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How a seldom-used pitch landed Ukiah, SRJC alum Devin Kirby a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins

in Sports

Devin Kirby’s life has changed dramatically in the last two-plus weeks.

The Ukiah High School and Santa Rosa Junior College product, who just finished his second and final collegiate season pitching at UConn, capped off a whirlwind weekend by signing with the Minnesota Twins as an undrafted free agent Monday.

It was just last Wednesday when Kirby made his final start for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in front of an area scout for the Twins. Impressed by what they saw — namely, Kirby’s knuckleball, his seldom-used signature pitch — the Twins decided to give him a shot.

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Prep baseball: Point Arena, SRJC grad Jared Sundstrom selected by Seattle Mariners in MLB Draft

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Jared Sundstrom, a Point Arena High School and Santa Rosa Junior College alum was selected in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft on Monday by the Seattle Mariners.

“It was crazy,” Sundstrom told the Press Democrat on Monday night. “For a while, I was texting with my advisor, and we weren’t really hearing anything and then suddenly it was like, boom, it just happened.”

Sundstrom said his advisor told him Seattle was between him and another player for the 307th pick in the draft and landed on Sundstrom shortly before making the selection. His draft slot value is worth $165,500 and Sundstrom said he plans on signing with the club. He’ll head off to Seattle’s spring training facility in Peoria, Arizona on Friday.

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College baseball: SRJC’s season ends 1 game short of state finals

in Sports

The top-seeded Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team’s highly successful season came to an unexpected and disappointing end Sunday afternoon with an 11-8 loss to Sierra College in the California Community College Athletic Association’s NorCal playoffs.

The Bear Cubs, playing the series at Cook Sypher Field on the SRJC campus, lost two of three games to No. 5 Sierra to come one win short of advancing to the state championship next weekend in Folsom.

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Solano Community College about to launch late spring sports

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Brandon Herter takes on a hitting skills station during Solano Community College baseball practice on Thursday in Fairfield. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

When the Solano Community College baseball team throws its first pitch on Saturday, it will officially be the top of the first.

In more ways than one.

The Falcons will return to competition for the first time since last spring. The school “opted in” for late spring sports — baseball, softball, swimming and tennis — in February as athletes came back to campus the week of March 1.

Solano is testing athletes twice a week, even though California Community College Athletic Association has recommended testing once per week.

“The athletes and coaches were very happy to be back on campus,” said Solano Athletic Director Erik Visser. “I’m very pleased with the compliance on COVID protocols as far as social distancing and wearing masks. I’m very pleased with our progress in this phased-in approach.”

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When Joe DiMaggio came to town: What happened in Sonoma County history Feb. 21-Feb. 27?

in People

On Feb. 27, 1938, Joe DiMaggio visited the Santa Rosa Junior College field and gave a hitting exhibition before a game between the San Francisco Seals and the Pacific Greyhounds. The event was a benefit for Ursuline College and attracted an overflow crowd of 3,000 fans.

Two days earlier, on Feb. 25, 1938, Petaluma’s new feed mill became the tallest building in Northern California, outside of San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento. The 11-story, fireproof structure was built for the Poultry Producers of Central California, and was equipped with the latest milling equipment to assure poultry farmers of the best poultry feeds.

On Feb. 25, 1981, Mendocino County’s 1980 marijuana crop was worth $100 million dollars, but farm commissioner Ted Eriksen Jr. said that he would omit the figure from his 1980 crop report. Eriksen published a $90-million figure for marijuana in the previous year’s report, which led to criticism from state and local officials. He defended his yearly assessment, arguing that the county’s second largest agricultural product should not be ignored, even if it was illegal. The $100 million value placed marijuana second only to timber in county agricultural production.
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