By Michael Bower
The Rancho Bernardo High baseball team entered this week’s series with Mt. Carmel on a nine-game winning streak and atop the Palomar League standings with a perfect 6-0 record.
But it isn’t all good news for the Broncos, as they recently learned they could be without LSU-bound pitcher Parker Bugg for the rest of the year. A recent MRI revealed the 6-foot, 6-inch right-hander has a stress fracture in his foot.
“I will be out maybe two weeks or the rest of the season,” said Bugg, who has 39 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.90 over 39 innings. “I did it back in January or February and was pitching through it. I didn’t know what it was. Then it hurt pretty bad (in the game against Torrey Pines on April 11).”
Bugg is hoping he can get back in time for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs, which begin in the middle of May. He said he would be open to throwing only a few innings at a time as a reliever, if it meant he can play.
“That would be fine by me,” he said.
The loss of Bugg will definitely hurt the Broncos, but they have gotten outstanding efforts on the mound all season long from just about everyone. Senior starter Matt Osborne has a 1.43 ERA and entered this week on a 16-inning scoreless streak.
Casey Henderson has two complete games and junior Alex Homick, who will likely replace Bugg in the rotation, has an ERA of just 2.06 over 17 innings. Drew Davis has also been solid.
“I think there is going to be more pressure on the whole team with Parker out,” Osborne said. “We have to pick up what he has been doing and he has been doing great for us. Other guys are going to need to step up and do there thing.”
The Broncos (19-3) host Mt. Carmel Thursday at 3:30 p.m. before concluding the three-game series Saturday at Mt. Carmel at 10:30 a.m.
Rancho Bernardo has been powering through the Palomar League thus far. Nikko Holm entered the week on a 10-game hitting streak. The junior is batting a blistering .467 and has had only two games this year without a hit.
Gosuke Katoh is batting .453 with five home runs, while Matt Jervis is hovering around the .400 mark. Alex Jackson is batting .387 with nine home runs. The junior has 31 career home runs now and is within 16 of the section record set by former Broncos star John Drennen from 2002-2005.
Poway vs. Canyon Crest Academy
The Titans (11-10, 5-2 Palomar League) entered the week just one game behind Rancho Bernardo in the Palomar League standings. But after a 9-7 loss to Canyon Crest Academy on Tuesday Poway is two games behind the Broncos. The two rivals do not go to battle until May 7.
Poway hosts Canyon Crest Academy (7-13, 2-4) Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and then concludes the series Saturday at Canyon Crest Academy at 10:30 a.m.
Sophomore Kyle Dean hit his second home run of the season against Westview last week. His .393 average leads the team. Not far behind is senior Justin McSorley(.352) and sophomore Tyler Nevin (.353).
Del Norte vs. Valley Center
The Nighthawks entered this week on an eight-game winning streak, including a 9-1 victory over Oceanside at Petco Park last Saturday.
Del Norte will try to keep its place at the top of the Valley League standings, when it travels to Valley Center (12-7, 3-3 Valley League through Tuesday) for a double-header on Saturday. The first game is at 10:30 a.m. and the second will be at 1:30 p.m.
The Nighthawks (14-5, 6-0) have been pounding the ball around the yard, led by seniors Anthony Hensley, Brady Groesbeck and Matt Miller. Sophomore Park Lappin has also been delivering at the plate for Del Norte.
Army-Navy at Maranatha
Maranatha Christian has leaned on its youngsters this season and so far the group has responded.
The Eagles are 9-4 through their first 13 games and 2-2 in Pacific League play.
“We are a really young team without a lot of high school innings,” Eagles coach Mike Lord said. “But we have been pushing them hard and so far I am happy with their development.”
Maranatha will host Army-Navy Friday at 3:30 p.m. before facing Escondido Charter on Wednesday.
Freshman pitcher Harry Neidermyer has led the way on the mound along with sophomore Corey Adkins, who is also hitting .515 at the plate. Senior Grey
Rohde has been playing great in left field while hitting .394 out of the No. 4 slot.
“He didn’t hit well last year, but has really stepped up for us this year,” Lord said. “He has been the biggest surprise for me.”