High School Sports

Prep Notebook: Paso Robles baseball getting hot at the right time

Paso Robles High pitcher Nolan Binkele leads the Bearcats with a 1.16 ERA.
Paso Robles High pitcher Nolan Binkele leads the Bearcats with a 1.16 ERA. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Back on March 19, the Paso Robles High baseball team lost a close game (3-2) to rival Atascadero in the first game of a three-game series.

Since then the Bearcats have been on fire.

Paso Robles (18-9, 12-6 PAC 8) has won eight in a row including a pair of three-game sweeps of St. Joseph and Mission Prep. The winning streak has pulled Paso Robles even with Arroyo Grande (18-8, 12-6 PAC 8) for second place, long removed from the Bearcats’ 4-5 league start.

The bats have played a big part in the turnaround. During the win streak, Paso Robles has averaged just under eight runs-per-game, punctuated by a 21-run explosion in a win against St. Joseph on March 27.

Mark Armstrong is leading the way at the plate. The junior leads the league in batting average (.459), runs batted in (29) and on-base percentage (.573). Leadoff hitter Christian Erickson is hitting .356 and leads the PAC 8 in stolen bases with 16.

Nolan Binkele is the team’s ace and carries a 1.16 ERA into that final three-game series of the regular season against Righetti .

Paso Robles won’t win the league — San Luis Obipso locked up that honor last week — but the Bearcats look like they are peaking at the right time heading into the playoffs.

SLO High Diver Places fifth

San Luis Obispo High diver and La Salle University commit Blake Griffith finished in fifth place Monday at the CIF-Southern Section Boys Springboard Division 2 Finals in Riverside.

Griffith, who was seeded third in the event, will return to Riverside on Saturday for the state meet.

Tennis, Volleyball Playoffs Begin

The playoffs are here.

The postseason for the CIF-Southern Section boys tennis and volleyball kicks off Tuesday.

Arroyo Grande will host Bell Gardens (Division 3) and Morro Bay will host John F. Kennedy High (Division 4). Also in Divison 3, San Luis Obispo will host Bishop Montgomery at 7 p.m. Mission Prep is on the road against Valley Christian in Cerritos at 5 p.m. Templeton is on the road against Yucaipa in a Divison 4 matchup. The Morro Bay and Arroyo Grande volleyball teams both moved their opening round matches to 6 p.m.

In tennis, San Luis Obsipo will host Mater Dei and Arroyo Grande will host Simi Valley. Atascadero is in the wild card round and will travel to Burbank to play Burroughs. All matches start at 3 p.m.

Baseball and softball playoff parings are to be announced May 16.

Templeton, Atascadero Track Athletes Sign

Templeton senior and hurdle specialist Clayton Mackay will sign his National Letter of Intent to run track at Cal Poly on Wednesday.

Mackay holds school records in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (38.05), also a SLO County meet record, and the 110-meter high hurdles (15.28).

Mackay holds a 4.3 GPA, is involved with the schools engineering program.

Atascadero distance runner Brittni Frace has committed to Chico State to run cross country and track.

Frace recently finished in third place in the 3,200-meter race at the PAC 8 Championships.

The school is holding a ceremony Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the athletics office to celebrate her next step.