Eagles soar with Magleby

Senior throws no-hitter as Del Oro erases bitter memory in Sacramento
By: Eric J. Gourley Journal Sports Writer
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SACRAMENTO — As Mason Magleby joked with teammates and danced to Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” in the dugout, the Del Oro senior had no idea he was three outs away from his first career no-hitter. After Magleby struck out the first two Oak Ridge batters in the bottom of the seventh, Willie Tucker lined a 1-2 offering back at the ace. Magleby caught it as he fell backward, stood up and shook his head in disbelief as he jogged off the field. Only then did he learn of his accomplishment from head coach Bret Lachemann. “I knew I was throwing well when I was out there,” said Magleby, who struck out eight and walked three in pitching the Golden Eagles past Oak Ridge 2-0 in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs at Sacramento City College’s Union Stadium Wednesday. “I wasn’t even paying attention,” he said. “I was just trying to keep my confidence up and keep pumping strikes, but when (Lachemann) told me it was a no-hitter, that’s a new level in baseball for me.” Magleby’s performance wiped from memory Del Oro’s walkoff collapse to Ponderosa in the section championship a year ago, the last time the Eagles set foot in Union Stadium. “It’s kind of good that he was so dialed in he didn’t realize,” Lachemann said after the first no-hitter in his three years at the helm. “He really had it going.” With its first win on neutral soil in five tries this season, Del Oro (13-14) advanced to play Granite Bay in a best-of-three semifinal series next week. Magleby threw 73 of his 112 pitches for strikes, keeping the Trojans off-balance with overpowering fastballs and deceptive sliders. “By the fifth inning you knew they weren’t going to hit him because he was just mowing them down,” said catcher Brian Rowe, who called most of the game before Lachemann took over pitch decisions for the final two innings. “Even when he would miss wide they still swung because it’s so fast. When a guy’s throwing that hard it’s tough. Those guys tried to battle but there was nothing they could do.” Magleby retired six of the first seven batters he faced and pitched out of his only jam after walking consecutive batters with one out in the third. “There were a couple guys where I just lost it for a few pitches in a row and I just regained my composure,” he said. Magleby struck out five of the final six batters and got defensive help from shortstop Mike Schnell twice. Schnell, who scored the Eagles’ second run in the top of the seventh inning, initiated a double play in the second and made a stellar over-the-shoulder catch in the third. He didn’t realize Magleby hadn’t surrendered a hit until the sixth inning. “You’ve still got to make plays and do what you’ve been doing,” Schnell said. “You can’t try to elevate your game at all, because when you do that’s when the ball goes through your legs. I was about to tell him but I knew the curse of talking about no-hitters. I’m really proud of him.” Del Oro rallied with two outs in the second inning to score a run off Oak Ridge starter Jordan Mills. Schnell reached on third baseman Robbie Brown’s fielding error after back-to-back singles by Casey Cox and Magleby to load the bases. Magleby’s sophomore brother Max hit a chopper to the left of Mills, who dove to stop it. The 6-foot-5 junior couldn’t get the ball out of his glove in time to make a play. The Eagles chased Mills in the seventh when Schnell singled and Max Magleby was hit by a pitch. Cargile grounded into a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners and Trevor Thomas drove in Schnell with a single to left. Schnell doubled in the sixth for Del Oro’s only extra-base hit.