Falcons hoping for an encore

Colfax has major holes to fill after rare run to the playoffs last year
By: Mike Ray Gold Country News Service
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The list was long and impressive. Kyle Wheat. Devin Ginty. Nick Stevener. Mike Cody. Michael Olson. Chad Diez. It was those names as seniors a year ago that helped lead the Colfax High baseball program to its first playoff berth in more than five years. With coach Tom Hammann at the controls, the Falcons had caught fire at the right time of last season to win eight of its last 10 games, just miss a shot at a piece of the Pioneer Valley League title and earn a Sac-Joaquin Section post season nod. And, if this year's edition of the Falcons can come up with some timely hitting and develop pitching depth, Hammann thinks that the Green and White can once again contend in PVL battles. I think Placer, Bear River and Whitney all will be right there but we could be in the picture too, said Hammann who is beginning his third season as Colfax's head coach. The Falcons went 15-7 in 2007 which included picking up a pair of wins in the prestigious San Diego Lions Tournament. We're a bit younger this season but we have a good mix of seniors too, said Hammann. We hope to use that to our advantage. If things start up the middle in baseball, the Falcons should be strong. Catcher Nick Turcotte returns after starting last season as a sophomore and doing a capable job behind the plate. Seniors Joey Proctor and Brett Hammann (.308) will be at shortstop and second base respectively. In center field, Tom Hammann is expecting big things from returning starter Sam Wright who hit .409 as a junior. Sam should be one of our top hitters, said Tom Hammann. We're hoping that the other guys can follow his lead. Versatile Cory Nann, who played several different positions as a sophomore last season, will do likewise this year for the Falcons. We're fortunate to have a guy like Cory, said Tom Hammann. He can go behind the plate and also play both the infield and outfield. Colfax is also looking for more leadership from seniors Eric Shaffer, Joey Matekel, Tedy Marks and Clay Hood. Shaffer will be at first base while Matekel will be at third. Marks and Hood, meanwhile are expected to anchor the pitching staff. In 2007, Marks was 6-1 on the hill while Hood racked up 22 strikeouts in 29 innings of work. Also expected to be in the mix for the Falcons are Michael Miller, Kyle Paskey, Will Essway, Cody Keema, Dan Kendall and Robin Proffit. We're a little younger than last season but if we continue to improve we should be alright, said Tom Hammann. After dropping a 7-0 decision to rival Bear River Tuesday in its PVL opener, Colfax will take on Mesa Verde at Raley Field on Thursday at 6 p.m.