Bears set for crucial baseball closing stretch

Steve Gerace
Head coach Chris Hanson and the Mount Shasta Bears after their game one win over the Weed Friday, April 23, 2010 at Mount Shasta.

Skies are expected to be clearing and temperatures rising as the Mount Shasta High School baseball team reaches a critical closing stretch of its 2010 league schedule.

The Bears take a Shasta Cascade League-leading 7-1 record to McArthur Friday, April 30, where they’ll play two games against 8-2 Fall River.

Forecasts are calling for blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70s when the Bears are scheduled to host Tulelake (6-2) on Tuesday, May 4.

Mount Shasta finishes the season Friday, May 7, at Trinity in Weaverville.

Head coach Chris Hanson says his young team has been playing well despite battling injuries that have forced positions to be shuffled and resulted in some inconsistent defense.

They’re healthy going to Fall River, “knock on wood,”?Hanson said. That’s a good thing because the Bulldogs (14-4 overall) do a lot of things right.

“They’ve got good coaching; they’re always well-prepared,” Hanson said of Fall River. “They play small ball well, pitch well, do all aspects of the game well.”

The Bears, at times this season, have looked like world beaters. At other times they’ve struggled, especially  in the field.

Overall, Hanson said, “We’ve got a good group of guys. Key players have stepped up to fill holes, and guys we expected have been consistent.”

Joining seniors Klayton Davis, Lorenzo Elder and Tyler Witherell on the roster is a strong junior class that includes Colin Waterman, Brad Thomas, Ben Sampson, Bryson Brooks, Andrew Campbell, Cesar Rocha, Luke Morris and Abel Cooper.

Sophomores Chase Kamla, Andrew Paisley, Dylan Morris and Kody Waite have all contributed, as has freshman Kevin Shinohara.

Hanson said the Bears were at less than full strength because of injuries when they swept a home doubleheader against Weed on Friday, April 23.

They scored 4 runs in each of the first three innings on the way to a 12-7 win in the opener, then came from behind with a 3-run rally in the bottom of the fifth to win game two, 8-6.

In game one, Elder reached base 4 times with a pair of singles, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He scored 3 runs and drove in 3.

Davis was 2 for 3 and scored 3 runs; Sampson was 2 for 3 with a 2-run home run and 2 runs scored; Waterman was 2 for 3 with an RBI; Campbell singled and drove in 2; Thomas singled and drove in 1.

Paisley pitched the first 3 1/3 innings and allowed 2 runs; Sampson pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed 4 earned runs.

In the nightcap, Davis, Rocha and Campbell had 2 hits apiece and scored twice; Waterman had 2 hits and scored once; Sampson had a hit and drove in 3 runs.

Starting pitcher Waite allowed 6 runs in the 4 1/3  innings, and Kamla held the Cougars scoreless over the final 2 2/3 innings.

For more photos, see: Play at third and Weed baseball at Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta’s Andrew Campbell, right, rounds second base on his way to a triple in the first inning of the second game of a doubleheader against Weed Friday, April 23, 2010 at Mount Shasta.