Buchanan baseball starts strong

Of the big four teams from Clovis that played in the Coca-Cola Easter Classic over the weekend, Buchanan displayed the best pitching depth in going 6-0. No final and one semifinal were not held due to rain.

(Thanks to Clovis West parent J.R. Hatten for providing details)

With teams playing as many as eight times in 10 days, it’s hard to get too much of a handle on how strong this year’s top four preseason teams in the CIF Central Section will be this season but the only one of the four to move on without suffering a loss or tie in the early-season Coca-Cola Easter Classic was Buchanan of Clovis.

The Bears, No. 10 in the preseason State Top 10, went 6-0 in their game prior to a scheduled semifinal against Redwood of Visalia that was cancelled due to rain. The championship game also was cancelled.

In the only semifinal that was played, El Diamante of Visalia (which has lost earlier in the event to all four of the Clovis teams) put it together and beat defending section champion Clovis North 3-2 on the three-run homer in the fifth inning by Tyler Garster. The Bears were No. 3 in the preseason State Top 20 and started this week at 6-1 overall.

Preseason State Top 20 No. 4 Clovis went 7-1 in the tourney after a 5-4 win on Saturday over Bullard of Fresno. The Cougars lost a 3-2 contest to Frontier of Bakersfield in pool play, but still look like one of the state’s top teams.

Clovis West is clearly the fourth team among the big four to start the season and was on the bubble for the Preseason State Top 20. The Golden Eagles, though, didn’t lose in the Coca Cola Easter Classic with a 7-0-1 mark. Their highlight came in a 8-0 win over Merced when Washington State-bound Weston Hatten pitched a no-hitter, struck out 12 and scored three times. Teammate Tucker Salles also cracked a three-run homer.

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