Written by: Joe Langstaff
Going into this Saturday’s scheduled Bay Valley Conference game at Solano College, the Mendocino College Eagles baseball team had not played a game this week due to the continued rains in the region.
The Eagles were to have opened conference play at Solano on Tuesday and then played Solano at home on Thursday. Both those games were postponed because of the rain.
But the Eagles got some more good news early in the week from the CCCBCA (California Community College Baseball Coaches Association) when it was announced that sophomore Robert Gordon, the team’s designated hitter, was one of two players from the Northern California Region to be selected Player of the Week for their performances the during the week of March 4 – March 10.
Each week during the season, the CCCBCA selects Players of the Week for the Northern and Southern Regions of the state.
Gordon and Monterey Peninsula College pitcher Donald Kawauchi were the two players selected out of a total 800 plus players on the rosters of the 44 Northern California community college baseball teams.
Gordon was selected Player of the Week and Kawauchi Pitcher of the Week.
Pitcher Taylor Goffena of Citrus College was the only SoCal Player of the Week selected.
Gordon’s selection came on the heels of the Eagles breaking into the Top 20 rankings of the first CCCBCA poll this season. The Eagles, 10-8 going into this Saturday’s scheduled game, were ranked 19th in the poll.
In the four games played by the Eagles last week (Yuba 3/6 at home, Contra Costa 3/8 on the road and the Napa Valley doubleheader 3/10) Gordon had 13 officials at bats, 8 hits, scored 8 runs, drove in 5 runs and drew a walk, hitting at a .615 clip.
Gordon’s performance for the week was not a short-term aberration. Over his 16 games played so far this season, he is batting .487 which ranks him first among Bay Valley Conference players, first in the NorCal Region and second in the state.
His .611 on base percentage and .641 slugging percentage rank first and second respectively in the conference.
Not to be overlooked in Gordon’s individual honor and achievements are the contributions by his teammates. Quite often, when a good hitter is part of an otherwise weak lineup, he will be pitched around by the opponent, not seeing a whole lot of good pitches to hit.
That strategy doesn’t work so well against the Eagles who hit well as a team, with a .317 team batting average which ranks 5th in the state out of 88 teams.
The Eagles rank in the upper half of the states’ community college teams in several offensive categories and even higher in several of the more important ones. They are 14th in the state with a team on base percentage of .402 and 24th in slugging percentage at .416.
They rank 29th in runs batted in with 121 and 38th in runs scored with 136. If projected to per-game averages, those two numbers would rank quite a bit higher.
Going into this weekend, the Eagles ranked 81st (out of 88 teams in the state) in number of games played with 18. Sixty of the teams have played 20 games or more, several with a couple dozen games played.
The Eagles, as well as several other Northern California teams, will need to add some makeup games to their schedules. The community college baseball regular season ends on April 27, with the state playoffs starting the following week.
This coming week, weather permitting, the Eagles are scheduled to play a three-game conference series with Los Medanos. The Eagles host Los Medanos on Tuesday, with the game starting at 2:30 p.m.
The teams play at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg on Thursday. The final game of the series is scheduled for Saturday at Mendocino, with a 1 p.m. start time.