PDPreps Insider: Rancho grad Brandon Morrow hopes to pitch for new team

San Diego Padres manager Bud Black points to pitcher Brandon Morrow as he and pitching coach Darren Balsley run the staff through pick off drills prior to a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

San Diego Padres manager Bud Black points to pitcher Brandon Morrow as he and pitching coach Darren Balsley run the staff through pick off drills prior to a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Rancho Cotate baseball coach John Morrow and his son Brandon Morrow, a pitcher for the San Diego Padres, had a spring training reunion this past weekend in Peoria, Ariz.

Morrow signed as a free agent with San Diego over the winter after spending the previous five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. Brandon played at Rancho Cotate and was coached by his father.

He was injured most of the 2014 season. He made only six starts and had a 5.67 ERA.

“He’s feeling healthy now,” his father said. “He’s optimistic and so are the Padres.”

Brandon is battling for a spot in the starting rotation.

“San Diego is a lot closer to Rohnert Park than Toronto,” John said. “It’ll be easier for my wife and I to visit, plus we’ll also be able to spend time with him when the Padres come to the Bay Area to play the Giants.”

Cardinals know route

The bad news for the Cardinal Newman boys was pretty obvious Friday night. Despite earning the sort-of-home-court advantage with a game at Santa Rosa JC’s Haehl Pavilion, the Cardinals lost to Marin Catholic in the North Coast Section Division 4 championship game.

Newman was looking for its fourth section title, but its first since 1993. The program has been one of the best in the Bay Area in those 22 years, but has repeatedly fallen short in its quest for another NCS banner.

“We wanted firsts, and we got a lot of seconds,” Cardinal Newman coach Tom Bonfigli said. “But we did not play well enough to win (Friday). It’s disappointing, but we’re not done playing.”

Indeed, the Cardinals drew the No. 2 seed in the CIF NorCal Division 4 bracket, behind only Marin Catholic. And that brings us to the good news for Newman fans. Bonfigli’s team has twice played for the state title in the past decade, despite not winning an NCS championship either time.

The Cardinals entered the CIF playoffs with the No. 5 seed in 2007 and won the NorCal crown as an underdog before eventually falling to Campbell Hall of North Hollywood (and future NBA All-Star Jrue Holiday). In 2013, they went in as the No. 1 seed and emerged as NorCal champs but lost to Pacific Hills of West Hollywood, 58-52, in the state title game.

Soccer all-star games

The Santa Rosa Kiwanis Club has set Friday, April 17, for this year’s High School All-Star Soccer Doubleheader, a matchup of all-stars from the North Bay League and Sonoma County League competing as Team North and Team South.

The games will be at Santa Rosa High School’s Nevers Field. The boys game kicks off at 6:15 p.m., the girls game at approximately 8:45 p.m.

The breakdown: North — Analy, Cardinal Newman, Cloverdale, El Molino, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Maria Carrillo, Piner, Rincon Valley, El Molino, Rincon Valley Christian, Santa Rosa, Ukiah and Windsor. South — Casa Grande, Elsie Allen, Montgomery, Petaluma. Rancho Cotate, Roseland University Prep, St. Vincent, Sonoma, Sonoma Academy, Technology and Tomales.

Teams will be coached by Chris Ziemer (South girls), John Schwan (South boys), Brittney Brioness (North girls) and Peter Meechun (North boys). High school coaches can contact these coaches to nominate players for the all-star teams.

Phil Barber and Howard Senzell contributed to this report.

  • Mason

    Let’s hear a few words about Casa Grande and SRJC baseball player, Jonny Gomes, now with the Atlanta Braves. This fellow has been a big booster of local sports!