Local baseball teams step up to the plate
by Nathan Beck
Feb 18, 2011 | 2784 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Scotts Valley Scotts Valley High baseball coach Buddy Carrigan has built as solid a program as anyone could ask for. The Falcons have won four Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League titles in the past five seasons, and — despite sending off 12 players to graduation in 2010 — he foresees this year’s team continuing the trend.

“Yeah, we lost a lot of good players, but we got a good bunch, too,” Carrigan said. “I don’t like to think of it as rebuilding so much; it’s more like reloading.”

The Falcons won the SCCAL last year with an 11-1 league record — giving up their only loss, 3-1, to a powerful Aptos High team that ended as a Central Coast Section quarterfinalist — and finished 19-9 overall. Scotts Valley fell in the first round of the Central Coast Section playoffs to Hillsdale High School of San Mateo by a run.

“I’ve been coaching baseball around here for 31 years.” Carrigan said “This is a really good group of kids.

“Two great things happened here last year: The Giants won the World Series, and the Falcons won the SCCAL.”

Four-year varsity starter Bret Levy will be catching again as a team captain, along with fellow captains Daniel Bolanos, Trevor Arriola, and Bradley Tolaio.

San Lorenzo Valley SLV fields a smaller team but has a strong core of returning athletes heading into the spring season.

First-year head coach Shane Sutcliffe has only 11 players on his varsity squad, and the junior varsity team has just 10. Sutcliffe has been an assistant coach for 11 years and took over for Ross Parmenter, who handed over the reigns in the fall. SLV finished 2010 12-11 overall and 5-7 in SCCAL play.

“It’s getting tougher to get the kids to come out and play ball,” Sutcliffe said. “The boys we do have are going to be really good. But we can’t afford any injuries, or the JV team might be disbanded.”

The Cougars will boast returning all-league pitcher Tyler Gilbert, who had a team-leading two home runs last year. Also returning will be three-sport star athletes Nick Lipperd (center field) and Rick Alves (second base). Sophomore Billy Mullins has Sutcliffe thinking big, and transfer Scott Patrowsky, a pitcher and utility player, will join the team from the Sacramento area.

“Because of our pitching and infield defense, we will be very competitive in league.” Sutcliffe said. “We are low on numbers but have standouts at almost every position.”

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