Cal Advances to Super Regionals!

Cal has incredible win over Baylor

It was the most dramatic win I have ever seen.  In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Cal’s sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez got a base hit on a 1-2 pitch, scoring two runs to win the game!  After shutting out Baylor the night before, the expectations for Cal were extremely high, everyone knew they should and could win this regional.

Cal had a 1-0 lead in the first inning and it was looking like nothing could stop them, then things unraveled quickly.  Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Baylor was ahead 7-1, but the Golden Bears cut the lead to 7-3 with two runs in the 6th. Then in the 8th Rodriguez’s two run homer cut the score to 7-5.  Baylor padded its 7-5 lead with a run in the top of the ninth.  Cal needed a miracle to win this game.  Starting the bottom of the ninth the score was 8-5.  Cal opened with a base hit, which sparked their incredible comeback.  Freshman Michael Theofanopoulos drove in a run with a ground out for Cal and Tony Renda, Pac-10 Player of the Year cut it to 8-7 with an RBI single. Rodriguez was up with 2 outs, and he needed a base hit!  He could not have been more clutch.  Rodriguez singled in two runs to cap a four run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to give California a victory that sent the Golden Bears to the NCAA super regionals.  The Bears came back from far behind and won the regional in the most amazing way.  There really are no words to describe the end of this game—so watch it for yourself by viewing the clip below!

Cal will play Dallas Baptist at Santa Clara to continue down the road to Omaha.  The games will start at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 11.  They will meet again for Game 2 at 7 p.m. Sunday and a third game will begin at either 1 or 4 p.m. Monday.

This is so exciting because it has been quite a year for the Golden Bear team.  They have been constantly coming back since their program was cut at the beginning of the fall.  After continued support, passion and loyalty the program was reinstated.  Supporters stuck with the team, and wouldn’t take no for an answer—just the like the Bears last night.  The players have endured a difficult year, but have showed tremendous character in their will to never give up hope.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHsvdSPgzdg&feature=share

Warriors Alumni in NCAA Regionals

Three warrior alumni play in NCAA tournament

Bay Area Warrior alum and Cal’s starting third baseman, Mitch Delfino makes his way to the Houston Regional.  Hitting .280, Delfino is tied for the team lead in homeruns while playing stallworth defense. No. 3 seed Cal (31-20) faces No. 2 Baylor (29-26) Friday, June 3 to start off the double elimination tournament.  The Bears, who feature 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year Tony Renda, have had some big wins this year, including defeating Rice in 15 innings earlier in the season. No.1 Rice (41-19) has expected first round draft pick Anthony Rendon. Cal baseball was on the brink of elimination this year, but with overwhelming support from Cal baseball alumni they have been rejuvenated making them extremely determined to take on the regional.

Bay Area alum and USF’s starting Sophomore second baseman, Jason Mahood, was an honorable mention selection in the WCC.  No. 4 seed USF (31-23) plays No. 1 seed UCLA (33-21) in the Los Angeles Regional on Friday at 6:00 pm.  Mahood is hitting .249 and is second on the team for stolen bases and homeruns.  USF has already played UCLA this year in a three game series.  Facing UCLA’s outstanding Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer is challenging, but the Dons are prepared and excited to get to work.  The Dons are in a regional where they have already played two of the three participating teams (UCLA and Fresno State).

Bay Area Alum, Dylan Wheeler heads to the Charlottesville Regional where No. 4 seed Navy (33-23-1) will play No.1 seed Virginia (49-9).  Wheeler, Navy’s starting shortstop, helped his team make an appearance NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.  After securing first place in the Patriot League, Navy faces the Cavaliers, who are playing in their eighth consecutive NCAA tournament.

