High School Sports News

Atwater’s Molina committs to Cal State Northridge

bahbeck@mercedsunstar.com

Derek Molina was taking batting practice prior to the Merced County All-Star Baseball Game last June when Merced College pitching coach Nate Devine pulled him aside.

“He told me the Cal State Northridge coach was coming to watch,” Molina said. “He told me to make sure I run hard on everything.”

Molina went out and was named one of the MVPs of the game after collecting two hits and hitting a three-run homer.

A few weeks later, Northridge offered Molina a scholarship. The Atwater High senior recently verbally committed to Northridge.

“It’s crazy, I didn’t expect it to happen so fast,” Molina said. “They called me the day after the game and got to know me a bit. I went to a camp down there and toured the campus. A week and a half after that game they offered me a scholarship.”

Molina was an all-Central California Conference selection after hitting .380 and scoring a team-high 26 runs for the Falcons last spring.

The right-hander was also used as a closer late in the season with a fastball that topped out at 90 mph.

“He obviously has a live arm, he can hit from both sides of the plate and he’s a very fast runner,” Atwater coach Jarrod Pimentel said. “He’s smooth at shortstop and he’s a good team player.”

Molina had also drawn interest from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Davis and Loyola Marymount.

“I think it’s a great fit for me,” Molina said. “I was really stressing out before I committed. I didn’t know where I should go and I wasn’t having fun on the field. I felt I had to go out and prove something every time I played. As soon as I committed I felt a lot more relaxed and started having fun again.”

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Sherman loses appeal

Buhach Colony will be without its star Aundre Sherman on Friday night against St. Mary’s.

Sherman was ejected with just over 2 minutes left in the Thunder’s 24-21 win over Pacheco on Sept. 19 when he was flagged for targeting on a hit delivered to a Panthers receiver. The officials felt Sherman deliberately hit the receiver above the shoulders. The ejection carried with it a one-game suspension.

Buhach Colony appealed but lost. .

“Maybe the video was inconclusive,” Thunder head coach Kevin Navarra said. “I’ve watched it full speed about 10 to 20 times. I’ve slowed it down and stopped it at the point of contact. I’ve probably watched that play 50 times. I even watched it after the ruling to see if I missed something. From what I saw, I thought it was shoulder to shoulder contact.”

Goodbye, bye

Dos Palos is closing in on the 900th football game in school history. After picking up an extra game this week, the Broncos are getting a jumpstart on their way to game No. 1,000.

Instead of their scheduled bye week the Broncos have agreed to play Kerman on Friday at Bill Hume Stadium.

The Lions only had nine games on their schedule, so the Central Section gave Kerman permission to seek a game with a team that had a bye this week. Dos Palos stepped up and now the Broncos will play an 11-game regular season schedule.

Dos Palos’ 900th game in the program’s history will now take place Oct. 24 at home against Tranquillity. The Broncos all-time record is a very impressive 619-225-28 record.

Dos Palos came into the season with the seventh most all-time wins in the state of California, according to CalHiSports.

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