PD Preps Insider: Mendocino baseball going to Nicaragua; Gerhardt headed to Lehigh

Petaluma’s Brie Gerhardt is 
hitting .500 with 11 runs and five RBIs through six games. (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat, 2014)

Petaluma’s Brie Gerhardt is 
hitting .500 with 11 runs and five RBIs through six games. (BETH SCHLANKER / The Press Democrat, 2014)

Mendocino’s baseball team flies to Nicaragua on Sunday where next week the Cardinals will play three games and donate equipment to athletes in the Central American country.

The trip is sponsored by Baseball Without Borders in South San Francisco.

“This will be the first airplane ride for three of our kids,” coach Wesley Hee said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we’re all excited.”

Mendocino has been collecting used bats and gloves to donate. Baseball Without Borders will also send along equipment.

The Cardinals will play three consecutive days beginning Tuesday. The team will return to Mendocino in time to attend school April 13.

Players making the trip are Julian Braden, Nico Caldeira, Damien Duncan, Taylor Gordon, Yefri Martinez, Kyle Moore, Josh Pescini, Preston Salmons, Sean Symonds and Colton Tavarez.

The Cardinals will tune up on Thursday when they host Willits.

Gerhardt headed to Lehigh

Petaluma High’s Brie Gerhardt will play for Lehigh University next year. She was offered an athletic/academic scholarship to the Pennsylvania school.

Gerhardt bats leadoff and plays shortstop or catcher for the Trojans.

“I think Lehigh will use her more as a catcher,” Petaluma coach Kurt Jastrow said. “She’s also a very good hitter and will be an asset to their program.”

Petaluma is favored to again win the Sonoma County League championship. Last year, the Trojans went undefeated in league.

Pickle gets win No. 400

Clear Lake softball coach Gary Pickle collected career win No. 400 on March 26. The Cardinals defeated Willits 18-2 that day.

It is Pickle’s 23rd season leading the program.

Clear Lake figures to contend for this season’s North Central League I crown along with Cloverdale, Lower Lake and Middletown.

Dragons’ defensive fire

Those Dragons who led Sonoma Valley High to its historic run in girls basketball this season sure knew how to put the clamps on. The Dragons allowed only 31 points per game while racking up a 22-

7 overall record — that’s the fewest points allowed of any North Coast Section Divisions 1 through 4 squads this season, according to head coach Sil Coccia.

This crop of Dragons won their first outright Sonoma County League title in 31 years before dropping a decision to rival Petaluma High in the SCL tournament and losing 61-40 to Encinal High in the

first round of the NCS Division 3 playoffs.

But those 22 wins? A school record.

“It was a historic year at Sonoma on a lot of levels,” Coccia said.

Howard Senzell and Kerry Benefield contributed to this report.