa was fourth at 1,947.

 

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