With the Tri-City Gamblers of Winters canceling Tuesday and Thursday American Legion games against Yolo this week, Post 77 coach Dave Ryan has some time to sort out his on-again, off-again roster.
Thanks to Pioneer and Davis high schools extending their prep seasons all the way to section-championship climaxes — then having graduations at hand — Post 77 has seen a handful of players come and go. At one point, Yolo fielded just 12 players.
Now, Ryan gets a chance to finalize his 18-player roster after a practice Tuesday replaced the canceled Winters game.
So when will Post 77 be at full strength?
“That’s a good question,” Ryan said after his charges went 3-2 in the Chico Father’s Day Tournament, losing the title game, 6-5, to the host Nuts on Sunday.
“After practice (Tuesday), we should get our 18-man commitment.”
In playing musical chairs with personnel — Carlos Enriquez, for example, played first base for the first time in his baseball life on Sunday, while Nico Sandoval was the emergency catcher — Yolo is 6-8.
During the first month of the season, Ryan credits his team for being competitive and working hard, adding: “We’ve only been beaten twice. The other (losses)? We could’ve won those. We’re getting better, and especially with guys playing out of position.”
Yolo meets Oroville on Wednesday (7 p.m.) at Clark Field in Woodland. If Ryan has his way, he’ll have fresh arms like DHS alums Ted Riffle and Jake Miille and Pioneer title-run star Andrew Fuentes.
As evidenced by the bats of Thomas Galart, Sandoval, Miille, Enriquez and another Blue Devil, Andrew Bolich, the offensive thermometer is rising with the outdoor temperature.
At Chico, Post 77 placed Miille, Dalton Sachs and Riffle on the all-tournament team.
“Dalton pitched well on Sunday,” Ryan explained, pointing to a shaky defense (three local miscues) that allowed the Nuts to come back from a 4-0, first-inning deficit.
It was Chico’s third straight championship at its own tourney. Yolo won in 2007 and 2009.
In pitching a solid six innings, Sachs allowed six hits and five runs — but only three were earned.
The afternoon before, it was Riffle who took a shutout through six frames before losing, 4-3.
“(Ted) pitched a beautiful game Saturday,” Ryan said. “Got him using his legs more. It’s pretty fun to watch him change. Right there in front of you, he was getting better. He’s got talent and great poise. Very, very confident.”
Ryan will get regular catcher Logan Linney and Fuentes back on Wednesday. Both missed weekend games due to graduation.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-320-4456.