The weather is always perfect anytime true baseball fans get a chance to get out to Appeal-Democrat Stadium to see the Yuba College 49ers play the game. I feel privileged to watch a ballgame in a professional environment at such a warm and cozy place. Just being at the game with a hotdog and ice cold drink on a warm sunny day is always a thrill. Take a sack of peanuts, kick back, enjoy the game, and don’t forget to keep your eye on the ball.You are in for quite a treat with the Yuba College 49ers baseball squad. They play an excellent brand of good old fashioned country hardball.
The Saturday game I saw featured Ryan Pope pitching a gem of a four hit complete game shutout, while striking out four and walking only three batters against the Napa Valley College . Having attended Yuba City High before coming to Yuba College, Pope is a power pitcher in the Greg Maddux mold with good location and an above average fastball. He stays focused, keeping his head in the game, making life easy on his catcher to call the game. Pope says, “I just stay focused and hit my spots.” His favorite pitcher is Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. Pope has that baseball smile and youthful attitude, refreshing, the “spirit of the game.” However,when the coach hands him the ball on game day his demeanor is all business, very competitive.
Yuba features a well balanced attack on offense with contact hitting and speed at the top and bottom of the lineup. Power hitters fuel the attack in the middle of the order. Ethan Mcgill bats third and is a home run threat every time he steps to the plate. Mcgill also hits for average, smashing hard line drives in the alleys and is an RBI machine.
The defense is solid with good gloves in the infield, capable of turning the double play when given the opportunity. Third Baseman Jimmy Basinger is a vacuum at third with a strong arm accurate. Basinger mans the hot corner with authority, shades of Brooks Robinson. He also hits left handed, a valuable addition in the lineup, adept at advancing runners. Basinger hails from El Camino High School in Sacramento and plans to continue playing at the state university level, perhaps Simpson University in Redding, Ca.
Dallas Cummings is the second baseman for the 49ers. At the plate his aim is to “execute, locate, and stay focused. Don’t show the bunt too early.” On the basepaths he is always a threat to steal. As a matter of fact he stole two bases in the game I saw against Napa. Cummings is a Yuba City High School product, a freshman who plans to stay another year. Baseball confidence exudes from this level headed, defensive minded prospect, the consummate infielder reminiscent of Roberto Alomar both in the field and at the plate. Cummings’ strong fundamentals and excellent attitude should take him far at the next level.
Many of these community college players will take their talents to the next collegiate level and a few of them may have a legitimate shot at ‘the Big Show”, professional, major league baseball.
Baseball is always fun to watch and colloege baseball is the next best thing to the major leagues. there is a reason it has been America’s sport for the past 100 years. From the time we were just little kids baseball was the sport we enjoyed the most. When the fan goes to the game to watch Yuba College play nine innings, it brings back memories of the famous Ernie Banks quote when he said, “Let’s play two today.” That’s the feeling you will get if you spend a day at the ballgame with the 49ers.
Anytime you get some time to go out to the ballpark to see a 49ers baseball game it is a sunny day. Especially at such a fine stadium like the Appeal- Democrat, home of your Yuba College 49ers. Take the whole family out for a good outing and some fun. Why not? It’s the best ticket in town!