Empire roundup: Maria Carrillo’s Vaughn homers to help U.S. win gold

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

As a freshman last season at Maria Carrillo, Andrew Vaughn hit .321. (Photo by Crista Jeremiason, The Press Democrat)

As a freshman last season at Maria Carrillo, Andrew Vaughn hit .321. (Photo by Crista Jeremiason, The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa’s Andrew Vaughn hit a three-run home run Sunday to propel Team USA’s Under-15 baseball squad to a 6-1 win over Cuba and the COPABE Pan American Championships gold medal.

Vaughn, who will be a sophomore at Maria Carrillo High School, hit .321 in 27 games during his freshman season.

“The guys did a tremendous job,” said Team USA manager Tom Meusborn. “Vaughn had a huge hit to get us going. It was a great team effort. Our guys did an outstanding job representing their country today. There’s no better feeling than winning the gold medal.”

Team USA trailed 1-0 in the fourth inning when Isaak Gutierrez (Cyrpress) and Ben Ramirez (Chula Vista) each singled. Vaughn followed with his blast over the left field fence to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead.

“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone,” Vaughn said. “I can’t even describe how good it feels.”

Mason Thompson (Round Rock, Texas) followed Vaughn’s home run with an RBI-triple. Chase Strumpf (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) single in a run to up the lead to 5-1.

TOMALES FUNDRAISER SET

Tomales High will host its second annual Kickoff Classic fundraiser Aug. 19 at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma.

The fundraiser will run from 5-8:30 p.m. with proceeds going to the purchase of a new football scoreboard. “Our scoreboard is just in really bad shape,” said head coach Leon Feliciano. “The money we raise will go to the football program, but we’re using it to assist in getting a new scoreboard.”

There will dinner, live music and a 50-50 auction at the fundraising event. Tickets cost $30 and are available through the school or at Lagunitas Brewing Company.

Two who played roles in the storied history of Tomales athletics will be honored.

Former Tomales three-sport star Gary Dellepere will be celebrated at the event. The former teacher and coach guided the Braves to their first North Coast Section football championship in 1983.

Another Tomales graduate, Matt Bell, will be honored. The former Braves’ basketball star has been a girls’ basketball assistant coach and played a key role in the first NCS title two seasons ago.

SRJC FOOTBALL FRIDAYS

Santa Rosa Junior College’s football program celebrates a return to playing Friday night home games with its annual Blue & White Scrimmage Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.

Action begins at 5:30 p.m. when the Bear Cubs’ women’s soccer team holds an intra-squad scrimmage.

Special events leading up to the football scrimmage begin at 6:15 p.m.

“The players love playing games at night,” said new SRJC coach Lenny Wagner, whose team will play three home games on Friday nights this season. “We want to get back to the tradition of playing on Friday nights. Lots of old Bear Cubs and community members have asked when we were going back to Fridays, so we’re giving it a try.”

RIPKEN CHAMPS TO BE HONORED

Rohnert Park’s 9-under Cal Ripken League baseball Pacific Southwest Regionals champions will be featured at the Rohnert Park city council meeting Aug. 13.

The team will lead the Pledge of Allegiance before the council convenes. The club will then receive a certificate of proclamation in honor of capturing the regional championship in July.

Members of the regional titlists were: Aidan Hickman, Brody Smith, Elijah Stevenson, Carson Crawford, Russell Freedheim, Jack Bandy, Ryan Kane, Jake McCoy, Tanner Starrett, Michael O’Daniel and Cameron Duran. The manager was Keith McCoy. Assistant coaches were Shawn Kane, Ken Stevenson and Greg Smith.

You can reach Ted Sillanpaa at 526-8623 or ted.sillanpaa@pressdemocrat.com. Read his blog at overtime.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.

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