Ken Morris Supports the FBF

Kenneth Morris, a former Wall Street executive, best known for his financial thrillers, such as The Deadly Thriller and Man in the Middle, has written a new book, Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, co-authored by Frank Bailey and Jeanne Devon. This was the first non-fiction book written by Morris, and was the culmination of a 19-month writing process. I had the pleasure of speaking with Kenneth Morris concerning his new book, his connection to Frank Bailey and Sarah Palin, and his charitable donation of the book proceeds to the First Base Foundation (www.firstbasefoundation.org).

For Morris, the writing of this book was long overdue. Morris had been interested in having a candid interview with Palin, along with other respected media personnel, to try and understand her personal and political motives, and even proposed a $200,000 donation to a charity of her choice as an incentive, but she refused his invitation. A mutual friend mentioned to Morris that Frank Bailey, Palin’s former campaign administrator, was unsuccessfully trying to market a book about his experiences working for Sarah Palin throughout her governmental and vice presidential campaigns, which peaked Morris’ interest. Morris remarks, “I contacted him as a novelist and a writer myself, I thought, well, this might be a project… we got connected and discussed it, and we decided to try and go ahead and put this together, his story, and 19 months later, we had a book.”

Morris describes the format of the book as a memoir, rather than a simple non-fiction book, with a “very clear story and personal arc throughout.”  He stressed that the book focuses on Bailey’s emotional and political journey throughout the experience of working with Palin, and utilizes email correspondence between Bailey and Palin. He claimed, “The beginning of the book and the end of the book deal with hope… In between that is a very amazing, incredible tale which involves intimately the Palin’s, and the massive amount of dishonesty and corruption that went on.” Morris highlights that the overarching message of the book showcases how Bailey, “rediscovered the priorities in his life, which were faith, family, and friends”, and how that rediscovery ultimately lead to this memoir.

With the culmination of the book, Morris was free to fulfill his promise to donate his proceeds to certain charities, one of which was the First Base Foundation, located in Mill Valley, CA. Morris states that his reasons to donate the book proceeds were two-fold: “What better way, sort of, to come full circle than to say hey, you know what, I’m in a position where I don’t need the money, so why not take everything I make on this book and donate it to charities? One way for the world to understand the importance of what I felt the mission was of this book… to say look, I’m not doing this for the money, I’m doing it because I believe it’s really an important message.”

Morris first became involved with the First Base Foundation when his son, Colby, began taking pitching and hitting lessons with Noah Jackson, Co-Founder of the First Base Foundation. Through working and mentoring Colby, Jackson and Morris fostered a close relationship as well.  Jackson states, “Ken Morris is a stalwart contributor to youth athletics, and his decision to support First Base Foundation highlights our dedication to creating positive learning environments for kids, both on and off field, and the support that we contribute to our local community.”

To learn more about Ken Morris and his book, follow this link:
http://financialthrillers.com/index.html

This article was written by Madeleine Lough-Stevens, summer intern for the First Base Foundation.

Warriors alum O'Koyea Dickson playing in D2 National Championship

CARY, North Carolina- Down a run in the bottom of the ninth inning,O’Koyea Dickson smashed a solo home run to tie the game at 6-6, then, in the 11th inning, Alex Todd hit a solid single to right field, scoring Steven Filippi to complete the 7-6 upset over top-ranked Grand Valley State on Sunday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina. The win by the Seawolves (37-20) snaps the Lakers’ (52-4) 32-game win streak.  Story courtesy of Sonoma State

3 Bay Area Warriors alums in NCAA Regionals

Congratulations to Mitch Delfino (UC Berkeley), Dylan Wheeler (Naval Academy) and Jason Mahood (USF).  Who will all be participating in the 2011 NCAA Baseball regionals this upcoming week

Cal will be in the Rice Regional.  USF will be in the UCLA Regional. Navy will be in the Virginia Regional

Warriors take 3rd place in Gladiator Tournament

The 19u Bay Area Warriors started off their season by taking 3rd place in the Gladiator Tournament in Livermore.  The Warriors got a win from Alex Fernandez in game 1, who went 5 strong innings striking out 9 in a 5-0 win. James McReynolds came in to get the save  Keenen Britten sparked the offense with a 3 run triple.

