Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Indians open season with large, talented roster

By
From page B1 | June 01, 2014 |

fairfield indians 5_25_14

Fairfield Indians' Julian Clarke pitches in the game against Fontanetti's Athletic, at Allan Witt Park. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Finding players wasn’t a chore this spring for Norm Thompson, founder and general manager of the Fairfield Indians collegiate baseball team.

Finding a place to play all them all? Now, that might be a problem.

The Indians, managed by Daman Evans, return “15 or 16 players,” according to Thompson, with at least 17 others on a team whose lineup changes daily depending on who has to work, is on vacation or who gets stuck in traffic.

“We had 32 guys in a two-week tryout for the team, all of them in college either redshirting or their college season was through,” Thompson said. “So we were able to pick.”

The Indians, in their 36th season after being founded by Thompson in 1978 – “The same year I graduated from Sonoma State (University),” he said – and the rest of the Sacramento Rural League went exclusively to college players two years ago.

“Last year we switched. We’ve always had college guys on the team, ever since we started, but sometimes it’s been half and half,” Thompson said. “The past few years it’s been more college than regular older guys, kids out of school. Last year our league and the team decided to go all college because it’s easier to get guys and easier to work with.”

And having a large roster makes it easier to work around some players just not being able to be there every game.

“You can see we’re real deep all around and versatile,” Thompson said. “I keep so many guys because a lot of guys work and have summer vacations. They’ve been playing ball since last August.

“There are new guys we really haven’t had a chance to work in. They will be worked in over a 45-, 50-game schedule.”

According to Thompson, having a big roster has increased versatility, no matter who can’t make it to the game.

“When going through the roster, we’re pretty deep all the way around,” Thompson said. “Somebody goes down, we’ve got somebody to come in as a replacement. Somebody’s not there, we’ve got somebody to replace them. We don’t lose a step by somebody not being ready to play.”

Even with so many new players, Thompson said the strength of the team “has to do with the returning players that we have. We have 15, 16 guys coming back. Once our pitching staff comes back together – we’ve still got a couple guys that are out – we’re going to have a pretty good pitching staff.”

Returning pitchers include Nate Gercken (Pinole Valley High, Academy of Arts), Ben Monroe (Vintage of Napa, Santa Rosa JC), Zack Mandrik (Rodriguez, Redlands), Phil Chavez (Wood, Diablo Valley College), Daniel Galvez (Gateway of San Francisco, City College of San Francisco), Chris Suarez (Washington of San Francico, Contra Costa College), Prejon Bynum (Bethel of Vallejo, Contra Costa), Jason Paukei (Fairfield, Sacramento City College) and David Gustafson (Fairfield, Solano Community College).

Newcomers on the mound are J.P. Morgan (Belgium), Kurtis Bluford (Armijo, Napa Valley College), Francisco Avilez (La Sierra University), Tyler Scharnow (Weston Ranch of Manteca, CCSF), Julian Clarke (Westport, Conn., and Washington University of St. Louis) and Ryan Perkins (Rodriguez).

Thompson said he plans to go with three catchers with Ian Acosta (Vacaville, Solano) being “No. 1″ on his list. Evan Faccenda (Vanden, Solano) and Mark Mills (Rodriguez) will also see time behind the plate, especially with the Indians playing at least one doubleheader nearly every weekend..

“It’s kind of hard to catch two full games,” Thompson said.

First base figures to be shared by Joey Moro (South San Francisco, CCSF) and Mike Brown (Fairfield), with Mills also in the mix.

Returner Rubert Watson (Hogan of Vallejo, Napa Valley) is at second base, though newcomer Danny Mills (Rodriguez, Solano, Simpson University) “might go over and play some,” Thompson said.

Paukei is back at shortstop, though Danny Mills and Tyler Hall (Benicia High, San Francisco State) – “Man that guy’s fast,” Thompson said – can also play the position.

Thompson calls returner Chris McCollister (Fairfield, Bluefield College) “our anchor at third base,” though he’ll be backed up by Hall and Andrew Wheat (Benicia, Napa Valley).

As with everywhere else, the Indians’ outfield is loaded with candidates.

“We’ll move our outfielders around,” Thompson said, though he figures on using Damian Marshall Jr. (Pinole Valley, University of Saint Mary) in left, Bryce Hutchings (Fairfield, Contra Costa) in center and Dareion Evans (Rodriguez, Solano) in right.

Others in the mix are Hall, Wheat, Evan Ray (John Swett of Crockett, Contra Costa), Timmion Hughes (Bethel, Contra Costa), Lamar Smith (Fairfield, Contra Costa), Aaron Cherry (Armijo, Napa Valley) and Clayton Reza (Benicia, Sac City).

The key to making 2014 a winning season, Thompson said, is “playing together as a team, being consistent on offense, defense and primarily pitching, all of it working together. I’m a team person and my coaches are, too. I feel if we play together as a team, success will come. Playing as individuals, it’s not going to happen.”

Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or pfarmer@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.

Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer is a 1985 graduate of Brigham Young University. The Suisun City resident has been with the Daily Republic Sports Department since 1989 and has served as sports editor since 2007. He and his wife Jackie have four children.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

US / World

California wildfire crews brace for weather shift

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
LA County sheriff’s deputies testing body cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bear suspected to have killed New Jersey hiker

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Poll: Support for gay marriage may be leveling off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamic State militants kill 40 Iraqi troops

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamist group kidnaps Frenchman in Algeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

Pennsylvania governor confident ambush suspect will be caught

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Focus on UVa employee in student’s disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

State police: 3 missing Afghan soldiers in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prosecutor: 800 rounds found in intruder case

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Islamic State offensive poses problems for Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Crews work to clear debris from Shasta mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoon for Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
Still searching for the bottom in Iraq

By John M. Crisp | From Page: , 1 Comment

Academia needs to act to protect college women

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page:

 
Question of the week: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Kris Jenner files to divorce Bruce Jenner

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Shonda Rhimes lays claim to Thursday nights on ABC

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
Giuliani to help fight Noriega’s video game suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘The Lion King’ earns record box office

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Eric Lynch, Howard Stern’s diminutive foil, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Giants get closer, beat Dodgers 5-2 in 13 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prep boys water polo: Mustangs go 3-0 in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Prep boys soccer: Mustangs hold Indians to 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
MNF: Bears hold on to beat Jets 27-19

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Jeff Samardzija pitches A’s past Angels 8-4

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Nebraska’s Abdullah: Jameis Winston must grow up

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders have to settle for moral victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Home of 49ers lineman Ray McDonald burglarized

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Undisciplined play sends 49ers to 1-2 start

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kicking game: It is called football, after all

By Barry Wilner | From Page:

US Soccer stands by Solo decision

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
FIFA ethics judge hesitates on World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Braves fire GM Frank Wren after missing playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Royals beat Indians 2-0, gain on Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bettman says NHL proactive about off-ice conduct

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Silver: NBA will review domestic violence policies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Concern over McIlroy, McDowell more about results

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NFL vetting process: There are no sure things

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Owner: ‘No misinformation’ by Ravens on Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kent creates scholarship for Cal women’s athletics

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Treasury to unveil steps to curb tax inversions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tesco suspends execs over inflated profit report

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GM expert says 21 deaths eligible for compensation

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Apple: 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US existing home sales fall in August

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Investors fret Yahoo’s future, stock dips

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Businesses and investors pressing for green policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6