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Elk Grove Citizen

The Pride Look Strong Ahead of Playoffs

May 10, 2024 10:44AM ● By Alejandro Barron

Alex Crosno is ready to deliver a pitch to the plate in his league start at home against the Union Mine Diamondbacks on May 1. Photo by Alejandro Barron

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - A dominant season by the Bradshaw Christian Pride culminated with a 23-1 win over the Union Mine Diamondbacks to cap off their first-place finish in the Sierra Valley Conference.
The Pride finished league with a 15-0 record and 24-1 overall record following their win where the Pride is looking to replicate their success of 2022 where they were crowned CIF NorCal Champions. 
“It’s awesome. I was telling the boys how we’ve been undefeated in league for the past two years and three years ago, we lost our first game in league so this is about 44 games in a row for us so it’s a good accomplishment but these kids are thinking about playoffs,” The Pride’s head coach Drew Rickert said. 
One of the strengths of this team is pitching, as they entered their last league game with a 1.04 ERA as a pitching staff. 
“Pitching wins and baseball has always been that way so they’re ready (for playoffs) and they work hard during their bullpens. They take it seriously and always work on trying to locate,” Rickerts said. “We don’t have a senior in the group so it’s all youngsters and they’re a pretty good group.”  
One of the key contributors to this team ERA is the starter against the Diamondbacks, junior Alex Crosno, who entered this game with a 1.69 ERA. 
“He’s a good kid, works hard, throws the ball well and he’s only a junior who will only get better,” Rickert said. 
Crosno would give up an unearned run in the first inning, but The Pride brought an offensive explosion in the bottom of the first with 11 runs which can be attributed to playing the game aggressively,” Rickert said. 
“We preach being aggressive by taking as many bases that we can, so we work on it a lot in practice so we preach playing hard and having to make the defense make plays to get us out,” Rickert said. 
Offensively, The Pride have many hitters who hit for a high batting average, which include senior Micah Nicholson who entered this game with a .464 batting average. 
“He’s huge, he’s our spark plug so he gets us going and he’s a senior leader,” Rickerts said. “He plays really good ball so he does a good job of pushing kids to play hard the way they’re supposed to and he’s a huge part of it.” 
Nicholson would have a 4-5 performance with six RBIs with three singles and a triple, making consistent hard contact. 
Crosno also helped his own cause by going 1-2 with an RBI triple, along with pitching three innings, allowing two hits and seven strikeouts. 
Now The Pride turn their focus on the playoffs and to fine-tune the details as they look for redemption after losing in the section championship to the Sutter Huskies last season. 
“Baseball’s a weird game but you have to keep working hard and doing the little things well and I think that’s the biggest thing I preach here along with playing the game right, don’t disrespect the game and as long as we take care of the little things, good things will happen,” Rickerts said.
After this last league matchup, The Pride’s last game before playoffs was against the Franklin Yellowjackets from Stockton, which they went on to win by a score of 11-1 to end their regular season of 25-1. 
The Pride will kick off their playoff run by taking on the West Campus Warriors on May 8 in the quarterfinals of the Division V 2024 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Baseball Playoffs.