In game 2 the Warriors fell to the Thundersox 6-4. Derrick Bagley put together a solid game offensively with two extra base hits.

In game 3 the Warriors pulled out a wild 11-8 win over Team Yaya.  Justin Gubser was the offensive star driving in 3 with two long doubles.  Steven McReynolds picked up the win in relief and Daniel Comstock came in for the two inning save.  Jordan Lazor had a solid start striking out 6 in 4 innings.

Other top performers this weekend were Ian light with 3 hits, 3 SB’s and 3 RBI’s.  Derrick Bagley also collected 3 hits this weekend.

The Warriors will continue there season with doubleheaders this upcoming Saturday and Sunday

Summer Intuition

Ben Woodrum and Colin Cotter reflect on their experiences as both coaches and members of the Bay Area Warrior’s baseball program, past and present. Colin is a recent graduate of Columbia University, while Ben is a junior at Villanova University. They have experience not only as baseball players, but are also members of the First Base Foundation’s office staff. Together, Ben and Colin are coordinating our Father’s Day Tournament from June 15 – June 19. To see their video, please play the clip below:

or go to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/BayAreaWarriorsFBF

Sports Psychology Camp

John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill has one of the most innovative applied Sport Psychology Masters Degree programs in the country. This summer First Base Foundation is partnering with JFKU Sport Psychology’s non-profit, LEAP (Life Enhancement through Athletic and Academic Participation). Interns from JFK University will run a week long Sport Psychology camp with the Bay Area Warriors, teaching sport psychology techniques, leading group activities, and having individual meetings, allowing the Warriors to get the most out of their week with the LEAP interns. More specifically, athletes will learn mental training techniques such as goal setting, confidence building, imagery, relaxation, and pre-performance routines.

Spring Basketball Update

The Warriors have gone to a youth movement this spring with two teams (16U and 15U) and have enjoyed a busy schedule that includes the following notables

16U Warriors

have assembled a talented roster of players from around the bay area with team members representing Serra, University, St. Marys, St. Ignatius, Redwood, Dougherty Valley, Balboa and Cardinal Newman.  The Warriors have shown well in 3 tournaments to date with two remaining events in May.  Already www.norcalpreps.com has done feature articles on several of the guys including Jacqui Biggins of Serra, Samson Donnick of Redwood, Mike Pickney of St. Marys and Harold Getz of University.  In the July NCAA evaluation period the Warriors will travel to sanctioned events in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

15U Warriors

The young Warriors recently won an AAU qualifier Championship in Sacramento and have already played in two tournaments with three more scheduled in May.  They will also travel to several NCAA sanctioned events in July.

The Gragnani City All Star Game on April 10th

For the 4th year the Bay Area Warriors hosted the City All Star Game that featured Seniors from virtually all of the 30 High Schools in San Francisco.   There was a Girls Game , two Boys Games, a 3-point shooting contest and a slam dunk contest.  Bay Area Warrior alums Noah Springwater of University and Johnny Mrlik of St. Ignatius shared game MVP honors in the Boys Games. This year the game was extra special because it served as a memorial for Lincoln High School’s Coach Michael Gragnani who unexpectedly passed away in January.  The Warriors presented a placque to the Gragnani family recognizing Coach G’s lifetime of service to the basketball community.  The SF Examiner provided coverage of the event.

City Championship Tournament at CCSF on 5/21 and 22

The Bay Area Warriors will be hosting the 4th Annual City Championship tournament on 5/21-22.  The event is over-subscribed and will be limited to 33 teams from NorCal.

College of Marin Scores!

The First Base Foundation honors alumni who are currently playing college baseball. In this video we are highlighting College of Marin, who are having a great season thanks in part to several former Bay Area Warriors. View the clip below:

OR visit the First Base Foundation’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/bayareawarriorsFBF