Baseball: State title defense begins Jan. 27


Arthur Gonzalez-Martin

Former Bear Cub and Major Leaguer Jason Lane throws batting practice to the Bear Cubs on Jan. 24. Lane played for the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros during his career and currently is the assistant hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Will Mathis, Baseball Analyst


Santa Rosa Junior College’s baseball team begins its state title defense with a home-and-home series against Chabot College Jan. 27-28. SRJC plays at 2 p.m. Jan. 27 at Chabot College, and its home opener is 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at Cook Sypher Field.

SRJC split a home-and-home with Chabot to start last season’s state championship campaign before sweeping Chabot in the best-of-three sectionals round of the California Athletic Association State Championship Playoffs, sending the Bear Cubs to the State Championship Tournament in Fresno, Ca.

“I think that showed how our toughness grew last season,” said right-handed pitcher Jared Noonan. “Hopefully we sweep them this year though.”

The Bear Cubs’ non-conference schedule is chalk full of 2016 playoff teams. Six of the team’s first eight games are against Chabot, De Anza College, Cañada College and Laney College, who all made the 2016 playoffs.

“They want to play guys that are tough,” said assistant coach Tom Francois. “It brings out the best in them.”

SRJC plays De Anza 2 p.m. on Jan. 31 at San Jose Municipal Stadium, home of the San Francisco Giants class A minor league team San Jose Giants.

The 24 game Big 8 schedule begins 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 at Cook Sypher Field versus Sierra College.

The Big 8 sent four teams to the playoffs last season. SRJC, Cosumnes River College and Sacramento City College made up the top three seeds respectively in the Northern California bracket. San Joaquin Delta College was the No. 9 seed and was the other Northern California representative at the four-team State Championship Tournament with SRJC, losing both of its games in the three-day, double-elimination tournament.

This season the Big 8 adds Folsom Lake College to the conference. SRJC defeated Folsom Lake in a deciding Game 3 of the Super Regional round of the playoffs last season.

“For a program that’s only been around three years, they’re solid,” Francois said. “You have to be solid to play in the Big 8.”

SRJC faces Sacramento City March 7, 9 and 11; Folsom Lake March 14, 16 and 18; Cosumnes River March 21, 23 and 25; and San Joaquin Delta April 11, 13 and 14.

For a full look at the schedule visit