Shawn Jansen: Hard way the only way for Buhach Colony
05/13/2009 12:54 AM
05/13/2009 12:57 AM
Call me crazy. Go ahead and call me a fool.
Believe me, I'll be called much worse just today.
If I'm a Buhach Colony baseball player, coach or fan, I'm ecstatic BC is playing Stockton St. Mary's in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs on Thursday.
True, at first glance it sounds like a brutal draw.
Most people feel St. Mary's is the team to beat in the South half of the bracket.
As a young team last year, St. Mary's finished a whisker short of defeating Buhach Colony in the South championship.
This year, St. Mary's is more experienced. Coach Pete Pijl had his boys play a brutal schedule.
St. Mary's probably boasts the most balanced team in the South.
The offense is led by Louie Lechich and his robust .456 average, seven homers and 23 RBIs.
John Haberman is hitting .493 and also gives Pijl a playoff-tested starter on the mound.
Most teams would want to avoid St. Mary's like the Swine Flu. That's because most teams don't have a Dylan Floro.
Floro is the reason why I think the South bracket sets up perfectly for Buhach Colony.
Why not take out the beast early?
Who better to run out to the mound in a win-or-go-home situation against anybody?
Buhach Colony (19-8) isn't the same team that reached the section title series against Jesuit last year.
The offense isn't as potent without Markus Melgosa, Art Corona, Joe Medeiros and Brett Mooneyham.
The pitching staff isn't as deep.
However, Buhach Colony may still be the toughest team to beat in the section with Floro on the mound.
His numbers are staggering.
I'm not just talking about his 7-1 record with his 0.46 ERA this year or his 109 strikeouts and 11 walks in 61 1/3 innings pitched.
Floro is putting the finishing touches on one of the most impressive four-year runs of any pitcher.
Softball pitchers would be envious of his career stats.
He's 33-4 with a microscopic 0.78 ERA in his four years at Buhach Colony.
He's struck out 407 hitters and walked just 56 batters in 267 2/3 innings.
Floro has seen his share of big games.
He started against Vanden in the playoffs as a freshman.
Buhach Colony has made the playoffs every year and Floro is 4-1 in his career.
That's not counting all his big games for the Merced Volunteers during the summer at the American Legion State Tournament and regional games.
Let's put it this way.
I think Pijl and St. Mary's were a lot more upset about their first-round matchup than Buhach Colony.
The bottom line is if St. Mary's beats Buhach Colony with Floro on the mound, BC wasn't going to last very long in the playoffs anyway.
However, if Floro can send St. Mary's home, Buhach Colony matches up well with the rest of the teams in the tournament.
Sure it might be safer to play somebody else in the first round and maybe St. Mary's would stumble against another team somewhere in the tournament.
It's not likely.
If Buhach Colony didn't play St. Mary's in the first round, Floro and company would probably have had to find a way to beat St. Mary's twice later in the tournament like it had to last year.
The way it sets up now, Buhach Colony only has to do it once.
And Floro will be on the mound.
It's a tougher draw, but maybe an easier route back to the section championship series.
If St. Mary's finds a way to beat Floro on Thursday and send Buhach Colony home...
Well, then I'm just the crazy fool.
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Floro File
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