The smell of fresh cut grass, the hum of a 90 mile per hour fast ball and the crack of the bat all mean one thing….spring fever has taken over at Yuba College.
A promising Yuba baseball team last year, with the swift base running of Daniel Boyle and the strong bat of Jarrett Roenicke, missed the Northern California State Playoffs by just one game.
Roenicke was drafted to the San Diego Padres in the June amateur draft last year but decided to stick around Yuba and play his sophomore season.Boyle holds the California Community College record for the most stolen bases in a season and was a good infielder at second base.
The 49ers finished last season with a 20-21 overall record and were 12-14 in the Bay Valley Conference.
Yuba is 7-5 so far and earned a its way into the championship game of the Palm Springs Tournament, held recently. The 49ers lost the championship game to San Diego City College, 8-6. Tim Gloyd is the head coach and will be in his fourth year with Yuba. Gaylon Johnson and Erick Burns will assist Gloyd. New to the 49ers staff is former Feather River Fury radio announcer Jack Johnson, who will assist with the catchers. A familiar face to some on the Yuba campus walked into the 49ers’ locker room this season. Yuba City High product Kevin Jenson has returned to the Yuba-Sutter area after spending a year pitching for Hoftra University in New York last season.
Jenson, a sophomore right-hander, will be looked upon as one of two pitching threats in the 49ers rotation.
Josh Glynn, a sophomore right-hander out of Lindhurst High, is the other threat on the mound and has committed to the University of Arkansas.
“I think our pitching is probably the strongest part of the team,” said Gloyd. “Both of these guys are great and I feel confident we can win every time they step on the mound.”
Jenson has a 1.27 ERA with a 2-1 record, has struck out 19 and walked six while giving up just nine hits and three earned runs.Glynn has a 3.66 ERA with a 1-1 record, 21 strikeouts and six walks.
Chris Perry, a red-shirt freshman from Lindhurst should fill the No. 3 pitching spot in the rotation while sophomore Eric Ernst will start at the No. 4 spot.
Jake McConiga, a sophomore who has committed to North Carolina University, will fill the closing pitcher spot and is also going to be a leader in center field.
McConiga has a .79 ERA with one save and has struck out 14 while his offensive skills will help the 49ers, as well. He is hitting .391 in 46 at bats with 18 hits and nine RBIs.
Freshman Tory Davis from Woodcreek and sophomore Tim Harles from Oroville will join McConiga in the outfield at left and right field respectively.
“The outfield is really strong right now and we have five outstanding players that could start there,” said Gloyd.
Freshman third baseman Jesse Larkins from Nevada Union is hitting well with a .333 batting average and 12 RBIs. The middle infield consists of sophomore Nate Augastine at second base while Jeff Harper will play shortstop.
“If there was a spot that we need to work on it would have to be the middle infield,” said Gloyd. “We have some guys that moved to different positions and just need a little work.”
ophomore Brock Perry from Willows will take over at first base and Freshman J.J. Gibson from Woodland will be the designated hitter. Gibson is hitting .464 in 28 at bats with 11 RBIs. Sophomore Erik Garside will start behind the plate and Denver Eaton, a freshman Wheatland product and Appeal-Democrat Player of the Year, will also see some time at catcher.
Robert White a freshman pitcher from Wheatland and Scott Krauss a freshman outfielder/pitcher from Placer will also help Yuba throughout the season.
Sacramento City College will most likely be the top team out of the BVC according to Gloyd while Yuba and American River College will round out the top three.
The 49ers lost their home BVC opener to Delta College 3-2.